Inherent Jurisdiction to Call Their Own Orders: High Courts, Courts of Record

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In Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai vs. Pratibha Industries Ltd, a question was put up on the High Court’s power to recall its orders. The Bombay High Court initially ordered appointment of an arbitrator, and later it was discovered by the judge that there was no presence of an arbitration clause and the said order was recalled on the other hand on the appeal of the other party it was held by the Divisional bench that there was no clause in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, so that any court can review its own order.  

The bench comprising Justice R F Nariman and Justice M R Shah didn’t agree with the division bench and said that “it is clear that these constitutional courts being the courts of own records, the jurisdiction to recall their own orders is inherent by the virtue of the fact that they are superior courts of record. This has been recognized in several of our judgment”

The bench comprising Justice R F Nariman and Justice M R Shah referred the case, Shivdev Singh & Ors. Vs. State of Punjab, M.M. Thomas v. state of kerala and National Sewing Thread Co. Ltd. vs. James Chadwick & Bros.

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The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai challenged the Division bench order in the apex court. Senior advocate Ranjit Kumar who appeared from the side of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, contended that the court has the inherent power to recall its record. On the other side senior advocate Shekhar Naphade who appeared on the side of the other party contended that Arbitration and Conciliation Act, it is not possible to look out of the act to find the power and even by invoking Article 215 of the Constitution of India.

The Supreme Court observed that the High Courts has inherent jurisdiction to recall its own orders being the courts of records.

On one hand the court has been given adequate power to make an adjudicatory process and investigations into the matters and build up a strong, effective and efficient eco system for justice but on the other hand, the courts have to be precautious against the error of judgment due to the human aspect of the system which may provide failures in justice and hence there should be some inherent power to provide safe guards against error and failure’s in justice.The inherent power of the High Courts to recall its own order is more of a necessity then of a power. 

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