REFERENCE AND REVISION (SECTION 395-405)

by | Nov 15, 2023

Criminal justice has profound implications for individuals, involving fundamental rights like the right to life and personal liberty. India’s legal system comprises lower courts, upper courts, and the Supreme Court, and within this framework, Reference and Revision are pivotal concepts that uphold justice at various levels of the judicial hierarchy.

Reference and Revision Defined

Reference and Revision under Criminal Procedure Code, distinct in their legal definitions, share a common purpose of pursuing justice by rectifying errors and ensuring the legal system’s fairness and accuracy.

REFERENCE: SEEKING GUIDANCE FROM HIGHER COURTS

Reference is a process where a lower court handling a specific case seeks guidance or a ruling from a higher court, typically the High Court or Supreme Court. This occurs when the lower court encounters a legal question concerning the validity of a law, ordinance, regulation, or provision, and believes it requires clarification.

GROUNDS FOR REFERENCE:

Several conditions must be met for a reference to be made-

  • A legal question regarding the validity of a legislative provision must have arisen.
  • The lower court must believe that the Act, ordinance, regulation, or provision in question is invalid or ineffective.
  • Reference is made exclusively on points of law that arise during the case.

PURPOSE OF REFERENCE:

The primary purpose of reference provisions is to enable lower courts to seek the perspective of a higher court in cases without the option of appeal. It ensures that the legality of legislative provisions is clarified by the highest court before the final judgment.

REFERENCE UNDER CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE:

Under the Civil Procedure Code, parties can initiate a reference to the High Court through an application, detailed in Section 113 and Order 46, outlining the definition, objective, procedural aspects, and powers of the referring court and the High Court.

REFERENCE UNDER CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE:

In criminal law, Sections 395 to 405 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) deal with reference and revision. Section 395 addresses the process of reference, allowing the transfer of a matter to the High Court when it involves questions related to Acts, Regulations, Ordinances, or Statutes necessary to determine and dispose of a case.

NATURE & SCOPE OF SECTION 395 – 396 OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE:

Sections 395 and 396 of the CrPC clarify the scope of reference, emphasizing that it’s appropriate when the matter before the trial court is vital to the resolution of a criminal case, even if a higher court has not declared it invalid.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR REFERENCE:

A subordinate court can make a reference to the High Court based on its own opinion. Section 395 of the CrPC outlines the criteria for reference, ensuring that cases raising questions of law can be referred to the High Court for resolution.

REVISION: CORRECTING ERRORS AND ENSURING JUSTICE

Revision is a mechanism where an upper court reviews decisions or orders of a subordinate court to correct perceived errors in applying judicial power, ensuring the correctness and constitutionality of lower court proceedings.

GROUNDS FOR REVISION:

Revision exists in two categories, civil and criminal, and can be applied to both pending and concluded matters. It is generally brought before the High Court or the Court of Session but cannot be invoked for interlocutory or interim orders during legal proceedings.

PURPOSE OF REVISION:

The primary goal of revision is to assess the correctness and constitutionality of proceedings in lower courts, correcting jurisdictional or legal errors.

REVISION UNDER CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE:

The Civil Procedure Code, particularly Section 115, governs the process of revision, enabling the High Court to exercise revision powers when a subordinate court fails to exercise jurisdiction or exercises jurisdiction illegally.

REVISION UNDER CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE:

In India’s criminal justice system, revision is crucial, defined in Articles 397 to 405 of the Criminal Procedure Code. These articles establish the legal framework for revisional jurisdiction, defining key sections and principles.

KEY SECTIONS FOR REVISION:

Important sections include Section 397, which focuses on summoning the record, and Section 398, which allows courts to order inquiries. Sections 399 and 400 empower the Sessions Judge to revise decisions made by lower courts, and Section 401 defines the High Court’s revisional authority.

MANDATORY PRINCIPLES AND FAIR DISPOSAL:

In revision, the High Court may exercise various powers outlined in sections 386, 389, 390, or 391. When Judges within the Court of revision disagree, Section 392 guides impartial resolutions. It’s crucial to ensure fairness and the right to be heard for all parties involved.

SAFEGUARDING THE ACQUITTAL:

Section 401 explicitly prohibits the High Court from converting an acquittal into a conviction, preserving legal principles and the rights of the accused.

MAINTAINING HIERARCHY IN LEGAL REMEDIES:

The Code of Criminal Procedure emphasizes the importance of respecting the hierarchy of legal remedies and discourages using revision as a substitute for the appeals process.

CONCLUSION

In summary, Reference and Revision under Criminal Procedure Code,while distinct legal processes, share the fundamental goal of ensuring that justice prevails. They are essential mechanisms to rectify errors and maintain the integrity and fairness of the legal system in India, particularly in cases where the right to appeal may not be available.

REFERENCE:

1-https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/complainant-cannot-be-heard-in-revision-of-criminal-case-delhi-hc-7446746/lite/ -THE INDIAN EXPRESS 

2-https://m.timesofindia.com/india/hcs-can-hear-revision-plea-on-interim-orders-sc/articleshow/134381.cms -THE TIMES OF INDIA

 

 

Written By Archana Singh

I am Archana Singh, a recent law master's graduate with a strong aspiration for the judicial service. My passion lies in elucidating complex legal concepts, disseminating legal news, and enhancing legal awareness. I take immense pride in introducing my new legal website - The LawGist. Through my meticulously crafted blogs and articles, I aim to empower individuals with comprehensive legal insights. My unwavering dedication is to facilitate a profound comprehension of the law, enabling people to execute judicious and well-informed choices.

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