S. MADHUSUDHAN REDDY Vs V. NARAYANA REDDY AND OTHERS

S. MADHUSUDHAN REDDY Versus V. NARAYANA REDDY AND OTHERS


Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले



Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEALS NO. 5503-04 OF 2022
ARISING OUT OF
PETITIONS FOR SPECIAL LEAVE TO APPEAL (CIVIL) NO.9602-03 OF 2022
S. MADHUSUDHAN REDDY .… APPELLANT
Versus
V. NARAYANA REDDY AND OTHERS ….. RESPONDENTS
ALONG WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO.5505 OF 2022
ARISING OUT OF
PETITION FOR SPECIAL LEAVE TO APPEAL (CIVIL) NO.11290 OF 2022
S. NARSIMHA REDDY .… APPELLANT
Versus
V. NARAYANA REDDY AND OTHERS ….. RESPONDENTS



J U D G M E N T
HIMA KOHLI, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. The present appeals are directed against a common judgment and order dated
29th April, 2022 passed by the learned Single Judge of the High Court for the State of
Telangana at Hyderabad, allowing the review petitions filed by the respondent Nos. 1 to
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6 herein (IA No.2 of 2014 in Revision CRPMP No. 6377 of 2014 moved in and Civil
Revision Petition No.2786 of 2013 and IA No.1 of 2014 in Revision CRMP No.4997 /
2014 moved in and Civil Revision Petition No.2787 /2013). As a result of allowing the
review petitions, the common judgment and order dated 09th July, 2013 passed by the
predecessor Bench upholding the common order dated 23rd March, 2013 in Cases No.
F1/3/2005 and F1/4/2005 passed by the Joint Collector, Mahabubnagar, has been set
aside and as a sequel thereto, the orders dated 31st March, 1967 passed by the
Tahsildar, Shadnagar, accepting the surrender of protected tenancy rights by the
ancestors of the appellant have been confirmed.
3. The appeals have a chequered history that dates back to the year 1967. The
facts relevant for deciding the present appeals are as follows:-
3.1 Late Shri Chandra Reddy and late Shri Chenna Reddy, both sons of Buchi
Reddy, were protected tenants in respect of separate parcels of land situated in different
survey numbers of Kammadanam Village, Shadnagar Mandal, Mahabubnagar District 1
.
The recorded landlord of the protected tenants was late Venkat Anantha Reddy, who
was the Karta of a joint family comprising of himself and his brother, late Laxma Reddy.
On the basis of an oral partition of the land that took place between the two brothers, the
subject land fell to the share of late L. Harshavardhan Reddy (respondent No.6), son of
late Laxma Reddy. Pertinently, L. Harshavardhan Reddy expired during the pendency of
the review petitions and L. Sameera Reddy was brought on record as his legal heir. As
1 Hereinafter referred to as ‘subject land’
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per the respondents, late Shri Chandra Reddy, who was a protected tenant in respect of
the subject land measuring 57 acres and 16 guntas, had surrendered his protected
tenancy rights on submitting a written application dated 6th August, 1966 to the
Tehsildar. A similar application was submitted by the three legal heirs of Late Chenna
Reddy (Ram Reddy, Chandra Reddy and Laxma Reddy) in respect of land measuring
98 acres 18 guntas. The respondents claim that on receiving the said applications, the
Tehsildar, Shadnagar, recorded the statements of the applicants and after confirming the
identity of the parties, issued a public notice and thereafter, accepted the surrender on
satisfying the requirements prescribed in the A.P. (Telangana Area) Tenancy and
Agricultural Lands Act, 19502
. After accepting the surrender applications, the names of
the protected tenants were struck off from the final records of tenancy, vide order dated
31st March, 1967.
3.2 It is also the version of the respondents that the protected tenants had
surrendered their tenancy rights in favour of late Venkat Anantha Reddy pursuant to an
understanding that the latter would not oppose the 38-B Certificate issued by the
Tenancy Tribunal in favour of Chandra Reddy and the sons of late Chenna Reddy in
respect of the parcel of land measuring 85 acres 23 guntas situated in Kammadanam
Village. In other words, there was a reciprocity between the protected tenants and the
landlord based on which, the landlord relinquished his rights in respect of land
2 For short ‘Act’
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measuring 85 acrs 23 guntas in exchange of the surrender of the subject land by
Chandra Reddy and the legal heirs of late Chenna Reddy.
3.3 On the other hand, the appellant, who is the legal heir of the original tenants,
claims that his ancestors were dispossessed from the subject land in the year 1975
when they were trying to obtain 38-E Certificate from the authorities. Only in the year
2001 when the legal heirs of the protected tenants had applied for the final record of
tenancy, did they discover that the names of the protected tenants had been struck off
on the basis of the purported surrender proceedings conducted by the Tehsildar in the
year 1967. Challenging the said surrender proceedings, the predecessors-in-interest of
the appellant being the protected tenants, preferred appeals before the Joint Collector in
February, 2002 along with an application seeking condonation of delay. The said
appeals were allowed by the Joint Collector, Mahabubnagar, being the Appellate
Authority, vide order dated 2nd April, 2005. Aggrieved by the said order, the
respondents approached the High Court of Andhra Pradesh3
 raising a plea that it was an
ex-parte order and filed two Civil Revision Petitions (CRP No. 4620/2005 and CRP No.
4988/2005), which were allowed, vide order dated 19th September, 2006 and the matters
were remanded back for fresh disposal. On a re-hearing, the Appellate Authority passed
an order on 23rd March, 2013 whereby, the order dated 31st March, 1967 passed by the
Tehsildar, Shadnagar accepting the surrender of the protected tenancy rights by the
3 For short ‘High Court’
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ancestors of the appellant, was set aside and the original entries in respect of the land in
the final record of tenancy as existing prior to 1967, were restored.
3.4 Dissatisfied by the order dated 23rd March, 2013, the respondents once again
approached the High Court by filing two Civil Revision Petitions (CRP No.2786/2013 and
CRP No.2787/2013), which came to be dismissed by a common judgment and order
dated 09th July, 2013. The review petitions subsequently filed by the respondents for
seeking review of the aforesaid judgment (Rev. CRMP No.5443/2013 in Civil Revision
Petition No. 2786/2013 and Rev. CRMP No. 5432/2013 in Civil Revision Petition No.
2787/2013) were also dismissed, vide order dated 20th February, 2014. The common
judgment and order dated 9th July, 2013 and the order dated 20th February, 2014 were
assailed by the respondent Nos. 1 to 6 through Special Leave Petitions (C) CC No.
8209- 8210/ 2014 that were disposed of with the following order passed on 4th July,
2014:
“Delay condoned.
The learned counsel for the petitioners submits that he would be in a
position to file genuine documents to show that there was surrender of
tenancy. If he will be able to obtain such documents, it is open to him
to file a review before the High Court. The special leave petitions are
disposed of accordingly.”
3.5 Armed with the above order, the respondents No. 1 to 6 again approached the
High Court and filed a second round of review applications seeking review of the
common order and judgment dated 9th July, 2013 which have been allowed by the
impugned order. The learned Single Judge has upheld the surrender order dated 31st
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March, 1967 passed by the Tehsildar, Shadnagar whereby the names of the protected
tenants (predecessors-in-interest of the appellants) were deleted from the final records
of tenancy.
4. Arguing for the appellant, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned Senior Advocate
has contended that the review petitions filed by the respondents No. 1 to 6 are not maintainable as they do not satisfy any of the conditions for review provided in Order XLVII
Rule 1 of the Civil Procedure Code, 19084
. He submitted that the grounds taken in the
second set of review petitions were akin to those taken in the first set of review petitions
and once the first set of review petitions were dismissed by the High Court, vide order
dated 20th February, 2014 and no new grounds were taken by the respondents No.1 to
6 subsequently, there was no occasion to allow the second set of review petitions; that
the respondents No. 1 to 6 did not take a plea that the documents subsequently filed by
them, were not in their knowledge when they had filed the civil revision petitions and the
first set of review petitions before the High Court for attracting the provisions of Order
XLVII Rule 1 CPC. Stating that the scope of review is very limited and a review application can only be entertained if there is any error apparent on the face of the record,
which the respondents No. 1 to 6 have failed to point out in the instant case, learned Senior Counsel submitted that the High Court ought to have dismissed the same outright.
It was argued that by virtue of the impugned order, the High Court has virtually treated
the review petitions filed by the respondents No. 1 to 6 as independent appeals, which is
4 For short ‘CPC’
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impermissible. To buttress the aforesaid submissions made on the limited ambit and
scope of a review petition and the bar on filing successive review petitions, the decisions
of this Court in Babboo Alias Kalyandas and Others v. State of Madhya Pradesh5
and Lilly Thomas and Others v. Union of India and Others6
have been cited.
5. Another plea sought to be taken on behalf of the appellant is that the name of the
father of the protected tenants, Chandra Reddy and Chenna Reddy has been stated to
be Papi Reddy in the surrender proceedings whereas, his correct name is Buchi Reddy
which goes to show that the surrender proceedings conducted by the Tehsildar were
fabricated and the fact of the matter is that neither the appellant, nor his ancestors had
ever surrendered the tenancy rights in favour of the respondents/their ancestors/ predecessors- in-interest. It was contended that this fact is borne out from the declaration
made by the landlord in the ceiling proceedings where he had admitted that 38-E Certificate was granted in respect of the subject land and the tenants were in possession
thereof. It was canvassed that the High Court has failed to appreciate that had surrender
of lands by the protected tenants in favour of the landlord actually taken place in the
year 1967, as alleged, there was no occasion for the landlord to have later on claimed
exemption of these lands for being computed as part of his holdings under the Andhra
Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings) Act, 19737
.
5 (1979) 4 SCC 74
6 (2000) 6 SCC 224
7 For short ‘the Land Ceiling Act’
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6. The aforesaid submissions made on behalf of the appellant have been
vehemently contested by Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, learned Senior Advocate appearing for the
respondents. It was submitted that the surrender proceedings had attained finality in the
year 1967 and after maintaining silence for almost 35 years, the legal heirs of the
protected tenants, had filed a misconceived appeal under Section 90(1) of the Land
Ceiling Act. Pertinently, the respondents being the purchasers of the subject land, were
not made parties in the said proceedings and the Appellate Authority had proceeded to
pass an order dated 2nd April, 2005 allowing the said appeals behind their back.
Aggrieved by the said ex parte order, when the respondents approached the High Court,
the matters were remanded back to the Appellate Authority for fresh adjudication. The
Appellate Authority allowed the appeals, once again compelling the respondents to
approach the High Court by filing fresh appeals which were knocked off vide order dated
09th July, 2013 and their review petitions were also dismissed on 20th February, 2014.
Against the said dismissal orders, the respondents had to approach this Court. The
petitions for special leave to appeal preferred by them were disposed of vide order dated
4th July, 2014 that has been extracted in para 5 hereinabove.
7. Learned Senior Advocate submitted that in the light of the permission granted by
this Court, the respondents had filed review petitions in the Civil Revision Petitions
before the High Court after obtaining certified copies of the relevant documents forming
a part of the revenue records. Only after considering the said documents did the learned
Single Judge allow the review petitions for cogent and valid reasons that do not deserve
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any interference. It has been canvassed on behalf of the respondents that the legal heirs
of the protected tenant had knowledge about the surrender of the subject land right from
the year 1967 to 2001 and they were also aware of the fact that the names of their
ancestors were not reflected in the protected tenants register. The real position is that
the ancestors of the appellant were never in possession of the subject land after 1967.
Despite that, they had approached the Appellate Authority challenging the surrender
proceedings after a passage of 35 years. Contending that said appeals were highly
belated and deserved to be thrown out on the ground of limitation alone without going
into the merits, the decisions in Sakuru v. Tanaji8
 and Dharappa v. Bijapur Coop. Milk
 Products Societies Union Limited9
 have been cited. It has been urged that the
appeals preferred by the ancestors of the appellant were not maintainable, being
patently barred by limitation which aspect has been gone into by the High Court while
passing the impugned judgment allowing the review petitions filed by the respondents.
8. As for the mis-description of the predecessor-in-interest of the appellant, it was submitted that Buchi Reddy was also known Papi Reddy in the
village which fact is reflected from the revenue records, namely, Faisal Patti
record of the village, as recorded by the Patwari. Counsel for the respondents
also sought to negate the ground taken by the other side with reference to the
landlord claiming exemption under the land ceiling proceedings on the ground
that Land Reforms Tribunal did not accept such a plea of exemption. It was
8
 (1985) 3 SCC 590
9
 (2007) 9 SCC 109
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thus submitted that surrender of the tenancy rights had attained finality in the
year 1967 itself and the appellant and his ancestors have reopened settled issues after passage of 35 years reckoned from the date of surrender only for
the reason that the price of the subject land, which is situated close to the International Airport at Shamshabad, have escalated and he wants to encash
the same.
9. This Court has carefully perused the impugned judgment and the
orders preceding the impugned judgment, gone through the records and
given its thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced by learned
counsel for the parties. The only point that arises for consideration in these
appeals is whether the respondents/review petitioners had made out a case
for reviewing the judgment and order dated 23rd March, 2013 by satisfying the
criteria for entertaining a second set of review petitions, having failed to succeed in the first set of review petitions.
10. The core argument advanced on behalf of the appellant that the
High Court ought not to have entertained successive review petitions filed by
the respondents when they could not demonstrate emergence of any new
facts or point out any error apparent on the face of the record, for allowing the
review applications, must be put to test by examining the relevant provisions
of law that governs review jurisdiction.
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11. Section 114 of the CPC which is the substantive provision, deals
with the scope of review and states as follows:
“Review:- Subject as aforesaid, any person considering himself aggrieved:-
(a) by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed by this Code, but
from which no appeal has been preferred;
(b) by a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed by this Code; or
(c) by a decision on a reference from a Court of Small Causes, may apply for
a review of judgment to the court which passed the decree or made the order,
and the court may make such order thereon as it thinks fit.”
12. The grounds available for filing a review application against a
judgment have been set out in Order XLVII of the CPC in the following words:
“1. Application for review of judgment - (1) Any person considering himself
aggrieved -
(a) by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from which no
appeal has been preferred,
(b) by a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed, or
(c) by a decision on a reference from a Court of Small Causes,
and who, from the discovery of new and important matter or evidence which,
after the exercise of due diligence was not within his knowledge or could not
be produced by him at the time when the decree was passed or order made,
or on account of some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record, or
for any other sufficient reason, desires to obtain a review of the decree
passed or order made against him, may apply for a review of judgment to the
Court which passed the decree or made the order.
(2) A party who is not appealing from a decree or Order may apply for a
review of judgment notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal by some other
party except where the ground of such appeal is common to the applicant and
the appellant, or when, being respondent, he can present to the Appellate
Court the case on which he applies for the review.
1[Explanation-The fact that the decision on a question of law on which the
judgment of the Court is based has been reversed or modified by the
subsequent decision of a superior Court in any other case, shall not be a
ground for the review of such judgment.] “
13. A glance at the aforesaid provisions makes it clear that a review
application would be maintainable on (i) discovery of new and important
matters or evidence which, after exercise of due diligence, were not within
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the knowledge of the applicant or could not be produced by him when the
decree was passed or the order made; (ii) on account of some mistake or
error apparent on the face of the record; or (iii) for any other sufficient
reason.
14. In Col. Avatar Singh Sekhon v. Union of India and Others10
,
this Court observed that a review of an earlier order cannot be done unless
the court is satisfied that the material error which is manifest on the face of
the order, would result in miscarriage of justice or undermine its soundness.
The observations made are as under:
“12. A review is not a routine procedure. Here we resolved to hear Shri Kapil
at length to remove any feeling that the party has been hurt without being
heard. But we cannot review our earlier order unless satisfied that material
error, manifest on the face of the order, undermines its soundness or results
in miscarriage of justice. In Sow Chandra Kante and Another v. Sheikh Habib11
this Court observed :
‘A review of a judgment is a serious step and reluctant
resort to it is proper only where a glaring omission or
patent mistake or like grave error has crept in earlier by
judicial fallibility. … The present stage is not a virgin
ground but review of an earlier order which has the normal
feature of finality.’ ”
 (emphasis added)
15. In Parsion Devi and Others v. Sumitri Devi and Others12
, stating
that an error that is not self- evident and the one thathas to be detected by the
process of reasoning, cannot be described as an error apparent on the face
10 1980 Supp SCC 562
11 (1975) 1 SCC 674
12 (1997) 8 SCC 715
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of the record for the Court to exercise the powers of review, this Court held as
under:
“7. It is well settled that review proceedings have to be strictly confined to the ambit
and scope of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. In Thungabhadra Industries Ltd. v. Govt. of A.P.13
this Court opined:
’11. What, however, we are now concerned with is whether the
statement in the order of September 1959 that the case did not involve
any substantial question of law is an ‘error apparent on the face of the
record’. The fact that on the earlier occasion the Court held on an
identical state of facts that a substantial question of law arose would not
per se be conclusive, for the earlier order itself might be erroneous.
Similarly, even if the statement was wrong, it would not follow that it was
an ‘error apparent on the face of the record’, for there is a distinction
which is real, though it might not always be capable of exposition,
between a mere erroneous decision and a decision which could be
characterized as vitiated by ‘error apparent’. A review is by no means
an appeal in disguise whereby an erroneous decision is reheard and
corrected, but lies only for patent error.’
8. Again, in Meera Bhanja v. Nirmala Kumari Choudhury14 while quoting with approval
a passage from Aribam Tuleshwar Sharma v. Aribam Pishak Sharma15 this Court once
again held that review proceedings are not by way of an appeal and have to be strictly
confined to the scope and ambit of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC.
9. Under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC a judgment may be open to review inter alia if
there is a mistake or an error apparent on the face of the record. An error which
is not self-evident and has to be detected by a process of reasoning, can hardly
be said to be an error apparent on the face of the record justifying the court to
exercise its power of review under Order 47 Rule 1 CPC. In exercise of this
jurisdiction under Order 47 rule 1 CPC it is not permissible for an erroneous
decision to be ‘reheard and corrected’. A review petition, it must be
remembered has a limited purpose and cannot be allowed to be ‘an appeal in
disguise’”.
[emphasis added]
16. The error referred to under the Rule, must be apparent on the face
of the record and not one which has to be searched out. While discussing the
scope and ambit of Article 137 that empowers theSupreme Court to review its
judgments and in the course of discussing the contours of review jurisdiction
under Order XLVII Rule 1 of the CPC in Lily Thomas(supra), this Court held
as under :
13 1964 SCR (5) 174
14(1995) 1 SCC 170
15 (1979) 4 SCC 389
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“54. Article 137 empowers this court to review its judgments subject to the
provisions of any law made by Parliament or any rules made under Article 145 of the
Constitution. The Supreme Court Rules made in exercise of the powers under Article
145 of the Constitution prescribe that in civil cases, review lies on any of the grounds
specified in Order 47 rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure which provides:
“1. Application for review of judgment - (1) Any person considering
himself aggrieved -
(a) by a decree or order from which an appeal is allowed, but from
which no appeal has been preferred,
(b) by a decree or order from which no appeal is allowed, or
(c) by a decision on a reference from a Court of Small Causes,
and who, from the discovery of new and important matter or evidence
which, after the exercise of due diligence was not within his
knowledge or could not be produced by him at the time when the
decree was passed or order made, or on account of some mistake or
error apparent on the face of the record, or for any other sufficient
reason, desires to obtain a review of the decree passed or order
made against him, may apply for a review of judgment to the Court
which passed the decree or made the order.’
Under Order XL Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules no review lies except on the
ground of error apparent on the face of the record in criminal cases. Order XL Rule 5
of the Supreme Court Rules provides that after an application for review has been
disposed of no further application shall be entertained in the same matter.
XXX XXX XXX
56. It follows, therefore, that the power of review can be exercised for
correction of a mistake but not to substitute a view. Such powers can be
exercised within the limits of the statute dealing with the exercise of power. The
review cannot be treated like an appeal in disguise. The mere possibility of two
views on the subject is not a ground for review. Once a review petition is
dismissed no further petition of review can be entertained. The rule of law of
following the practice of the binding nature of the larger Benches and not taking
different views by the Benches of coordinated jurisdiction of equal strength has to be
followed and practised. However, this Court in exercise of its powers under Article
136 or Article 32 of the Constitution and upon satisfaction that the earlier judgments
have resulted in deprivation of fundamental rights of a citizen or rights created under
any other statute, can take a different view notwithstanding the earlier judgment.
XXX XXX XXX
58. Otherwise also no ground as envisaged under Order XL of the Supreme Court
Rules read with Order 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure has been pleaded in the
review petition or canvassed before us during the arguments for the purposes of
reviewing the judgment in Sarla Mudgal case16. It is not the case of the petitioners that
they have discovered any new and important matter which after the exercise of due
diligence was not within their knowledge or could not be brought to the notice of the
Court at the time of passing of the judgment. All pleas raised before us were in fact
16 (1995) 3 SCC 635, Sarla Mudgal, President, Kalyani and Others v. Union of India and
Others
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addressed for and on behalf of the petitioners before the Bench which, after
considering those pleas, passed the judgment in Sarla Mudgal16 case. We have also
not found any mistake or error apparent on the face of the record requiring a review.
Error contemplated under the rule must be such which is apparent on the face
of the record and not an error which has to be fished out and searched. It must
be an error of inadvertence. No such error has been pointed out by the learned
counsel appearing for the parties seeking review of the judgment. The only arguments
advanced were that the judgment interpreting Section 494 amounted to violation of
some of the fundamental rights. No other sufficient cause has been shown for
reviewing the judgment. The words "any-other sufficient reason appearing in
Order 47 Rule 1 CPC" must mean "a reason sufficient on grounds at least
analogous to those specified in the rule" as was held in Chajju Ram v. Neki
 Ram17 and approved by this Court in Moran Mar Basselios Catholicos. v. Most
 Rev. Mar Poulose Athanasius18. Error apparent on the face of the proceedings is
an error which is based on clear ignorance or disregard of the provisions of
law. in T.C. Basappa v. T. Nagappa19 this Court held that such error is an error
which is a patent error and not a mere wrong decision. In Hari Vishnu Kamath v.
 Ahmad20, it was held:
“It is essential that it should be something more than a mere
error; it must be one which must be manifest on the face of the
record. The real difficulty with reference to this matter, however, is not
so much in the statement of the principle as in its application to the
facts of a particular case. When does an error, cease to be mere error
and become an error apparent on the face of the record? Learned
Counsel on either side were unable to suggest any clear-cut rule by
which the boundary between the two classes of errors could be
demarcated.
Mr. Pathak for the first respondent contended on the
strength of certain observations of Chagla, CJ in – ‘Batuk K Vyas v.
Surat Borough Municipality'
21, that no error could be said to be
apparent on the face of the record if it was not self-evident and if it
required an examination or argument to establish it. This test might
afford a satisfactory basis for decision in the majority of cases. But
there must be cases in which even this test might break down,
because judicial opinions also differ, and an error that might be
considered by one Judge as self-evident might not be so considered
by another. The fact is that what is an error apparent on the face
of the record cannot be defined precisely or exhaustively, there
being an element of indefiniteness inherent in its very nature,
and it must be left to be determined judicially on the facts of
each case.
Therefore, it can safely be held that the petitioners have not made out
any case within the meaning of Article 137 read with Order XL of the
Supreme Court Rules and Order 47 Rule 1 CPC for reviewing the
17 AIR 1922 PC 112
18 1955 SCR 520
19 1955 SCR 250
20 AIR 1955 SC 233
21 ILR 1953 Bom 191
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judgment in Sarla Mudgal case16. The petition is misconceived and
bereft of any substance.” (emphasis added)
17. It is also settled law that in exercise of review jurisdiction, the Court
cannot reappreciate the evidence to arrive at a different conclusion even if
two views are possible in a matter. In Kerala State Electricity Board v.
Hitech Electrothermics & Hydropower Ltd. and Others22
, this Court
observed as follows:
“10. ....In a review petition it is not open to this Court to reappreciate the
evidence and reach a different conclusion, even if that is possible. Learned
counsel for the Board at best sought to impress us that the correspondence
exchanged between the parties did not support the conclusion reached by this
Court. We are afraid such a submission cannot be permitted to be advanced in a
review petition. The appreciation of evidence on record is fully within the
domain of the appellate court. If on appreciation of the evidence produced,
the court records a finding of fact and reaches a conclusion, that
conclusion cannot be assailed in a review petition unless it is shown that
there is an error apparent on the face of the record or for some reason akin
thereto. It has not been contended before us that there is any error apparent on
the face of the record. To permit the review petitioner to argue on a question
of appreciation of evidence would amount to converting a review petition
into an appeal in disguise."
(emphasis added)
18. Under the garb of filing a review petition, a party cannot be
permitted to repeat old and overruled arguments for reopening the
conclusions arrived at in a judgment. The power of review is not to be
confused with the appellate power which enables the Superior Court to
correct errors committed by a subordinate Court. This point has been
22 (2005) 6 SCC 651
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elucidated in Jain Studios Ltd. V. Shin Satellite Public Co. Ltd.23 where it
was held thus:
“11. So far as the grievance of the applicant on merits is concerned, the learned
counsel for the opponent is right in submitting that virtually the applicant seeks the
same relief which had been sought at the time of arguing the main matter and had
been negatived. Once such a prayer had been refused, no review petition would
lie which would convert rehearing of the original matter. It is settled law that the
power of review cannot be confused with appellate power which enables a
superior court to correct all errors committed by a subordinate court. It is
not rehearing of an original matter. A repetition of old and overruled
argument is not enough to reopen concluded adjudications. The power of
review can be exercised with extreme care, caution and circumspection and
only in exceptional cases.
12. When a prayer to appoint an arbitrator by the applicant herein had been made
at the time when the arbitration petition was heard and was rejected, the same
relief cannot be sought by an indirect method by filing a review petition. Such
petition, in my opinion, is in the nature of 'second innings' which is
impermissible and unwarranted and cannot be granted.”
(emphasis added)
19. After discussing a series of decisions on review jurisdiction in
Kamlesh Verma v. Mayawati and Others24, this Court observed that review
proceedings have to be strictly confined to the scope and ambit of Order
XLVII Rule 1, CPC. As long as the point sought to be raised in the review
application has already been dealt with and answered, parties are not
entitled to challenge the impugned judgment only because an alternative
view is possible. The principles for exercising review jurisdiction were
succinctly summarized in the captioned case as below:
“20. Thus, in view of the above, the following grounds of review are maintainable
as stipulated by the statute:
20.1. When the review will be maintainable:
23 (2006) 5 SCC 501
24 (2013) 8 SCC 320
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
(i) Discovery of new and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of
due diligence, was not within knowledge of the petitioner or could not be
produced by him;
(ii) Mistake or error apparent on the face of the record;
(iii) Any other sufficient reason.
The words "any other sufficient reason" has been interpreted in Chajju Ram vs.
Neki17, and approved by this Court in Moran Mar Basselios Catholicos vs. Most
Rev. Mar Poulose Athanasius & Ors.18 to mean "a reason sufficient on grounds at
least analogous to those specified in the rule". The same principles have been
reiterated in Union of India v. Sandur Manganese & Iron Ores Ltd. & Ors.
25
,.
20.2. When the review will not be maintainable: -
(i) A repetition of old and overruled argument is not enough to reopen concluded
adjudications.
(ii) Minor mistakes of inconsequential import.
(iii) Review proceedings cannot be equated with the original hearing of the case.
(iv) Review is not maintainable unless the material error, manifest on the face of
the order, undermines its soundness or results in miscarriage of justice.
(v) A review is by no means an appeal in disguise whereby an erroneous decision
is re-heard and corrected but lies only for patent error.
(vi) The mere possibility of two views on the subject cannot be a ground for
review. (vii) The error apparent on the face of the record should not be an error
which has to be fished out and searched.
(viii) The appreciation of evidence on record is fully within the domain of the
appellate court, it cannot be permitted to be advanced in the review petition.
 (ix) Review is not maintainable when the same relief sought at the time of
arguing the main matter had been negatived.”
20. In Aribam Tuleshwar Sharma v. Aribam Pishak Sharma15, this
Court was examining an order passed by the Judicial Commissioner who
was reviewing an earlier judgment that went in favour of the appellant, while
deciding a review application filed by the respondents therein who took a
ground that the predecessor Court had overlooked two important documents
that showed that the respondents were in possession of the sites through
which the appellant had sought easementary rights to access his home25 (2013) 8 SCC 337
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
stead. The said appeal was allowed by this Court with the following
observations:
“3 …It is true as observed by this Court in Shivdeo Singh and Others v. State of
 Punjab26 there is nothing in Article 226 of the Constitution to preclude a High
Court from exercising the power of review which inheres in every court of plenary
jurisdiction to prevent miscarriage of justice or to correct grave and pulpable
errors committed by it. But, there are definitive limits to the exercise of the power
of review. The power of review may be exercised on the discovery of new
and important matter or evidence which, after the exercise of due diligence
was not within the knowledge of the person seeking the review or could not
be produced by him at the time when the order was made; it may be
exercised where some mistake or error apparent on the face of the record is
found; it may also be exercised on any analogous ground. But, it may not
be exercised on the ground that the decision was erroneous on merits. That
would be the province of a court of appeal. A power of review is not to be
confused with appellate power which may enable an appellate court to
correct all manner of errors committed by the subordinate court.”

 (emphasis added)
21. In State of West Bengal and Others v. Kamal Sengupta and
Another27
, this Court emphasized the requirement of the review petitioner
who approaches a Court on the ground of discovery of a new matter or
evidence, to demonstrate that the same was not within his knowledge and
held thus:
“21. At this stage it is apposite to observe that where a review is sought on the
ground of discovery of new matter or evidence, such matter or evidence must be
relevant and must be of such a character that if the same had been produced, it
might have altered the judgment. In other words, mere discovery of new or
important matter or evidence is not sufficient ground for review ex debito
justitiae. Not only this, the party seeking review has also to show that such
additional matter or evidence was not within its knowledge and even after
the exercise of due diligence, the same could not be produced before the
court earlier.”
(emphasis added)
26 (1979) 4 SCC 389
27 (2008) 8 SCC 612
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
22. In the captioned judgment, the term ‘mistake or error apparent’
has been discussed in the following words:
“22. The term ‘mistake or error apparent’ by its very connotation signifies an
error which is evident per se from the record of the case and does not
require detailed examination, scrutiny and elucidation either of the facts or
the legal position. If an error is not self-evident and detection thereof requires
long debate and process of reasoning, it cannot be treated as an error apparent
on the face of the record for the purpose of Order 47 Rule 1 CPC or Section 22(3)
(f) of the Act. To put it differently an order or decision or judgment cannot be
corrected merely because it is erroneous in law or on the ground that a
different view could have been taken by the court/tribunal on a point of fact
or law. In any case, while exercising the power of review, the court/tribunal
concerned cannot sit in appeal over its judgment/decision”.
 (emphasis added)
23. In S. Nagaraj and Others v. State of Karnataka and Another28
,
this Court explained as to when a review jurisdiction could be treated as
statutory or inherent and held thus :
“18. Justice is a virtue which transcends all barriers. Neither the rules of
procedure nor technicalities of law can stand in its way. The order of the court
should not be prejudicial to anyone. Rule of stare decisis is adhered for
consistency but it is not as inflexible in Administrative Law as in Public Law. Even
the law bends before justice. Entire concept of writ jurisdiction exercised by
the higher courts is founded on equity and fairness. If the court finds that
the order was passed under a mistake and it would not have exercised the
jurisdiction but for the erroneous assumption which in fact did not exist and
its perpetration shall result in miscarriage of justice then it cannot on any
principle be precluded from rectifying the error. Mistake is accepted as valid
reason to recall an order. Difference lies in the nature of mistake and scope
of rectification, depending on if it is of fact or law. But the root from which
the power flows is the anxiety to avoid injustice. It is either statutory or
inherent. The latter is available where the mistake is of the Court”.
 (emphasis added)
24. In Patel Narshi Thakershi and Others v. Shri Pradyuman
Singhji Arjunsinghji29
, this Court held as follows:
28 1993 Supp (4) SCC 595
29 (1971) 3 SCC 844
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
“4….. It is well settled that the power to review is not an inherent power. It
must be conferred by law either specifically or by necessary implication. No
provision in the Act was brought to notice from which it could be gathered that the
Government had power to review its own order. If the Government had no power
to review its own order, it is obvious that its delegate could not have reviewed its
order.……”
 (emphasis added)
25. In Ram Sahu (Dead) Through LRs and Others v. Vinod Kumar
Rawat and Others30, citing previous decisions and expounding on the scope
and ambit of Section 114 read with Order XLVII Rule 1, this Court has
observed that Section 114 CPC does not lay any conditions precedent for
exercising the power of review; and nor does the Section prohibit the Court
from exercising its power to review a decision. However, an order can be
reviewed by the Court only on the grounds prescribed in Order XLVII Rule 1
CPC. The said power cannot be exercised as an inherent power and nor can
appellate power be exercised in the guise of exercising the power of review.
26. As can be seen from the above exposition of law, it has been
consistently held by this Court in several judicial pronouncements that the
Court’s jurisdiction of review, is not the same as that of an appeal. A
judgment can be open to review if there is a mistake or an error apparent on
the face of the record, but an error that has to be detected by a process of
reasoning, cannot be described as an error apparent on the face of the
record for the Court to exercise its powers of review under Order XLVII Rule
30 (2020) SCC Online SC 896
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
1 CPC. In the guise of exercising powers of review, the Court can correct a
mistake but not substitute the view taken earlier merely because there is a
possibility of taking two views in a matter. A judgment may also be open to
review when any new or important matter of evidence has emerged after
passing of the judgment, subject to the condition that such evidence was not
within the knowledge of the party seeking review or could not be produced by
it when the order was made despite undertaking an exercise of due
diligence. There is a clear distinction between an erroneous decision as
against an error apparent on the face of the record. An erroneous decision
can be corrected by the Superior Court, however an error apparent on the
face of the record can only be corrected by exercising review jurisdiction. Yet
another circumstance referred to in Order XLVII Rule 1 for reviewing a
judgment has been described as “for any other sufficient reason”. The said
phrase has been explained to mean “a reason sufficient on grounds, at least
analogous to those specified in the rule” (Refer: Chajju Ram v. Neki Ram17
and Moran Mar Basselios Catholicos and Anr. v. Most Rev. Mar Poulose
Athanasius and Others18).
27. In the light of the legal position crystalized above, let us now
examine the grievance raised by the appellant. The learned Single Judge of
the High Court has taken great pains to discuss the three circumstances
available under Order XLVII CPC for maintaining a review application and
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
observed that in the instant case, the respondents had stated before this
Court that they had in their possession, genuine documents relating to
surrender of the protected tenancy rights in respect of the subject land and in
view of the said submission, the petitions for Special Leave to Appeal were
disposed of with an observation that if the respondents were able to obtain
such documents, it would be open to them to file a review petition before the
High Court. What is relevant is that this Court had even then declined to
interfere with the findings on merits returned by the High Court vide
Judgment dated 09th July, 2013; nor was the review order dated 20th
February, 2014, interfered with. Under the garb of the liberty granted to them
to approach the High Court again, all that the respondents have done is to
obtain certified copies of the revenue records in respect of the subject land
and enclosed them with the second set of review petitions. This is so when
photocopies of the said documents had been filed by them earlier.
28. Nothing prevented the respondents from filing the certified copies
of the revenue records even earlier, but they elected to file only photocopies
of the very same surrender proceedings along with the revision petitions that
were ultimately dismissed by the High Court vide common judgment dated 9th
July, 2013. The High Court refused to accept the version of the respondents
that the protected tenants had surrendered the subject lands in favour of the
landlord. The discussion in the judgment regarding the purported surrender
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
proceedings of protected rights by the tenants before the Tehsildar in the year
1967 is revealing and extracted hereinbelow for ready reference :-
“2. …………The legal representatives of the protected tenants were not
parties to the alleged surrender proceedings before the then Tahsildar
in the year 1967. There is nothing on record to show that they were ever
dispossessed from the lands, so that they can take necessary steps
under relevant provisions of the Act before the authorities concerned.
After coming to know about earlier proceedings which are stated to be in
the year 1967, they rushed to the Joint Collector with the present
appeals. There is nothing on record to impute knowledge of the
proceedings of the year 1967 to them at any time prior to filing of the
appeals before the Joint Collector.
3. Though the alleged surrender of protected tenancy rights by one
protected tenant and three legal representatives of the other protected
tenant was stated to be in the year 1967, it is pointed out by the
Joint Collector in the impugned order that the original land
holder/landlord sought for exemption from computing these lands in his
holding under the Andhra Pradesh Land Reforms (Ceiling on
Agricultural Holdings) Act, 1973. If really the alleged surrender of lands
by the protected tenants in favour of the landlord was in the year 1967,
the landlord would not have claimed exemption for these lands from
being computed in his holding under the Ceiling Act. No doubt, the
Land Reforms Tribunal rejected the plea of exemption put forward by
the landlord on the ground that he did not produce proper evidence of
granting certificates under Section 38-E of the Act in favour of the
protected tenants for these lands. Therefore, these lands were
computed in the holding of the landlord not on the ground of the
protected tenants surrendering their protected tenancy rights, but on
the ground that the landholder could not produce relevant documents
for exemption. Therefore, the Joint Collector rightly came to the
conclusion that file relating to surrender of lands by the protected
tenants in the year 1967 was manipulated by ante dating the same
after the land ceiling case was finalized by the Land Ceiling Tribunal.
4. Further, the Joint Collector rightly disbelieved the alleged
surrender of protected tenancy rights in the year 1967 on the ground
that if the surrender in the year 1967 was correct, the question of again
terminating protected tenancy rights for Ac.36.34 guntas by order
dated 16.06.2008 does not arise.
5. Record of the then Tahsildar in the year 1967 discloses
that one protected tenant and legal heirs of other protected tenant
intended to surrender protected tenancy rights in favour of the landlord
as the landlord intended to cultivate these lands personally. Further,
the Joint Collector came to the conclusion that the alleged surrender
in the year 1967 was without knowledge of the protected tenant and
legal heirs of another protested tenant inasmuch as the landholder
pleaded before the Land Ceilings Tribunal in his land celling declaration
that these lands are in possession of the protected tenants. From the
above circumstances, it can be safely concluded that record of the
then Tahsildar, Shamshadnagar by way of surrender of protected
tenancy rights under Section 19 of the Act was not only ante dated
but also cooked up. Hence, find no reason to come to a different
Page 24 of 31
Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
conclusion
from that of the Joint Collector in this revision petition. The common
order passed by the Joint Collector is proper, legal and regular.”
29. In the first round of the review proceedings filed by the
respondents for seeking review of the order and judgment dated 9th July,
2013, they had sought to raise, amongst others, the plea of limitation, the
purported error on the part of the Appellate Authority in calling for the records
from the office of the Revenue Divisional Officer for deciding the case and the
alleged misconstruction of the ceiling proceedings conducted by the Land
Reforms Tribunal, all of which were earlier argued and did not find favour with
the High Court. But, at no stage was a plea taken by the respondents with
regard to the discovery of new documents which could not have been
produced by them after undertaking due diligence before the order dated 9th
July, 2013 came to be passed. When the first set of review petitions were
dismissed by the learned Single Judge by a detailed order dated 20th
February, 2014, it was specifically observed in para 2 that the respondents
did not plead that any new facts had come to light for the consideration of the
Court. In fact, a perusal of the said order shows that the respondents only
sought to reargue the points that had already been taken by them and were
rejected outrightly, vide judgment dated 9th July, 2013.
30. The sequence of events narrated in the order dated 20th February,
2014, passed by the High Court while dismissing the first set of review
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
applications brings to the fore the fact that the respondents had approached
the High Court twice by filing Civil Revision Petitions. In the first round, two
Revision Petitions [CRPs No. 4620 and 4988 of 2005] filed by the
respondents against the order dated 2nd April, 2005, passed by the Appellate
Authority, were allowed by the High Court vide order dated 19th September,
2006 on the ground that the proceedings initiated by the legal heirs of the
protected tenants went uncontested before the Appellate Authority.
Accordingly, the appeals were remitted back to the Appellate Authority for
fresh consideration. On remand, the said appeals were disposed of by the
Appellate Authority on merits vide order dated 23rd March, 2013. The second
set of Revision Petitions filed by the respondents questioning the said
decision, were turned down on merits by the common order dated 9th July,
2013, review whereof was also dismissed vide order dated 20th February,
2014.
31. The above chronology of events gains significance as it goes to
amply demonstrate that several opportunities were available to the
respondents if they really wished to file authenticated copies of the revenue
records relating to the purported surrender proceedings before the Tehsildar
which they did not avail of, for reasons best known to them. The first
opportunity arose when the respondents challenged the ex parte order dated
2
nd April, 2005 passed by the Appellate Authority when they filed two Civil
Page 26 of 31
Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
Revision Petitions which were allowed and the matter was remanded back to
the Appellate Authority for fresh consideration; the second opportunity arose
when the Appellate Authority re-considered the appeals remitted by the High
Court and passed an order dated 23rd March, 2013, in favour of the
predecessors-in-interest of the appellant; the third opportunity arose when the
respondents preferred a second set of Civil Revision Petitions assailing the
order dated 23rd March, 2013 that culminated in the common judgment and
order dated 9th July, 2013 passed by the High Court; the fourth opportunity
arose when the respondents filed two review applications for seeking review
of the common judgment and order dated 9th July, 2013, that came to be
dismissed vide order dated 20th February, 2014; and the fifth opportunity
arose when the respondents preferred petitions for special leave to appeal
before this Court being aggrieved by the common judgment and orders dated
9
th July, 2013 and the review order dated 20th February, 2014 passed by the
High Court.
32. Pertinently, this Court had declined to entertain the said petitions
preferred by the respondents but having regard to the submission made on
their behalf that they would be in a position to file documents to show that
there was surrender of tenancy on the part of the protected tenants and their
legal heirs, it was left open to the respondents to file a review petition before
the High Court. It was only thereafter that the respondents woke up to filing
Page 27 of 31
Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
certified copies of those documents, xerox copies whereof had already been
filed by them in the second round of revision petitions preferred before the
High Court. That being the position, the respondents cannot be heard to
state that the documents in question were not to their knowledge or that the
certified copies of the revenue record could not be produced by them before
the High Court passed the common judgment and order dated 09th July, 2013.
At the time of filing the second set of review petitions, the respondents raised
a plea that the learned Single Judge did not consider the relevant record
produced by them regarding the surrender proceedings and had erroneously
returned a finding that the file relating to surrender of the land by the
protected tenants in the year 1967, was manipulated by ante-dating the same
after the land ceiling was finalized by the Land Ceiling Tribunal. However,
apart from the bald averment by the respondents that the documents were
not considered, which averment has been replicated in the impugned order, a
perusal of the earlier judgment of the High Court does not suggest any such
non-consideration. Rather, it appears that the High Court considered the
records available before it, which included the copies of the revenue records
as admitted by the parties and passed certain observations.”
33. A perusal of the averments made in the second set of review
petitions shows that there is no explanation offered regarding discovery of
new material in the form of the documents sought to be filed. When it is the
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
case of the respondents themselves that the relevant documents were all
along available in the revenue records and they had already filed xerox
copies thereof during the second revision proceedings, they can hardly be
heard to state that the said documents were unknown to them and were
unavailable for being produced before the learned Single Judge prior to
passing of the common judgment and order dated 9th July, 2013. It is evident
from the above that the respondents had not discovered any new material for
them to have moved a second set of review petitions. In order to satisfy the
requirements prescribed in Order XLVII Rule 1 CPC, it is imperative for a
party to establish that discovery of the new material or evidence was neither
within its knowledge when the decree was passed, nor could the party have
laid its hands on such documents/evidence after having exercised due
diligence, prior to passing of the order. What to speak of conclusive proof of
having undertaken an exercise of due diligence for accessing the relevant
documents, there is not an averment made by the respondents in the second
set of review petitions to the effect that they could not trace the documents in
question earlier or that they had made sincere efforts to obtain certified copies
thereof before the common order dated 9th July, 2013 was passed, but could
not do so for some cogent and valid reasons.
34. In other words, nothing has been stated on affidavit to substantiate
the plea taken by the respondents at such a belated stage that the documents
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
sought to be filed by them with the second set of review petitions had come
to light after passing of the judgment and order dated 9th July, 2013. Under
the garb of the liberty granted to them, the respondents have tried to fill in the
glaring loopholes and introduce evidence in the review proceedings that was
all along in their power and possession and ought to have seen the light of
the day much earlier. In fact, it appears that the Civil Revision Petitions were
originally argued to the hilt on several other grounds, not limited just to the
revenue record, which were all considered and turned down as meritless.
Therefore, we have no hesitation in holding that non-production of the
relevant documents on the part of the respondents at the appropriate stage
cannot be a ground for seeking review of the judgment and order dated 9th
July, 2013 particularly, when five opportunities enumerated in para 31 above,
were available to them for production of the said documents, which were all
frittered away, one by one.
35. In our opinion, even otherwise, recourse to successive review
petitions against the same order is impermissible more so, when the
respondents have miserably failed to draw the attention of this Court to any
circumstances that would entitle them to invoke review jurisdiction within the
ambit of the Rules. Under the rules, the respondents were not required to
produce “genuine” documents but new documents/evidence that was not
within their knowledge and could not have been so even after exercise of due
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Civil Appeals No. @ SLP (C) Nos.9602-03 of 2022
diligence, which could have turned the tables in their favour. Nor has any
error apparent on the face of the record been brought out by them.
36. Given the above facts and circumstances, we are of the firm view
that the second set of review petitions were nothing short of an abuse of the
process of the court and ought to have been rejected by the High Court as not
maintainable, without having gone into the merits of the matter. In the result,
the present appeals are allowed. The impugned judgment dated 29th April,
2022, is set aside and the common judgment and order dated 9th July, 2013
passed in CRP No.2786/2013 and CRP No. 2787 of 2013, is restored.
37. Parties are left to bear their own expenses.
.................................CJI.
 [N. V. RAMANA]
.................................J.
 [KRISHNA MURARI]
 ...................................J.
 [HIMA KOHLI]
NEW DELHI,
AUGUST 18, 2022
Page 31 of 31

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