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RES-JUDICATA

SECTION 11
• Res means ‘thing’ and judicata means ‘already
decided’.
• Accepted in all civilized legal systems. It is based on
following maxims:
– “ex captio res judicata”, which means ‘one suit and
one decision is enough for any single dispute’.
– “interest republicae ut sit finis litium”, which means
‘in the interest of state, there shall be an end to
litigation’.
– “Nemo debit vis vexari pro una et eadem causa”,
which means no man should be vexed twice for the
same cause.
– “Res judicata pro veritate occipitur” – judicial
decision must be accepted as correct.
Section 11
No court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter
directly and substantially in issue has been directly and
substantially in issue in a former suit between the same
parties or between the parties under whom they or any
of them claim, litigating under the same title, in a court
competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in
which such issue has been subsequently raised, and has
been heard and finally decided by such Court.
Section 11 of CPC
• Court shall not (Subsequent Court)
• Try
• Suit or issue
• Between same parties or under whom
they claim
• Under same title
• Matter directly and substantially in issue
• Heard and finally decided
• By competent court (Former Court)
Elements of civil suit
1. Parties
2. Subject-matter
3. Title – legal capacity of party with respect to subject
matter of suit.
4. Matter in issue - facts which go on to prove or disprove
COA. If these facts go on to prove or disprove COA, they
will be called matter directly and substantially in issue.
5. Cause of action – Existence of substantive legal right
and violation of such right.
6. Relief
Ex- partition suit, suit between creditor and debtor etc.
Each distinct title gives rise to different COA and for
different COA, party can file different suit.
1. A filed suit against B for redemption of mortgaged
property, Suit dismissed. A subsequently filed suit
again for possession as he is owner of property.
what is the title of A in both suits?
2. A filed eviction suit against tenant. Later on again
he filed suit against tenant for declaration of title
and injunction.
what is the title of A in both suits?
3. Math property, mahant died, son filed suit for
recovery of possession.
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
1. The matter directly or substantially in issue in the
subsequent suit or issue must be the same matter which
was directly and substantially in issue in the former suit.
2. Former suit must have been a suit between the same
parties or between the parties under whom they or
any of them claim;
3. Such parties must have been litigating under same title
in former suit;
4. Court which decided former suit must be a court
competent to try subsequent suit.
5. The matter directly and substantially in issue in
subsequent suit must have been heard and finally
decided by the court in earlier suit.
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
Matter in issue
 Facts which go on to prove or disprove the COA are matter in
issue.
 Duty of every party to avoid multiplicity of suit, therefore
duty of every party to raise all the issues which are essential
to prove his case.
 Conditions to be fulfilled:-
 party must have the knowledge of such issues; or
 With due diligence, party could have known such issues.
 It is presumed that while deciding the suit, party has raised
all direct and substantial issues. Hence if any issue is not
raised by party then also it would be presumed that such
issue is also been decided by the former Court.
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
Matter in issue
 If in subsequent suit, a matter which was directly raised and
decided by the Court in former suit has been raised again then
Direct Res Judicata will apply.
 If matter raised in subsequent suit was directly and
substantially in issue in former suit but was not raised. Then it
will be deemed to be constructively decided and Constructive
Res Judicata will apply.
 Matter in issue may be further classified as under:
 Matter directly and substantially in issue (Explanation III);
 Actually in issue.
 Constructively in issue. (Explanation IV)
 Matter collaterally or incidentally in issue.
MATTER IN ISSUE
Directly &
Collateral &
substantially in
incidental in issue
issue
RJ not
apply

Not raised
raised

Might and ought to


have been raised Not
controverted controverted
Constructive
RJ apply Direct RJ
apply
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
Constructive Res Judicata (Explanation IV)
 A matter can be said to be constructively in issue
when it “might and ought” to have been made a
ground of defence or attack in former suit.
 If party fails to raise any such matter, it shall be
deemed to be decided by the Court and hence in
subsequent suit party shall not be allowed to raise
such matter.
 Object – to compel plaintiff or defendant to take all
grounds of defence or attack which were available to
him.
State of UP v. Nawab Hussain, AIR 1977 SC 1680
State of UP v. Nawab Hussain, AIR 1977 SC 1680
Facts :
 Respondent Nawab Hussain was appointed as Sub-
Inspector of Police in UP.
 Some complaint was made against him, on that basis
matter was investigated and two cases were
registered against him under Prevention of
corruption Act and IPC.
 After investigation, he was dismissed from service
by an order of Deputy Inspector General of Police.
 He filed an appeal against dismissal order, which
was dismissed.
State of UP v. Nawab Hussain, AIR 1977 SC 1680

Facts :
 Then he filed Writ Petition in Allahabad High Court
for quashing disciplinary proceedings on the
grounds that
 No reasonable opportunity was given to him;
 Action taken against him was malafide.
 Same was also dismissed.
 Then he filed a suit in Civil Judge Court, therein he
sought relief on the ground that “he was appointed
by IG and hence DIG was not competent to dismiss
him by virtue of Article 311 of Constitution”.
 State objected by raising plea of Res-judicata.
State of UP v. Nawab Hussain, AIR 1977 SC 1680

Facts :
 The trial Court dismissed the suit by stating that
DIG is appropriate authority. However it observed
that suit is not barred by Res-Judicata.
 District Court also upheld the Trial Court’s
judgement.
 Thereafter Respondent Nawab Husain preferred
Second Appeal in High Court.
 High Court allowed the appeal and observed “suit
was not barred by Res-Judicata and Respondent
could not be dismissed by DIG as he had been
appointed by IG.”
State of UP v. Nawab Hussain, AIR 1977 SC 1680

Supreme Court Judgement:


 The respondent did not raise the plea in Writ
Petition filed in High Court that he could not be
dismissed by DIG as he had been appointed by IG.
 It is also not in controversy that this was an
important plea which was within the knowledge of
Respondent and could well have been taken in writ
petition.
 Therefore it is not permissible for him to challenge
his dismissal in subsequent suit.
 His subsequent suit is clearly barred by principle
of constructive res-judicata.
Matter collaterally and incidentally in Issue
 Decisions on matter collateral and incidental in issue to
the main issue will not operate as Res-judicata.
 It is an issue which is ancillary to the direct and
substantial issue.
 It refers to the matters on which no relief is claimed and
yet it is put in issue to enable a court to decide an issue
which is direct and substantial.
Example : A filed suit for arrears of rent for 6 months. In
describing COA, mentioned nature of rented property and
the area of such property as 850 sqft. However he did not
claim any relief w.r.t to area. Defendant also did not raise
any issue w.r.t. to area. The suit decreed and court
observed that area of property was 950 sqft.
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
2. Former suit must have been a suit between the
same parties or between the parties under whom
they or any of them claim
 Here the term “between” means ‘conflict of interest
between parties’.
 Same parties/interchange of parties
 Between co-plaintiffs/ co-defendants/ proforma
defendants.
Example : A,B,C & D contest a decree of attachment of
property obtained by E on the ground that property
belong in common to all hence B,C & D’s portion can not
be attached. Court held property belongs to A only.
Essential ingredients of Res-Judicata
 Between co-plaintiffs & co-defendants
 In Iftikhar Ahmed v Syed Meharban Ali, 1975 SCJ
305, SC observed that for application of RJ between
co-plaintiffs & co-defendants following conditions
must be fulfilled :
1. There must be a conflict of interest between parties;
2. Issue and such conflict must be finally decided
conclusively;
3. co-plaintiffs & co-defendants must be necessary or
proper party in former suit.
 Proforma Defendant : RJ does not apply on
proforma defendant.
Under whom they or any of them claim
 When a party or parties in subsequent suit changes,
Res Judicata mat apply if party in subsequent suit has
a litigating connection with party in former suit in
connection of subject matter of suit.
 Explanation VI of Section 11 : Representative suit.
(suit by trustee or Karta of Hindu joint family).
 It can be a case of succession, sale, gift, exchange etc.
2. Such parties must have been litigating under same
title in former suit;
Under whom they or any of them claim
 When a party or parties in subsequent suit changes,
Res Judicata mat apply if party in subsequent suit has
a litigating connection with party in former suit in
connection of subject matter of suit.
 Explanation VI of Section 11 : Representative suit.
(suit by trustee or Karta of Hindu joint family).
 It can be a case of succession, sale, gift, exchange etc.

3. Such parties must have been litigating under same


title in former suit;
4. Court which decided former suit must be a court
competent to try subsequent suit (S.11 &
Explanation VIII)
• It is necessary that former Court should have been
competent to try subsequent suit itself.
• For competency of court, it is Court which decides
former suit, whose jurisdiction to try subsequent suit
has to be considered.
• Hence the Court which tried former suit is
incompetent to try subsequent suit, Section 11 (Res
Judicata will not apply.)
• Explanation VIII – An issue heard and finally
decided by a Court of limited jurisdiction,
competent to decide such issue, shall operate as
res-judicata in a subsequent suit, notwithstanding
such court of limited jurisdiction was not
competent to try such subsequent suit.
 Court of Limited Jurisdiction : means a Court
which can try only matters up to a particular
pecuniary value or Subject-matter.
But if a court which can try all matters except
few matters which are kept for specific court will not
be considered as court of limited jurisdiction.
Example
Wife files a suit against Husband in the CIVIL JUDGE
(JUNIOR DEVISION), Issue raised was Husband
deserted Wife without reasonable cause. Court granted
maintenance to wife.
Husband filed divorce petition in District Court, wife
raised contention that Husband is not entitled for divorce
as he deserted her without reasonable cause. She claimed
application of Res-Judicata. Decide?
• Whether former Court is competent to try
subsequent suit or not?
• If former Court is competent : RJ will apply
• If former Court is incompetent : RJ will not apply
• If former Court is court of limited jurisdiction : RJ
apply
5. The matter directly and substantially in issue in
subsequent suit must have been heard and finally
decided by the court in earlier suit.
 Heard means taking all evidence of all parties.
Providing reasonable opportunity to parties on
matters directly and substantially in issue.
 Finally means not pending any more. The Court
must have finally decided all the issues. And the
matter was not open in appeal also or the appeal
has not been made.
 Dismissal for default : RJ will not apply
Followig matters are considered as matter finally
heard and decided :
1. Ex-parte Decree : O9 R6 (1)(a), O9 R7, O9 R13, O8
R10
2. Consent Decree : O23 R3 & O23 R3-A
3. Abatement : O22 R1,2,3 & 9
4. Appeal : O41 R1
1. Sheodan Singh v. Daryao Kunwar, AIR 1966
SC…………
Res-judicata and Writ Petitions
Broad principles of Res-Judicata applies on writ petitions
except on writ of Habeas Corpus. (Daryao v. State of UP)
Can plea of RJ be waived by party?
No, it can not be waived.
Distinction between res-judicata and Estoppel
– RJ is result of decision of court of law whereas estoppel
is result of act of parties.
– Object of RJ is to put an end to litigation whereas object
of Estoppel is to stop a party from altering his position
– Jurisdiction of Court is ousted by RJ whereas Estoppel is
only rule of evidence.
Distinction between res-judicata and Res-Subjudice
– RJ applies to matter already decided whereas Res-
subjudice applies to matter which is pending.

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