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June 11, 2024

Daily Legal Current – 11 June 24 : Suo motu revision power

Why in News? The term was recently used in an article.

What is Suo motu revision power?

  • The Suo motu revision power in Indian law allows certain authorities, typically higher courts or tribunals, to review and revise orders passed by lower courts or tribunals on their own initiative, without a formal application from a party involved in the case.

Suo Motu: Literally translates to “on its own motion” in Latin.

Revision Power: Authority to review and potentially modify a lower court’s order.

Why is it used?

Suo motu revision is used to ensure:

Legality: The lower court’s order adheres to the law.

Regularity: The proceedings followed proper procedure.

Correctness: The decision reached by the lower court is just.


  • A High Court might take suo motu cognizance of a lower court’s order if it appears to be blatantly wrong or violates a fundamental right.
  • A Tribunal might revise an order on its own motion if it discovers new and substantial evidence not presented earlier.

Case Laws:

Sunil Batra Case (1978): Often cited as the first instance of suo motu PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in India. The Supreme Court took up the issue of prison conditions based on news reports.

In Re: Applications for Contempt (2003): The Supreme Court initiated suo motu proceedings against media houses for prejudicial reporting in a case.

Important Points:

  • The specific provisions for suo motu revision are found in various Indian statutes relevant to the authority in question.
  • The exercise of this power is not arbitrary. There must be a reason to believe the lower court’s order is flawed.
  • There might be time limitations for suo motu revision in some cases.



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