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Res Judicata under CPC
In this article, we will discuss the provisions related to Res Judicata under Section 11 of the CPC 1908. Like; what is res judicata? Its meaning, its object, what are the conditions of the res judicata and its exceptions? Etc. Let’s begin.
Introduction (Res Judicata CPC):-
Section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, provides the provision relating to the Res judicata. The principle of res judicata is based on the need to finalize judicial decisions. It means that once a res is judicata, it shall not be adjudged again. This doctrine applies 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, then neither will be allowed to file a suit on the same matter and between same parties in a future suit.
Meaning of Res Judicata:-
Res Judicata is a phrase that has evolved from a Latin maxim, which means Res means “subject matter” or “dispute” and judicata means “adjudged”, “decided” or “adjudicated” thus Res Judicata means a matter adjudged or a dispute decided.
The object of the doctrine of Res Judicata is based on three maxims:-
1) No man should not be vexed twice for the same cause.
2) It is in the interest of the state that there should be an end to litigation.
3) A judicial decision must be accepted as correct.
Condition for Res Judicata:-
There are following conditions that must be fulfilled to apply the doctrine of Res Judicata:-
1. There must be two suits; one former decided suit and other subsequent suits
2. The matter must be directly and substantially related to the subsequent suit
3. There must be the same titles means the same capacity
4. The decision in the former suit must be made by the competent court having jurisdiction over the case.
5. In the subsequent suit, the matter directly & substantially in the issue must have been heard and finally decided by the court in a previous suit.
In the following cases, the matter is deemed to be finally decided on merits even if the former suit is disposed of in the following manner:
a. By ex parte
b. By dismissal
c. By decree on an award
d. By oath tender under section 8 of the Indian Oath Act, of 1873
e. By dismissal owing to the plaintiff’s failure to produce evidence at the hearing.
Exception to the doctrine of the Res Judicata:-
The doctrine of Res Judicata also has some exceptions in which situations it does not apply which are as follows:-
I. Judgment in original suit obtained by the fraud
II. When the previous SLP is dismissed,
III. Different causes of action,
IV. When there is an interlocutory order,
V. Waiver of a decree of Res Judicata,
VI. Court is not competent to decide,
VII. When there is a change in the law.
The doctrine of the Res Judicata enacts the rule of conclusiveness of judgments as to the point decided, in every subsequent suit between the same parties. The rule of res judicata is intended not only to prevent a new decision but also to stop a new investigation so that the same person cannot be harassed repeatedly in various proceedings upon the same question. The principle of finality of res judicata is a matter of public policy.
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