While delivering a judgment, the court must
depend on certain principles, doctrines, and precedents. The CPC (Code of Civil
Procedure) of 1908 has two such doctrines under Section 10 (Res Judicata) and
Section 11 (Res Subjudice), which ensure efficiency and rapid procedure during
Res Sub Judice
Sub judice is a Latin term that means “under judgment” and comes under Section 10 of the CPC.
When two or more lawsuits are filed on the same matter by the same parties, the
competent court has the power to stay the trial. Res Sub Judice applies only to
the trial and not the institution.
For example, A and B are husband and wife. Husband A sued his wife B
for the dissolution of their marriage and custody of their minor child. Later, Mrs. B filed a lawsuit against her husband for custody of their
child. Both cases have the same parties and have been filed for the same matter. That's why the second case is
subject to Section 10 of the CPC of 1908.
To apply this section, some conditions must be satisfied:
- There are at least two lawsuits: previously instituted and subsequently
- In the next lawsuit, the matter at issue is the same as in
the previous lawsuit.
- In both lawsuits, the parties must be the same or their
- There must be an ongoing lawsuit in the same or any other
- The court must be competent to give relief in both lawsuits.
- Parties involved in both lawsuits are pursuing litigation
under the same titles.
The court cannot apply this section when both parties are the same
but the issue is different, even though some issues are the same and some are
distinct, still the court cannot apply this section.
There are three Latin maxims in which Res Judicata is based
- Nemo debet bis vexari pro uno et eadem causa-
That means- no man should be punished for the
same cause. Similarly, in a criminal lawsuit, this doctrine is double jeopardy.
- Intent reipublicat ut sit finis litium-
That means-To put an
end to litigation for the best interest of the
- Res Judicata pro veritate occipitur-
That means- Decisions
made by judges should be recognized as correct.
Res Judicata is also a later term that means “adjudicated” or “could not be re-adjudicated"
and comes under the 11th section of the CPC.
This doctrine applies when the issue has already
been held by a qualified court and a
fresh trial should not be allowed between the same parties over the same issue.
For example- A sued B for breach of contract and
to claim damages for the same. The suit was dismissed by the court, and now A
has filed a subsequent suit for the same breach of contract and to claim
damages that come under the doctrine of Res Judicata, and the court can dismiss
To apply this doctrine, there are some conditions that must be satisfied.
- The same issue that was directly, mainly, and substantially discussed in
the earlier litigation must be involved in the second complaint. In other words, the question must
be involved in the prior lawsuit for res judicata to apply.
For example- in R.P. Gupta v. Shri Krishna
Poddar (A.I.R. 1965, SC 316), the Supreme Court said that the issue raised in
the second lawsuit was different from the prior lawsuit, which is why the
doctrine of Res Judicata won’t be applied.
- To apply this doctrine, the parties must be the same for both
prior and later lawsuits; this doctrine won't apply to any of the parties if the lawsuit is changed or added on.
For example- X filed a case establishing his
title to a house against Y (who is currently living in the house), he later failed to establish it in court because the owner of
the house is not Y but Z, so he filed the same case against Y and Z.
- The party’s title must be the same for both the later and prior lawsuits.
decide both the cases, the court must be competent.
of the objects of this doctrine is to abstain from having multiple suits on the
same decided matter.
Differences between RES JUDICATA and RES
Section 10 of
Section 11 of
It refers to a case that is now under investigation or trial.
It refers to a case that has already been decided or that has
already been adjudicated.
The trial of
a lawsuit is barred.
filing of lawsuits.