Curative Petition is viewed as the ‘last remedy in the court of last resort’ and the concept has been evolved following the Doctrine of Ex Debitio Justiciae,ie.., the requirement of justice must be fulfilled and Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit meaning the act of court cannot prejudice anyone. But there is a conflicting principle that restricts the application of curative petition like Interest Reipublicae Ut Sit Finis Litiumthat fosters the attainment of finality of judgment in order to settle the lis between the parties and manifest certainty of rights and liabilities.
The author will trace the law of curative petition under the Constitution of India and also the laws prevailing in other countries of the world namely, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. It is to be borne in mind that before the decision of the Apex Court of India the case of Rupa Ashok Hurrav.Ashok Hurra , the laws pertaining to curative petition which is akin to a request for second review petition was obscure and the Supreme Court has made scintillating efforts to elucidate the law with respect to Curative Petition. There lies a certain level of dichotomy between curative petition and various other principles of law namely, Finality of judgment, Doctrine of Stare Decisis, correctional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. These principles have been balanced by the Court and have been interpreted applying the ‘Doctrine of Harmonious Construction’ which ensures that curative petition is not vulnerable to misuse thereby opening floodgates of litigation or opening a Pandora’s Box which will not at all be docile. This approach is reflected in the guided principles exhibited by the Court like violation of principles of natural justice, lack of jurisdiction of the court, gross miscarriage or palpable injustice. The requisites enunciated by the Court are not exhaustive and has to be applied according to the facts and circumstances of the case.