RESJUDICATA IN CPC: Its Essentials And Exceptions

Topics: Lawsuit, Civil procedure, Appeal Pages: 13 (4619 words) Published: October 30, 2014
'Res' in Latin means thing and 'Judicata' means already decided. This rule operates as a bar to the trial of a subsequent suit on the same cause of action between the same parties. Its basic purpose is - "One suit and one decision is enough for any single dispute". The rule of 'res judicata' does not depend upon the correctness or the incorrectness of the former decision. It is a principle of law by which a matter which has been litigated cannot be re-litigated between the same parties. This is known as the rule of "res judicata" (thing decided). "Res judicata pro veritate accipitur" is the full maxim which has, over the years, shrunk to mere "res judicata". Section 11 contains the rule of conclusiveness of the judgment, which is based partly on the maxim of Roman Jurisprudence "interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium" (it concerns the State that there be an end to law suits) and partly on the maxim "Nemo debet bis vexari pro una at eadem causa" (no man should be vexed twice over for the same cause). The section does not affect the jurisdiction of the court but operates as a bar to the trial of the suit or issue, if the matter in the suit was directly and substantially in issue (and finally decided) in the previous suit between the same parties litigating under the same title in a court, competent to try the subsequent suit in which such issue has been raised. The principle of res judicata is based on the need to give finality and certainty to judicial decisions.

Section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure embodies the doctrine of res judicata or the rule of conclusiveness of a judgement, as to the points decided either of fact, or of law, or of fact and law, in every subsequent suit between the same parties. It enacts that once a matter is finally decided by a competent court, no party can be permitted to reopen it in a subsequent litigation. In the absence of such a rule there will be no end to litigation and the parties would be put to constant trouble, harassment and expenses. The doctrine has been explained in the simplest possible manner by Das Gupta, J., “the principle of Res Judicata is based on the need of giving a finality to the judicial decisions. What it says is that once res judicata, it shall not be adjudged again. Primarily it applies as between past litigation and future litigation. When a matter - whether on a question of fact or a question of law has been decided between two parties in one suit or proceeding and the decision is final, either because no appeal was taken to a higher court or because the appeal was dismissed, or no appeal lies, neither party will be allowed in a future suit or proceeding between the same parties to canvas the matter again”. Section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 defines Res Judicata as: 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 which 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 ground of defence or attack in such former suit shall be deemed to have been a matter directly and...

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