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Res Judicata

Res Judicata meaning

Res means "subject matter" and judicata means "adjudged" or decided and together it means "a matter adjudged".
  • In simpler words, the thing has been judged by the court, the issue before a court has already been decided by another court and between the same parties.
  • Hence, the court will dismiss the case as it has been decided by another court.
  • No suit which has been directly or indirectly tried in a former suit can be tried again.

Origin of Res Judicata

  • Res judicata pro veritate accipitur" is the full Latin maxim that has, over the years, shrunk to mere "Res Judicata
  • The concept of res judicata has evolved from the English Common Law System.
  • The Common Law system has been derived from the overriding concept of judicial consistency.
  • Res judicata took its place first in the Code of Civil Procedure from Common Law and then into the Indian Legal System. If either of the parties in a case approaches the same court for the judgment of the same issue then the suit will be struck by the doctrine of res judicata.

Principle of Res Judicata

  • The principle of res judicata seeks to promote the fair administration of justice and honesty and to prevent the law from being abused.
  • The principle of res judicata applies when a litigant attempts to file a subsequent lawsuit on the same matter, after having received a judgment in a previous case involving the same parties.
  • In many jurisdictions, this applies not only to the specific claims made in the first case but also to claims that could have been made during the same case.

Pre-requisites for Res Judicata

Prerequisites of res judicata include:

  • A judicial decision by a proficient court or tribunal
  • Final and binding
  • Any decision made on the merits
  • A fair hearing
  • Earlier decision right or wrong is not relevant.

Res Judicata

  • Rule of conclusiveness of a judgment
  • Doctrine of Res Judicata explained in # Satyadhyan Ghosal v. Deorjin Debi, AIR 1960
  • Nature and scope
    • in the larger public interest
    • principle of natural justice

Section 11

Res Judicata

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 claim, litigating under the same title, in a court competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in which such issue has been subsequently raised, and has been heard and finally decided by such Court.
  • Explanation I- The expression "former suit" shall denote a suit that has been decided prior to the suit in question whether or not it was instituted prior thereto.
  • Explanation II.- For the purposes of this section, the competence of a Court shall be determined irrespective of any provisions as to a right of appeal from the decision of such Court.
  • Explanation III.- The matter above referred to must in the former suit have been alleged by one party and either denied or admitted, expressly or impliedly, by the other.
  • Explanation IV.- Any matter which might and ought to have been made the ground of defense or attack in such former suit shall be deemed to have been a matter directly and substantially in issue in such a suit
  • Explanation V.- Any relief claimed in the plaint, which is not expressly granted by the decree, shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to have been refused.
  • Explanation VI- Where persons litigate bona fide in respect of a public right or of a private right claimed in common for themselves and others, all persons interested in such right shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to claim under the persons so litigating.
  • Explanation VII.- The provisions of this section shall apply to a proceeding for the execution of a decree and reference in this section to any suit, issue, or former suit shall be construed as references, respectively, to proceedings for the execution of the decree, the question arising in such proceeding, and a former proceeding for the execution of that decree.
  • Explanation VIII.-An issue heard and finally decided by a Court of limited jurisdiction, competent to decide such issue, shall operate as res judicata in as the 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.

Res judicata

  • nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa ( no man should be vexed twice for the same cause)
  • interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium ( it is in the interest of the state that there should be an end to litigation)
  • res judicata pro veritate occipitur( a judicial decision must be accepted as correct)

Res judicata

Extent It applies to civil suits, execution proceedings, arbitration proceedings, taxation matters, industrial adjudication, writ petitions, administrative orders, interim orders, criminal proceedings, etc

Res Judicata:

  • Res Judicata and Rule of law
    Daryao v. State of UP, AIR 1961
  • Res Judicata and Res Sub judice
  • Res Judicata and Stare decisis

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