Law is complex, with thousands of statutes with tricky sections and legalese. However, when a civil case proceeds in the court of law, the most crucial procedural law followed in India is the Code of Civil Procedure.
- Reference is the act of consulting or citing a source of information, while revision is reviewing, updating, or improving existing content or material.
- Reference involves acknowledging the work of others, using external sources for validation, or providing context for a topic. In contrast, revision entails editing, reorganizing, or correcting information to ensure accuracy and clarity.
- Both reference and revision are integral to creating and maintaining accurate and reliable information, but they serve distinct purposes in developing and maintaining content.
Reference vs Revision
The difference between a Reference and a Revision is that Reference is the right of a subordinate court to refer a case to the High Court on a question of law to seek the opinion of the High Court, whereas, Revision is the power of the High Court to call for a record of a case from a subordinate court where no appeal lies.
However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on specific parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:
|Parameter of Comparison
|Right possessed by the subordinate court to refer a case to the High court for an opinion.
|The power possessed by the High court to call for records of any case decided by a subordinate court where no appeal lies and where it appears that the subordinate court has misused or abused the discretion vested in it.
|Reference enables a subordinate court to refer a matter to the High Court and seek the opinion of the High Court.
|Revision enables a High Court to keep a check on the discretion exercised by the subordinate courts and to ensure that the subordinate courts are not acting arbitrarily or illegally, misusing their authority, or abusing their discretion.
|1) Where a question of law is involved and subordinate courts need to seek the opinion of High Courts on the same
2) Cases of non-appealable nature
3) To avoid errors for which there is no remedy at law
|1) When no appeal lies from the judgment which is delivered by the subordinate court and hence the option is for Revision
2) Subordinate court has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, i.e. exceeded the jurisdiction
3) Subordinate court has failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it
4) Subordinate court has exercised its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity
|Reference is commonly done for a situation of “question of law.”
|Revision is commonly performed to avoid any “errors” committed by the court.
|Section 113 and Order 46 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908
|Section 115 and Section 115A of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908
|Type of Jurisdiction
|Right possessed by?
|Position of Party
|The party is not entitled to refer to the High Court. Only the subordinate court with which the case is pending can refer to the High Court.
|The party may apply in the prescribed format to the High Court to ask the High Court to revise the case.
Also, the High Court has the power suo moto to proceed with the Revision.
|Binding or Consultative?
|Reference is more of an advisory or consultative opinion-seeking exercise whereby the subordinate court actively seeks an expert opinion on a complex question of law case from the High Court. Therefore, Reference is not something binding in nature but only prescriptive.
|Revision has a more binding force as it has the power of the High Court in the form of orders to the subordinate court.
|The subordinate court can only seek the opinion of the High Court and not from any court lower than the subordinate court in rank.
|The High Court can call for a case for Revision from a court which is subordinate to the High Court and not from a higher rank court.
What is Reference?
Reference means, in simple terms, to refer to someone. From a legal perspective, it has been given a legal meaning under the law in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Reference means a right vested in any court under the law to refer a case for the opinion of the High Court. Reference is dealt with under Section 113 and Order 46 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908.
Reference is commonly resorted to by any subordinate court when a complex question of law requires an expert opinion from a higher authority.
When the case is referred to the High Court, the subordinate court shall also state its opinion and reason and direct it to the High Court.
What is Revision?
Revision means, in simple terms, to revise something. From a legal perspective, it has been given a legal meaning under the law in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Revision is a right vested only with the High Court. Sections 115 and 115A of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 deal with Revision.
This jurisdiction of the High Court, when it exercises the right of Revision, is considered Revisional jurisdiction. The High Court can exercise revisional jurisdiction by analysing if the subordinate court has fulfilled the legal requirements.
Also, the Revisional jurisdiction is commonly invoked to check scenarios such as where it appears that a subordinate court has utilized jurisdiction not granted to it by law, where the court has failed to use an authority which was available to it or where the court has acted unlawfully or with gross imbalance.
Revisional jurisdiction is basically to check the abuse of discretion by the lower court.
Main Differences Between Reference and Revision
- Reference is dealt with under Section 113 and Order 46 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. Revision is dealt with under Section 115 and Section 115A of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908.
- The subordinate court can only seek opinion or refer to the High Court, not to any other court. The High Court can call for a case for Revision from a court that is subordinate to the High Court and not from a court that is higher in rank to the High Court.
Last Updated : 13 July, 2023
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.