First let us see provisions of Code of Civil Procedure,1908 regarding passing of the order.
ORDER XX : JUDGMENT AND DECREE
1. Judgment when pronounced
[(1)] The Court, after the case has been heard, shall pronounce judgment in open Court, either at once or, as soon thereafter as may be practicable, on some future day; and when the judgment is to he pronounced on some future day, the Court shall fix a day for that purpose, of which due notice shall be given to the parties or their pleaders :]
[Provided that where the judgment is not pronounced at once, every endeavour shall be made by the Court to pronounce the judgment within fifteen days from the date on which the hearing of the case was concluded but, where it is not practicable so to do, the Court shall fix a future day for the pronouncement of the judgment, and such day shall not ordinarily be a day beyond thirty days from the date on which the hearing of case was concluded, and due notice of the day so fixed shall be given to the parties or their pleaders :
Provided further that, where a judgment is not pronounced within thirty days from the date on which the hearing of the case wag concluded, the Court shall record the reasons for such delay and shall fix a future day on which the judgment will be pronounced and due notice of the day so fixed shall be given to the parties or their pleaders.]
[(2) Where a written judgment is to be pronounced, it shall be sufficient if the findings of the Court on each issue and the final order passed in the case are read out and it shall not be necessary for the Court to read out the whole judgment, but a copy of the whole judgment shall be made available for the perusal of the parties or the pleaders immediately after the judgment is pronounced.
(3) The judgment may be pronounced by dictation in open Court to a shorthand writer if the Judge is specially empowered by she High Court in this behalf :
Provided that, where the judgment is pronounced by dictation in open Court, the transcript of the judgment so pronounced shall, after making such correction therein as may be necessary, be signed by the judge, bear the date on which it was pronounced, and form a part of the record.]
2. Power to pronounce judgment written by judge’s predecessor
[A Judge shall] pronounce a judgment written, but not pronounced, by his predecessor.
3. Judgment to be signed
The judgment shall be dated and signed by the Judge in open Court at the time of pronouncing it and, when once signed, shall not afterwards be altered or added, to save as provided by section 152 or on review.
4. Judgments of Small Cause Courts
(1) Judgments of a Court of Small Causes need not contain more than the points for determination and the decision thereon.
(2) Judgments of other Courts- Judgments of other Courts shall contain a concise statement of the case, the points for determination, the decision thereon, and the reasons for such decision.
5. Court to state its decision on each issue
In suits in which issues have been framed, the Court shall state its finding or decision, with the reasons therefor, upon each separate issue, unless the finding upon any one or more of the issues is sufficient for the decision of the suit.
[5A. Court to inform parties as to where an appeal lies in cases where parties are not represented by pleaders
Except where both the parties are represented by pleaders, the Court shall, when it pronounces its judgment in a case subject to appeal, inform the parties present in Court as to the Court to which an appeal lies and the period of limitation for the filing of such appeal and place on record the. information so given to the parties.
Civil Manual- Maharashtra
CHAPTER – XI: JUDGMENT, DECREE AND TAXATION OF COSTS
Judgment and Decree
267. The attention of the Courts is drawn to section 33, and rules 1 to 5 and 5-A of Order XX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, as amended by Act No. 104 of 1976 containing the detailed directions in regard to the pronouncement of judgments.
It should particularly be borne in mind that the judgment should be pronounced in open Court and the date on which the judgment is to be pronounced should be notified.
The Judge should separately endorse the date of his actually signing the transcript of the judgment.
268.All judgments and orders should be [ either written in English or Marathi in Moffussil Courts [up to an inclusive of District Courts]. All judgments and proceedings should be written only on foolscap paper, leaving one quarter margin of the sheet blank.
269. Every judgment should be prepared, duly numbered.
270. When a judgment or order is type-written, every sheet should bear
271. Where Indian dates are mentioned in judgments, the corresponding dates according to the Gregorian Calendar should be added. The use of words regional language should be avoided in judgments when English equivalents of such words can be used without detriment to the sense. If a word in regional language is used, its nearest English equivalent should be added in brackets.
272. A Judge should not hand over charge on transfer till he has disposed of all cases awaiting judgments. If he cannot do so within the time available before his departure, he should report to the District Judge who may retain him for a short period after obtaining the sanction from the High Court or the Government,as the case may be.
273. When a Civil Judge works at two places for some time alternatively, he may pronounce his judgment or order at either place with the assent of the parties at the close of the hearing,
274. Judgments should ordinarily be shown to Reporters of the local press on request although it is within the discretion of the Court concerned not to show them to such Reporters in any particular case or case.
In Criminal Procedure Code Section 362 places a disability of changing the order once passed. It says , ” 362. Court not to alter judgment.-Save as otherwise provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, no Court, when it has signed its judgment or final order disposing of a case, shall alter or review the same except to correct a clerical or arithmetical error.”
Chapter XXVI, Cr. P. C., deals with judgments. Section 366, Cr. P. C., provides for judgments of trial Courts. Section 367, Cr. P. C., lays down that, every such judgment shall be dated and signed by the presiding officer in open Court at the time of pronouncing it. Section 369, Cr. P. C., lays down that, no Court, when it has signed its judgment, shall alter or review the same, except to correct a clerical error. It is true that the provisions of Ch. XXVI of the Code do not in terms apply to the appellate judgments of High Courts. But Section 369, Cr. P. C., contains an indication that, alteration of a judgment is permissible so long as the judgment has not been signed.
Now let us see the Judgments:
In Faulad v. State, 1961 All LJ 244: (AIR 1961 All 326), a Division Bench of this Court, consisting of V. G Oak and Kailash Prasad JJ., took the view that, until a judgment is signed and sealed after delivery in Court, it is not a Judgment and it can be changed or altered at any time before it is signed and sealed. Another Division Bench of this Court, consisting of Jagdish Sahai and G. C. Mathur JJ, doubted the correctness of the view taken in Faulad’s case, 1961 All LJ 244: (AIR 1961 All 326)
for this reason the latter Bench has referred the following question for decision by a Full Bench:– to answer the question, ” Whether, after a judgment has been orally dictated in open Court but before it is signed and sealed, it can be completely changed?’
It was held that, That judgment has to be signed by the Judge, and has to be sealed by the Bench Reader. The judgment dictated under Rule 1 is provisional. In most cases the judgment so dictated in open Court will become final in due course. But in exceptional cases the judgment so dictated under Rule 1 may have to be altered. After dictating a judgment in open Court, a Judge may go home, read a commentary on the law of evidence, and discover that a certain confession was wrongly admitted in evidence. Again, a counsel may point out to the Court on the following day that, the judgment previously dictated in open Court was passed on a wrong assumption. In all such cases it will be open to the Court to re-hear the parties, and reconsider the case. If the Judge finds that the judgment previously dictated was erroneous, it will be open to him to alter the judgment, and dictate a fresh judgment.
In AIR 1951 All709 , it was held by Brij Mohan Lall, J., that it is open to a Judge to alter his view and modify his judgment, if necessary, before the judgment is sealed.
In State of Bombay v. Geoffrey Manners and Co., : AIR 1951 Bom49 , it was held that, when an oral judgment is delivered by the High Court in its criminal appellate jurisdiction the order made receives its finality when it is recorded and a writ in terms of the order is issued under the seal of the Court. The recording of the order and issuing a writ in terms thereof under the seal of the Court invests that order with finality, which cannot thereafter be altered or reviewed. In it was held that, there is nothing in Section 369 or any other section. of the Cr. P. C., to bar a Court from altering a judgment, which has not been signed. The signature of the judge completes the judgment; but before the signature has been appended to it the judgment is not complete. The High Court is, therefore, competent to re-hear the appeal and to pass such judgment as is thought proper despite the pronouncement of the former judgment.
In Firm Gokal Chand Jagan Nath v. Firm Nand Ram Das Atma Ram it was found that, a Judge after giving judgment went on leave without signing the judgment. It was held by their Lordships of the Privy Council that, the defect was a mere irregularity not affecting the merits.
In Surendra Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh : 1954CriLJ475 . In that case the facts were these. The appeal was heard at Lucknow on 11-12-1952 by Kidwai, J., and Bhargava, J. Judgment was reserved. Bhargava, J., prepared a judgment on behalf of both the Judges, and signed it. The judgment was not dated by Bhargava, J. He forwarded the judgment to. Kidwai, J., at Lucknow. Bhargava, J., died on 24-12-1952 before the judgment so prepared was delivered. After the death of Bhargava, J., the judgment so prepared was delivered by Kidwai, J., on 5-1-1953. The judgment was signed and dated by Kidwai, J. It was held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court that, the judgment delivered by Kidwai, J., on 5-1-1953 was not a valid judgment, because the other member of the Bench had died before the judgment could be delivered.
In, in Surendra Singhs case 1954CriLJ475 , the judgment was reserved by the Bench. That was not a case of a judgment delivered in open Court immediately after hearing arguments. So, the effect of a judgment delivered orally in open Court did not directly arise for consideration in Surendra Singhs case : 1954CriLJ475 .
Mahendra Pratap Vs State of U.P.and Anr. -1993 Cri.L.J. 2573 : The application for bail was moved without serving copy on the public prosecutor and was disposed of by the Special Judge without notice to the prosecutor. On the mistake being detected, the recall order was passed, the application directed to be posted for hearing on merits, and non-bailable warrant issued.
Lakshmi Suri Versus Union of India & Anr. 2009 AIR(SC)(Supp) 301 : 2009 AIR(SCW) 2864 :
We decline to entertain the Writ Petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. However, we permit the petitioner to make appropriate application before the Division Bench of Andhra Pradesh High Court in Writ Appeal No.630 of 2008 to recall the order passed on 07.07.2008 and hear the appeal on merits. If and when such an application is filed, we hope and trust, the Division Bench would consider the same in accordance with law.
2019 (1) MLJ 379 Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and Another Versus Pratibha Industries Limited and Others
Insofar as the High Courts’ jurisdiction to recall its own order is concerned, High Courts are courts of record, set up under Article 215 of the Constitution of India. Article 215 of the Constitution of India reads as under:- “Article 215. High Courts to be courts of record.- Every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court including the power to punish for contempt of itself.” It is clear that these constitutional courts, being courts of record, the jurisdiction to recall their own orders is inherent by virtue of the fact that they are superior courts of record.
Facts: Mr. Justice V. M. Kanade (retired) is appointed as the Sole Arbitrator to decide on all issues between parties arising out of or in connection with or with reference to the Tender dated 19.09.2008 along with Corrigendum issued by Respondent No. 1 for supply installation and maintenance of AMR water meters of various sizes in the City area of Mumbai consisting of wards A, B, C, D, E, F/North, F/South, G/North and G/South (the Project)…”
6) A Notice of Motion was filed by the appellant before us on 03.07.2017 to recall the aforesaid order appointing Justice V.M. Kanade (retired) as a Sole Arbitrator. It was clearly stated therein that:-
“I say that the concerned officer Shri A.M. Agashe- Asst. Engineer (Meter Workshop) (City), who was present in the Court was not aware that contract has no arbitration clause which is as follows:- “17. Disputes and Arbitration:
13.1 No Arbitration is allowed.
Court referred inter-alia M.M. Thomas v. State of Kerala and Another, (2000) SCC 666, in which it is held as follows:-
“14. The High Court as a court of record, as envisaged in Article 215 of the Constitution, must have inherent powers to correct the records. A court of record envelops all such powers whose acts and proceedings are to be enrolled in a perpetual memorial and testimony. A court of record is undoubtedly a superior court which is itself competent to determine the scope of its jurisdiction.
The High Court, as a court of record, has a duty to itself to keep all its records correctly and in accordance with law. Hence, if any apparent error is noticed by the High Court in respect of any orders passed by it the High Court has not only power, but a duty to correct it. The High Court’s power in that regard is plenary. In Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 SC  3 SCR 744, a nine-Judge Bench of this Court has recognised the aforesaid superior status of the High Court as a court of plenary jurisdiction being a court of record.”
In Amit Kumar and Another Versus Bhushan Lal Supreme Court CIVIL APPEAL NO.3840-3843/2017 an application to recall of the judgment dated 08.03.2017 is prayed for and it is our considered view that as the claim of the landlord that the aforesaid statement allegedly made by his counsel was without instructions, appears to be sustainable, inter alia, on the basis of the complaint filed by the landlord against his counsel before the Bar Council of India, we are of the view that the aforesaid part of the judgment should be recalled and substituted by a direction remanding the matter to the High Court for de novo consideration of the case of the parties so far as the shop- house is concerned. We order accordingly.
However Supreme Court in the matter of Mohammed Zakir Vs Shabana & Ors. Criminal Appeal No(S).926/2018 (Arising From SLP (CRL) Nos. 10102/2017) It was held that ,” The High Court should not have exercised the
power under Section 362 Cr.P.C. for a correction on merits. However patently erroneous the earlier order be, it can only be corrected in the process known to law and not under Section 362 Cr.P.C. The whole purpose of Section 362 Cr.P.C. is only to correct a clerical or arithmetical error. What the High Court
sought to do in the impugned order is not to correct a clerical or arithmetical error; it sought to re-hear the matter on merits, since, according to the learned Judge, the earlier order was patently erroneous.
Prior to 2019 principle was order cannot be recalled if signed. High Courts’ have inherent jurisdiction to recall its own order is concerned, as High Courts are courts of record, set up under Article 215 of the Constitution of India