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What is Curative Petition?

Topics Covered: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

What is Curative Petition?


Context:

Recently, the Supreme Court held Prashant Bhushan guilty of criminal contempt of court for his tweets against the CJI S.A. Bobde and against the judiciary.

  • Now, Prashant Bhushan has asked the Court to defer the punishment till the review petition is filed and decided.
  • He also submitted that the remedy of curative petition is also available.

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.

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.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is Curative petition?
  2. Who can file curative petition?
  3. Difference between curative and review petition.
  4. Overview of Articles 137 and 145.

Sources: the Hindu.