Saturday 29 October 2022

When can the court decide the issue of res judicata as a preliminary issue?

 We are unable to accept the submission of the Appellants that res judicata can never be decided as a preliminary issue. In certain cases, particularly when a mixed question of law or fact is raised, the issue should await a full-fledged trial after evidence is adduced. In the present case, a determination of the components of res judicata turns on the pleadings and judgments in the earlier suits which have been brought on the record. The issue has been argued on that basis before the Trial court and the first appellate court; followed by two rounds of proceedings before the High Court (the second following upon an order of remand by this Court on the ground that all parties were not heard). All the documentary material necessary to decide the issue is before the court and arguments have been addressed by the contesting sides fully on that basis.


Civil Appeal No. 10946 of 2014

Decided On: 23.09.2021

The Jamia Masjid  Vs. K.V. Rudrappa (Since Dead) by L.Rs. and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:

Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli, JJ.

Author: Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, J.

Citation: MANU/SC/0691/2021.

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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