What is curative petition?
A curative petition is the last option available to an accused after exhausting all the appeals and dismissal of review petition.
How did it come about?
There is no provision for a curative petition under any statute and it is a court-devised mechanism to achieve substantive justice.
A Constitution Bench had held in Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case in 2002 that a final order passed by the apex court cannot be assailed by an aggrieved person under Article 32 of the Constitution for violation of fundamental rights irrespective of whether he/she was a party to the case or not.
However, recognizing the need for flexibility and substantive justice, the Constitution Bench devised the mechanism of curative petition, which could be used by an aggrieved person who was not a party to the proceedings or was not heard.
It can also be used where the judge failed to disclose his connection in any manner with the subject matter before him.
How effective is it?
The dismissal rate of curative petitions is very high though there are no official figures available in this regard.
Since it is a mechanism devised by the highest court of the land, much depends on the judges’ discretion and they can always enlarge the scope of curative petitions.
Who hears curative petition?
The same judges who decided the petition would hear review petitions. But a curative petition is heard by the top three judges including the Chief Justice of India plus the judges who dismissed the review petition.