CHAPTER XXX, Section 395 to 405 of CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE (CRPC) – REFERENCE AND REVISION

395. Reference to High Court.

(1) Where any Court is satisfied that a case pending before it involves a question as to the validity of any Act, Ordinance or Regulation or of any provision contained in an Act, Ordinance or Regulation, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, and is of opinion that such Act, Ordinance, Regulation or provision is invalid or inoperative, but has not been so declared by the High Court to which that Court is subordinate or by the Supreme Court, the Court shall state a case setting out its opinion and the reasons therefor, and refer the same for the decision of the High Court. 

Explanation
In this section, “Regulation” means any Regulation as defined in the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897), or in the General Clauses Act of a State.

(2) A Court of Session or a Metropolitan Magistrate may, if it or he thinks fit in any case pending before it or him to which the provisions of sub-section (1) do not apply, refer for the decision of the High Court any question of law arising in the hearing of such case.

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(3) Any Court making a reference to the High Court under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) may, pending the decision of the High Court thereon, either commit the accused to jail or release him on bail to appear when called upon.

Law Note: What is Reference under CrPC

396. Disposal of case according to decision of High Court.

(1) When a question has been so referred, the High Court shall pass such order thereon as it thinks fit, and shall cause a copy of such order to be sent to the Court by which the reference was made, which shall dispose of the case conformably to the said order.

(2) The High Court may direct by whom the costs of such reference shall be paid.

397. Calling for records to exercise powers of revision.

(1) The High Court or any Sessions Judge may call for and examine the record of any proceeding before any inferior Criminal Court situate within its or his local jurisdiction for the purpose of satisfying itself or himself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding. Sentence or order, recorded or passed, and as to the regularity of any proceedings of such inferior Court, and may, when calling for such record, direct that the execution of any sentence or order be suspended, and if the accused is in confinement, that he be released on bail or on his own bond pending the examination of the record.

Explanation-
All Magistrates, whether Executive or Judicial, and whether exercising original or appellate jurisdiction, shall be deemed to be inferior to the Sessions Judge for the purposes of this sub-section and of section 398. 

(2) The powers of revision conferred by sub-section (1) shall not be exercised in relation to any interlocutory order passed in any appeal, inquiry, trial or other proceeding. 

(3) If an application under this section has been made by any person either to the High Court or to the Sessions Judge, no further application by the same person shall be entertained by the other of them. 

Comments:
(i) When any revision in High Court is dismissed on the ground of limitation High Court can exercise power of revision suo moto under section 397;
Municipal Corporation of Delhi v. Girdhari Lal Sapru, AIR 1981

(ii) Where both Sessions Judge and High Court having concurrent powers, second revision would not be competent under section 397 (3);
Asghar Khan v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1981

398. Power to order inquiry.

On examining any record under section 397 or otherwise, the High Court or the Sessions Judge may direct the Chief Judicial Magistrate by himself or by any of the Magistrates subordinate to him to make, and the Chief Judicial Magistrate may himself make or direct any subordinate Magistrate to make, further inquiry into any complaint which has been dismissed under section 203 or sub-section (4) of section 204 or into the case of any person accused of an offence who has been discharged:
Provided that no Court shall make any direction under this section for inquiry into the case of any person who has been discharged unless such person has had an opportunity of showing cause why such direction should not be made. 

Comments:
It is well settled that the only order that can be made by the revising Court under section 398 is for further enquiry;
Harun Khan v. Mahesh Chand, (1997)

399. Sessions Judge’s powers of revision.

(1) In the case of any proceeding the record of which has been called for by himself the Sessions Judge may exercise all or any of the powers which may be exercised by the High Court under sub-section (1) of section 401.

(2) Where any proceeding by way of revision is commenced before a Sessions Judge under sub-section (1), the provisions of sub-sections (2), (3), (4) and (5) of section 401 shall, so far as may be, apply to such proceeding and references in the said subsections to the High Court shall be construed as references to the Sessions Judge.

(3) Where any application for revision is made by or on behalf of any person before the Sessions Judge, the decision of the Sessions Judge thereon in relation to such person shall be final and no further proceeding by way of revision at the instance of such person shall be entertained by the High Court or any other Court. 

Comments:
It is settled law that no order to the prejudice of an accused or any other person can be made unless the said accused or the said person has been given an opportunity of being heard;
Mohd. Afzal v. Noor Nisha Begum, (1997)

400. Power of Additional Sessions Judge.

An Additional Sessions Judge shall have and may exercise all the powers of a Sessions Judge under this Chapter in respect of any case which may be transferred to him by or under any general or special order of the Sessions Judge.

401. High Court’s powers of revision.

(1) In the case of any proceeding the record of which has been called for by itself or which otherwise comes to its knowledge, the High Court may, in its discretion, exercise any of the powers conferred on a Court of Appeal by sections 386, 389, 390 and 391 or on a Court of Session by section 307 and, when the Judges composing the Court of revision are equally divided in opinion, the case shall be disposed of in the manner provided by section 392.

(2) No order under this section shall be made to the prejudice of the accused or other person unless he has had an opportunity of being heard either personally or by pleader in his own defence.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to authorise a High Court to convert a finding of acquittal into one of conviction.

(4) Where under this Code an appeal lies and no appeal is brought, no proceeding by way of revision shall be entertained at the instance of the party who could have appealed.

(5) Where under this Code an appeal lies but an application for revision has been made to the High Court by any person and the High Court is satisfied that such application was made under the erroneous belief that no appeal lies thereto and that it is necessary in the interests of justice so to do, the High Court may treat the application for revision as a petition of appeal and deal with the same accordingly.

Comments:
(i) When High Court adjourned all cases of a particular Advocate for some period it was wrong on part of High Court to pass ex parte order in revision application in which that particular Advocate was appearing;
Chandraeshwar Nath Jain v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1981

(ii) High Court was not justified in interfering with current findings of fact and acquitting accused in offence of criminal breach of trust;
State of Karnataka v. Maygowda, AIr 1982 SC

(iii) When accused acquitted without considering material evidence with inconsistent and faulty reasonings and probative value of FIR also ignored, High Court was justified in directing retrial;
Ayodhya Dube v. Ram Sumer Singh, AIR 1981 SC

(iv) When complaint makes out prima facie case in proceeding instituted against partnership firm along with its partners and its managing partner dies, High Court should not quash proceeding;
Drugs Inspector v. B.K.A. Krishnaiah, AIR 1981

(v) In absence of any statutory provision High Court cannot award sentence below the prescribed minimum under any special circumstances;
State of Andhra Pradesh v. R. Ranga Damappa, AIR 1982 SC

(vi) The revisional jurisdiction when involved by a private complainant against an order of acquittal ought not to be exercised lightly and that it could be exercised only in exceptional case where the interests of public justice require interference for the correction of a manifest illegality or the prevention of a gross miscarriage of justice;
Kaptan Singh v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (1997)

Law Note: What is Revision under CrPC

402. Power of High Court to withdraw or transfer revision cases.

(1) Whenever one or more persons convicted at the same trial makes or make application to a High Court for revision and any other person convicted at the same trial makes an application to the Sessions Judge for revision, the High Court shall decide, having regard to the general convenience of the parties and the importance of the question involved. Which of the two Courts should finally dispose of the applications for revision and when the High Court decides that all the application for revision should be disposed of by itself, the High Court shall direct that the applications for revision pending before the Sessions Judge be transferred to itself and where the High Court decides that it is not necessary for it to dispose of the applications for revision, it shall direct that the applications for revision made to it be transferred to the Sessions Judge. 

(2) Whenever any application for revision is transferred to the High Court, that Court shall deal with the same as if it were an application duly made before itself. 

(3) Whenever any application for revision is transferred to the Sessions Judge, that Judge shall deal with the same as if it were an application duly made before himself. 

(4) Where an application for revision is transferred by the High Court to the Sessions Judge, no further application for revision shall lie to the High Court or to the any other Court at the instance of the person or persons whose applications for revision have been disposed of by the Sessions Judge.

403. Option of Court to hear parties.

Save as otherwise expressly provided by this Code no party has any right to be heard either personally or by pleader before any Court exercising its powers of revision; but the Court may, if it thinks fit, when exercising such powers, hear any party either personally or by pleader.

404. Statement by Metropolitan Magistrate of grounds of his decision to be considered by High Court.

When the record of any trial held by a Metropolitan Magistrate is called for by the High Court or Court of Session under section 397, the Magistrate may submit with the record a statement setting forth the grounds of his decision or order and any facts which he thinks material to the issue; and the Court shall consider such statement before overruling or setting aside the said decision or order.

405. High Court’s order to be certified to lower Court.

When a case is revised under this Chapter by the High Court or a Sessions Judge, it or he shall, in the manner provided by section 388, certify its decision or order to the Court by which the finding sentence or order revised was recorded or passed, and the Court to which the decision or order is so certified shall thereupon make such orders as are conformable to the decision so certified; and, if necessary, the record shall be amended in accordance therewith.

Read Next,
CHAPTER XXXI (406-412) of CrPC – TRANSFER OF CRIMINAL CASE

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