In an important ruling, the Supreme Court of India clarified that the High Court has the power in its revisional jurisdiction to satisfy itself to the regularity, correctness, legality or propriety of the impugned decision or the order of the lower court, but it shall not exercise its appellate power to re-appreciate or re-assess the evidence for coming to a different finding on facts.
The Court was deciding a bunch of petitions regarding High Court’s power when sitting as a revision court under the Rent Control Acts of Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
A Constitutional Bench of the Court said, “Revisional power is not and cannot be equated with the power of reconsideration of all questions of fact as a court of first appeal.” The Court said that the High Court does not has the power to re-appreciate evidence to come to a different conclusion but its consideration of evidence is confined to find out legality, regularity and propriety of the order impugned before it.
“The consideration or examination of the evidence by the High Court in revisional jurisdiction under these Acts is confined to find out that finding of facts recorded by the Court/Authority below is according to law and does not suffer from any error of law. A finding of fact recorded by Court/Authority below, if perverse or has been arrived at without consideration of the material evidence or such finding is based on no evidence or misreading of the evidence or is grossly erroneous that, if allowed to stand, it would result in gross miscarriage of justice, is open to correction because it is not treated as a finding according to law. In that event, the High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction under the above Rent Control Acts shall be entitled to set aside the impugned order as being not legal or proper”, the Court observed.
The Court further observed that the High Court is entitled to satisfy itself the correctness or legality or propriety of any decision or order impugned before it as indicated above. However, to satisfy itself to the regularity, correctness, legality or propriety of the impugned decision or the order, the High Court shall not exercise its power as an appellate power to re-appreciate or re-assess the evidence for coming to a different finding on facts.