Sunday, 13 May 2018

Good article on Res Judicata, stay of suit and estoppel

Res Judicata

S 11 of CPC embodies the important doctrine of res judicata. It provides that 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 parties under whom they or any of them,litigating under the same title) in a competent court, and has been heard and finally decided by such a court.
1)The former suit means suit which has been decided prior to the suit in question, whether or not it was instituted prior thereto.
2)Any relief claimed in the plaint which is not expressly granted by the decree is deemed to have been refused.
3)Provisions of this section are also applicable to execution proceeding.
4) An issue which has been heard and finally decided by a court of limited jurisdiction, competent to decide such issue, operates as res judicata in a subsequent suit, notwithstanding that such court of limited jurisdiction was not competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in which such issue has been subsequently raised.
S 11 of CPC embodies doctrine of res judicata, which rests on the principle that one should not be vexed twice for the same cause, and that there should be finality to litigation. Where there has been an executable judgment between the parties, the rule of res judicata will prevent a fresh suit between them for the same relief. This section does not deal with question of jurisdiction,because it does not affect cognisability of suits but only bars their trial.

Distinction between Res judicata (S 11 of CPC)and stay of suit(S 10 of CPC) :
1)S 10 relates to res sub judice that is matter which is pending judicial inquiry; While S 11 relates to res judicata that is a matter already adjudicated upon-a matter in which judgment is already pronounced.
2) S 10 bars the trial of a suit in which the matter directly and substantially in issue is pending adjudication in a previous suit,whereas S 11 bars the trial of a suit or an issue in which matter directly and subsequently in issue has already been adjudicated upon in previous suit.

Waiver of the plea-
The plea of res judicata is not one which affects the jurisdiction of court. It is plea which a party may waive. If a party does not raise the plea of res judicata, it will be deemed to be decided against him.

Res judicata and Estoppel
The following are main points of difference between res judicata and estoppel
1) Res judicata results from decision of court. Estoppel results from acts of the parties themselves.
2) The principle of res judicata proceeds on the ground of public policy that is there should be an end to litigation.The principle of estoppel proceeds upon the doctrine of equity that he who, by his own conduct has induced another to alter his position to his advantage can not turn around and take advantage of such alteration of the other's position.
3) Res judicata prohibits an inquiry in limine and oust the jurisdiction of court to try the case. Estoppel is only a rule of evidence.

4)The principles of res judicata conclusively presumes the truth of the former decision. The rule of estoppel prevents a person from setting up what he calls the truth.

Read important judgments on res judicata here:
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