Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Notes on Estoppel- S 115 of Indian evidence Act

S 115 of Indian evidence Act:-
When a person by his declaration,act or omission intentionally caused or permitted another person to believe a thing to be true and to act upon such belief,neither he nor his representative can be allowed to deny truth of that thing in a suit or proceeding between himself and such person or his representative.

Principle of S 115 :- In simpler language,a person can not be allowed to say one thing at one time and the contrary at another: He can not blow both hot and cold at the same time. It is not necessary
to prove that he acted with any fraudulent intention. He will be estopped if he himself was acting under a mistake or misapprehension.

This section does not apply where the statement relied upon is made to a person who knows the true facts and is not misled by the untrue statement .There can be no estoppel if true facts
are known to both the parties.
Read important judgments on estoppel
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In Chhaganlal Mehta v Haribhai patel[(1982) 1 SCC 223]
Supreme court has analysed scope of S 115 of the Act and laid down that following eight conditions must be satisfied to bring a case within the scope of estoppel:
  1. There must have been a representation by a person or his authorized agent to another person.
  2. Such representation must have been of the existence of a fact and not of future promises or intention.
  3. Such representation must have been meant to have been relied upon.
  4. There must have been belief on the part of other party in its truth.
  5. Such representation must have actually caused the other person to act on the faith of it,and to alter his position to his prejudice or detriment.
  6. The representation must have been the proximate cause of leading the other party to act to his prejudice.
  7. The person claiming benefit of an estoppel must show that he was not aware of the true state of things.
  8. Only the person to whom or his representative representation was made can avail of this doctrine.
Kinds of Estoppel

  1. Estoppel by record:- Under this kind of estoppel a person is not permitted to dispute the facts upon which a judgment against him is based.
  2. Estoppel by deed:- Under this kind of estoppel, where a party has entered into a solemn engagement by deed as to certain facts,neither he,nor any one claiming through or under him is permitted to deny such facts.
  3. Estoppel by conduct,sometimes called estoppel is pais,may arise from agreement,misrepresentation or negligence.
  4. Equitable estoppel :- Estoppel which are not covered by evidence Act may be termed as equitable estoppel.
  5. Estoppel by negligence
  6. Estoppel on point of law:- Estoppel refers to a belief in a fact and not in proposition of law. A person can not be estopped for a misrepresentation on a point of law.An admission on a point of law is not an admission of a thing so as to make the admission matter of estoppel. There is no estoppel against an act of legislature.
    Difference between estoppel and presumption:- An estoppel is a personal disqualification imposed upon a person particularly circumstanced from proving particular facts,whereas a presumption is a rule that a particular inference is to be drawn from particular facts, whoever proves them.
    Difference between estoppel and res judicata:- 
  1. Estoppel is a part of law of evidence, and proceeds upon the equitable principles of an altered situation; the doctrine of res judicata belongs to procedure, and is based upon the principle that there should be an end to litigation.
  2. Res judicata precludes a man avering the same thing twice over in successive litigation, while estoppel prevents him from saying one thing at one time and opposite at another.
Admission may operate as estoppel :- 

Admissions are not conclusive proof of the matter admitted,but they are strong evidence against the person making them. The person against whom an admission is proved is at liberty to show that it was mistaken; but such admissions if they have been acted upon by a third person,and if substantive rights have been created,operate as estoppel. The party making an admission is bound to make good his representations.

Difference between estoppel and admission:-

  1. An admission may under certain circumstances,binds strangers as well, whereas estoppel binds only parties and privies thereto.
  2. Estoppel being a rule of evidence,an action can not be founded on it,whereas an action may be founded on an admission.

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