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Ten important Supreme Court Judgements on Section 10 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Section 10 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 reads as-

No Court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title where such suit is pending in the same or any other Court in [India] having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or in any Court beyond the limits of [India] established or continued by [the Central Government] {The words "or the Crown Representative" rep. by the A.O.1948.}] and having like jurisdiction, or before {Subs. by the A.O.1950 for "His Majesty Council".} [the Supreme Court].[1]

Explanation.-The pendency of a suit in a foreign Court does not preclude the Courts in {Subs. by Act 2 of 1951, s.3, for "the States".} [India] from trying a suit founded on the same cause of action.[2]

Important Judgements of Supreme Court on Section 10:
  1. M.S.M Sarma v. Sri Krishna Sinha AIR 1960 SC 1186

    The present section bars the trial of a suit or an issue in which the matter directly and substantially in issue has already been adjudicated upon in a previous suit. Moreover public policy requires that there should be an end of litigation. The question whether the decision is correct or erroneous has no bearing on the question whether it operates or does not operate as res judicata otherwise every decision would be impugned as erroneous and there would be no finality.

  2. BALCO Employees Union v. Union of India AIR 2002 SC 350

    In no case can it be held that by filing a civil suit for realisation of the mortgage amount the proceeding pending before the tahsildar or the appellate authority is to be dismissed without adjudication.

  3. National Institute of MH & NS v. C. Parameshwara AIR 2005 SC 242

    The fundamental test to attract s 10 is whether on final decision being reached in the previous suit, such decision would operate as res judicata in the subsequent suit.

  4. Pukhraj D. Jain v. G. Gopalkrishna AIR 2004 SC 3504

    It was held by the Court that it is not for litigant to dictate to the Court as to how the proceedings should be conducted, it is for the court to decide what will be the best course to be adopted for expeditious disposal of the case.

  5. Pukhraj D. Jain v. G. Gopalkrishna AIR 2004 SC 3504

    The Supreme Court held that mere filing of application under section 10 does not put an embargo on the power of the Court to examine the merits of the suit. It was also held by Supreme Court that where subsequently instituted suit can be decided on purely legal points without taking evidence, it is always open to the court to decide the relevant issues and not to keep the suit pending which has been instituted with an oblique to cause harassment to other side.

  6. GC Care Centre and Hospital v. OP Care Pvt. Ltd. AIR 2004 SC 2339

    The Supreme Court deemed it proper to transfer the suit at Delhi to the Court at Nashik for the purpose of hearing and decision thereat. In doing so Supreme Court followed the ordinary rule as there was no factor or consideration relevant for making a departure therefrom.
  7. Chitivalase Jute Mills v. Jaypee Rewa Cement AIR 2004 SC 1687

    Merely because plea under s 10 for stay has been rejected, Supreme Court is not denuded of exercise of power to transfer the suit if ends of justice call for exercise of such power.

  8. Indian Bank v. Maharashtra State Co-op Mktg. Federation Ltd AIR 1998 SC 1952

    The Supreme Court ordered in this case that the word trial in section 10 will have to be interpreted and construed keeping in mind the object and nature of that provision and the prohibition to proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit.

  9. ManoharLal v. Seth Hiralal AIR 1962 SC 527

    The Supreme Court held that the language of s 10 was clear, definite and mandatory and prohibited the trial of a subsequent suit and it did not make any difference that the earlier suit was in violation of the agreement of parties or vexatious.

    In the same case it was also held that the inherent jurisdiction of the court to make orders ex debito justitiae is undoubtedly affirmed by s 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure but that jurisdiction cannot be exercised so as to nullify the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure.

  10. National Institute of MH & NS v. C. Parameshwara AIR 2005 SC 242

    Section 10 of the Code od Civil Procedure has no application and consequently, it was not open to the High Court to by-pass s 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure by invoking section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Bibliography:
Book:
  1. Sir Dinshaw Fardunji Mulla, THE CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 18th ed.`2016, pp. 159-180.

Online Database:
  1. SCC OnLine
  2. Legit Quest

End-Notes:
  1. Section 10 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  2. Explanation of Section 10 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

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