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What is Curative Petition?

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What is Curative Petition?

What to study?

For Prelims: Meaning, evolution and constitutional status.

For Mains: Significance.

Context: With curative petitions being a new addition to the field of law in India and that being used by the convicts of one of India’s landmark case, the Nirbhaya case, it is important to understand what it means and what can be the consequences of such a petition. 
About Curative Petition:

The concept was first evolved by the Supreme Court of India in Rupa Ashok Hurra vs. Ashok Hurra and another case (2002) on the question whether an aggrieved person is entitled to any relief against the final judgement/order of the Supreme Court, even after the dismissal of a review petition. The court used the Latin maxim “actus curiae neminem gravabit”, which means that an act of the court shall prejudice no one. It’s objectives are twofolds- avoid miscarriage of justice and to prevent abuse of process.

Related Constitutional provisions:

The concept of the curative petition is supported by Article 137 of the Indian Constitution.

  • It provides that in the matter of laws and rules made under Article 145, the Supreme Court has the power to review any judgement pronounced (or order made) by it.
  • Such a petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of judgement or order.

 Procedure:

  1. A curative petition may be filed after a review plea against the final conviction is dismissed.
  2. It can be entertained if the petitioner establishes that there was a violation of the principles of natural justice, and that he was not heard by the court before passing an order.
  3. It must be rare rather than regular.
  4. A curative petition must be first circulated to a Bench of the three senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned judgment, if available.
  5. Only when a majority of the judges conclude that the matter needs hearing should it be listed before the same Bench.
  6. The Bench at any stage of consideration of the curative petition can ask a senior counsel to assist it as amicus curiae (Friend of the court).
  7. A curative petition is usually decided by judges in the chamber unless a specific request for an open-court hearing is allowed.

Sources: the Hindu.