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.

 

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Decided 23/10/2018

CPC, Section 11 - Res-Judicata between co­-defendants - There exist certain situations in which principles of  res judicata may apply as between co­defendants -  The requisite conditions to apply the principle of  res judicata as between co­defendants are that (a) there must be conflict of interest between the defendants concerned, (b) it must be necessary to decide this conflict in order to give the plaintiff the relief he claims and (c) the question between the defendants must have been finally decided (d) the co­defendants were necessary or proper parties in the former suit.    (2018)2 SCeJ 1704

Held,

It is true that under Section 11 of the CPC, when the matter has been directly or 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, the decree in the former suit would operate as res judicata between the plaintiff and the defendant or as between the co­plaintiffs or co­defendants. For instance, if in a suit by P against D1 and D2, the matter is directly and substantially in issue between D1 and D2 and adjudication upon that matter was necessary to determine the suit to grant relief to P, the adjudication would operate as  res judicata in subsequent suits between D1 and D2 in which either of them is plaintiff or defendant. In other words, if a plaintiff cannot get his claimed relief without trying and deciding a case between the co­defendants, the court will try and decide the case in its entirety including the conflict of interest between the co­defendants and the co­defendants will be bound by the decree. But if the relief given to the plaintiff does not require or involve a decision of any case between co­defendants, the co­defendants will not be bound as between  each other. This Court in the case of Mahboob Sahab vs. Syed Ismail and others, (1995) 3 SCC 693, considering the applicability of the doctrine of  res judicata between co­defendants held that the  following four conditions must be satisfied, namely,

“(1) there must be a conflict of interest between the defendants concerned;

(2) it must be necessary to decide the conflict in order to give the reliefs which the plaintiff claims;

(3) the question between the defendants must have been finally decided; and

 

(4) the co­defendants were necessary or proper parties in the former suit.”

(2018)2 SCeJ 1704

Decided 23/10/2018

Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) Section 11 - Res-Judicata between co­-defendants - In the previous suits, there was no dispute inter se between the defendants -  There was no dispute whatsoever regarding title between the co-defendants and the main question to be decided in those suits was whether the third parties who had claimed rights were entitled to the property - Since the question of inter se title between the defendants (defendant’s father and the plaintiffs’ father) was not in issue and was also not required to be decided in the disputes then raised, obviously, the doctrine of  res judicata cannot be applied between such co­-defendants – CPC, Section 11.                                     

Held,

It is no doubt true that in the suit filed by the temple against the father of the defendant, the father of the plaintiffs was also arrayed as Defendant No. 2. It is also not in dispute that the father of the plaintiffs and the father of the defendant by engaging a common advocate filed a common written statement pleading that the temple was not the owner of the property and that Defendant No.1 was the owner of the property. It is also not in dispute that the father of the plaintiffs admitted in the said suit that Defendant No.1 in the said suit, namely, the father of the defendant herein, was the owner of the property. So also, in the suit filed by the school, the father of the plaintiffs was also arrayed as one of the defendants along with the father of the defendant. In the said suit also, a common written statement was filed. Even in the suit filed by the school, the defendants therein, i.e., the father of the plaintiffs herein and father of the defendant herein jointly pleaded that the school was not the owner of the property and that the defendants were the owners. Both the suits filed by the temple and the school came to be dismissed, holding that the temple as well as the school were not the owners of the property. (2018)2 SCeJ 1704

 

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  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) S.  11, Order 39, Rule 1, 2 - The very same plaintiff had earlier filed a suit for injunction and an application for interim injunction had been dismissed on merits - I found that the suit was later withdrawn with liberty to file a fresh suit and the dismissal of the interim application on merits ought to be therefore taken as an issue against the plaintiff to deny to him the relief - An interim injunction under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 is not a dismissal of suit on merits - The application of the Section 11 CPC relating to res judicata - Dismissal of the application for injunction could have no bearing to a dismissal of the suit on merits and that too, after withdrawal of the earlier suit with liberty to file a fresh suit which was incidentally the instant suit which is the subject of appeal.  (178) P.L.R.
  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) S.  11 - Admittedly in the present case, parties are the same; cause of action is same and the relief claimed is the same, but the Consumer For a cannot be equated with civil court - CP Act does not provide anywhere that Consumer Fora shall be considered as civil court for the purpose of Section 11 CPC and it cannot be said that the judgments of the Consumer Court are judgments of court concurrent jurisdiction directly upon a point which will result into attraction of the principle of res judicata - Hence, when the matter is decided by the Consumer Fora, the principle of res judicata will not apply to the civil Court - Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986). (174) P.L.R.
  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) S.  11 - Res judicata - Jurisdiction of the civil court cannot be deemed to have been excluded in respect of the suit of a person who has earlier approached the Consumer Fora for the same relief under the provisions of CP Act and the principle of res judicata will not apply - The proceedings before the Consumer Fora are summary in nature, as such, cannot be treated as a judgment having all the ingredients of civil court judgment and  decree - Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986) S. 3. (174) P.L.R.
  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) S.  11 - Res judicata<D> - Rent Controller is not competent to decide the question of title of the property and can only decide the relationship of landlord and tenant and as such the said findings could not be operated as res judicata .   (182) P.L.R.
  • Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (V of 1908) S.  11 - Resjudicata - In the previous case when the plaintiff was suing for injunction, the contention was that he had been put in possession of the suit property pursuant to the mortgage and therefore, the validity of mortgage and the claim to possession in respect of the property were substantial and direct issues for consideration and if the Court had held that the mortgage had not been established, it was not merely incidental but it was the requisite issue that the Court had to adjudicate upon for consideration of whether the plaintiff was entitled to relief of injunction or not - All the ingredients of Section 11 namely of the congruity of the document and parties and adjudication on merits - It had become final. (173) P.L.R.
  •  CPC  S. 11 – Res judicata – Writ Petition – Dismissed by single word order i.e. “dismissed” – Would not operate as constructive res judicata – Before a Court invokes rule of res judicata, the Court has to be certain and in a position to return a finding that previous writ petition was dismissed on merits after considering all aspects of the case - It would be unsafe and difficult for the Court to record a finding that the summary dismissal of the writ petition was decision on merits or the writ petition was dismissed on account of delay and laches, or an alternative remedy or the Court did not feel inclined to interfere in a writ jurisdiction - There can be more than one reason to dismiss the writ petition. (2018-2) PLR