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Curative jurisdiction UPSC NOTE

 Curative jurisdiction

  • In Roopa Hurra v Ashok Hurra case (2002), the Court evolved the concept of a curative petition, which can be heard after a review petition is dismissed. 

  • Anyhow, the Supreme Court’s verdict cannot result in a miscarriage of justice

  • In 2002, the Supreme Court took on a new power called the “Curative Jurisdiction”. 

  • It is a power to correct its judgments, after they have become final. 

  • This is distinct from the power of review under Indian law, which enables all courts to rectify errors which are apparent from their records.

  • The Court has a constitutional role to declare the law. 

  • The law must, and often does, progress with the growth in human knowledge and with societal change. 

  • The judgments of courts must reflect and sometimes trigger the changes in law. 

  • It is for this reason that courts modify their views. 

  • Examples of changes in the Court’s views include the right of privacy, decriminalisation of homosexuality and so on. 

  • Curative Jurisdiction is different. 

  • This is not merely the Court changing its view on a position of law but is a reversal of the Court’s own view in a specific case, above and beyond even the power of review.


Union of India v Union Carbide Case (Bhopal Gas Tragedy):

  • The Union Govt. filed a curative petition in 2010 for more compensation for the Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims. In 2023, a 5-judge Bench rejected the petition, stating that the previously decided compensation was sufficient.

  • The Bench emphasised that a curative petition can only be entertained in cases of gross miscarriage of justice, fraud, or suppression of material facts, none of which were present in this case.


Navneet Kaur v State of NCT of Delhi Case, 2014:

  • This case marked a shift in capital punishment cases

  • The petitioner, sentenced to death, successfully argued through a curative petition that mental illness and an unreasonably long wait for a mercy petition constituted grounds for commuting the sentence to life imprisonment.


  • Curative Jurisdiction is effectively the Supreme Court seeking to correct its mistakes

  • While there is merit in correcting one’s mistakes, an institution which underpins the country’s judiciary and which is the final interpreter of the Constitution must look beyond errors in individual cases

  • The Supreme Court declares the law for the nation and posterity, and not for one-off cases.

  • A Supreme Court which swings back and forth based on changing trends lacks the constancy and gravitas which we believe to be fundamental to a court of last resort



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Curative jurisdiction UPSC NOTE
Curative jurisdiction UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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