The curative petition is rather a new notion in the Indian legal system. It is the last legal remedy available for redressal of grievances in court which is usually decided by the judges in the chamber.
A curative petition may be filed after a review petition against the final conviction is rejected. A curative petition is meant to certify there is no failure of justice, and to avert misuse of process. This petition is normally decided by judges in the chamber, but for a particular request for an open court hearing is permitted.
Every curative petition is determined based on principles laid down by the Supreme Court of India in Rupa Ashok Hurra Vs Ashok Hurra and another case in 2002. This was a case of a marital conflict where the question of the legality of a judgment of divorce reached the Supreme Court after the woman pulled out the consent that she had given to divorce by joint consent.
The verdict held that technical snags and uneasiness over the re-opening of cases had to give way to a concluding forum for eliminating inaccuracies in a judgment where supervision of justice may be influenced.
The Supreme Court ruled that a curative petition can be contemplated and considered if the petitioner determines that there was a contravention of the principles of natural justice and that he was not attended by the court before passing an instruction or ruling. It will also be allowed where a judge failed to reveal facts that raise the concern of prejudice.
The SC has held that curative petitions must be infrequent rather than regular, and can be considered with caution. A curative petition must go along with a certification by a senior advocate, pointing out significant grounds for contemplating it. It must be first disseminated to a bench of the three senior-most judges, and the judges who passed the concerned order, if available. Only when a majority of the judges assume that the matter needs trial should it be listed as far as possible, before the same Bench.
The court held that it shall be open to the Bench at any stage of contemplation of the curative petition to ask a senior counsel to support it as amicus curiae. It may impose exemplary costs on the petitioner in the event of the Bench holding at any stage that the petition is without any good point and vexatious.