Q. Does an application for review lie in a case where the judgment is rendered erroneous by reason of a statutory amendment with retrospective effect?
U.P. Higher Judicial Service (Additional District Judge) Exam. 1995
Ans: Yes, an application of review lies in such a case—Supreme Court in Raja Shatranjit v. Mohd. Azamal Azim Khan, AIR 1971 SC 1474.
Reasons: An application of review is not maintainable in law in respect of a judgment which is rendered erroneous by a subsequent statutory amendment. But the position is not the same if such a judgment is rendered erroneous by a subsequent statutory amendment with retrospective effect. That’s why Allahabad High Court in Mohd. Azamal Azim Khan v. Raja Shatranjit, AIR 1963 All 541 (FB) observed that:
“A judgment based on law as it stood on the day the judgment is pronounced, may be correct. But where the law is altered subsequently by an Amending Act which is brought in force with retrospective effect, the judgment pronounced is rendered “erroneous on the face of record”. In such a circumstance an application for review under Order 47 of C.P.C. made within the period of limitation may be entertained and the judgment may be reviewed.
The view expressed by the Allahabad High Court was affirmed by the Supreme Court in Raja Shatranjit v. Mohd. Azamal Azim Khan, AIR 1971 SC 1474.
The Supreme Court in above referred case further held that it is true that a subsequent change in law is not a ground for review but a change in law with retrospective effect is not a subsequent law.
In view of the decisions given by the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court in the above referred cases it is clear that an application for review is maintainable in a case where the judgment is rendered erroneous by reason of a statutory amendment with retrospective effect.