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DOCTRINE OF RES JUDICATA & RES SUB JUDICE

INTRODUCTION TO JUDICIARY OF INDIA: -

India with approximately 1.3 billion population is dealing with 73,000 pending cases before the Supreme Court and 44 million cases before all other courts of India. Indian judiciary is obviously working hard for the disposal of cases pending before courts. Article 21 speaks about Right to life and personal liberty; it also includes Right to Speedy trial. Purpose and meaning of this right is to make disposal of cases which comes before a court as soon as possible which makes judiciary more efficient.


DOCTRINE OF RES JUDICATA: -

Res Judicata is a Latin term where RES means suit and JUDICATA means has been judged. Basically, the meaning of res judicata is the suit which already has been decided. The main purpose to bring this doctrine was to avoid double jeopardy. Double jeopardy means punishment to a person twice for the same offence.

Section 11 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 explains this doctrine very well. The doctrine of the Res Judicata means the matter is already judged. It means that no court will have the power to try any fresh suit or issues which has been already settled in the former suit between the same parties.

FOR EXAMPLE- Shivani filed suit against Riya, judgement is delivered after all the procedure of the court in the favour of Shivani. If Shivani again files suit again Riya in different court. Then Riya has right to barred this second suit by taking the help of this doctrine of res judicata.


WHAT CAN BE THE PURPOSE OF RES JUDICATA?

❖ Res judicata is introduced to bring an end to the litigation.

❖ To prevent multiplicity of proceedings.

❖ It is based on the principle of natural justice, that is equity, good conscience and utmost good faith.

❖ Create certainty of judicial decision.

MAXIMS RELATED TO RES JUDICATA: -

Doctrine of res judicata is based upon three main maxims,i.e-

1. Nemo debet bis vexari (Pro una et eadem causa):- meaning of this maxim is “No one should be tried twice for the same matter”.

2. Interest Republicae ut sit finis littum (Doctrine of finality):- It means that it is for public good that there be an end to litigation after a long hierarchy of appeals.

3. Res judicata pro veritate accipitur:- It means that a point judicially decided is taken to be correct.

CASE LAW: -

Devilal Modi vs. Sales Tax Officer

In the leading case of Devilal Modi vs. STO, B challenged the validity of an order of assessment under Article 226. The petition was dismissed on the basis of merits. The Supreme Court also dismissed the appeal that was made against the order on the basis of merits. B again filed another writ petition in the same High Court against the same order of assessment. This time the petition was dismissed by the High Court. The Supreme Court held that the petition was barred by the principle of res judicata.


DOCTRINE OF RES SUB JUDICE: -

Section 10 of Civil Procedure Code,1908 speaks about this doctrine of res sub judice. The literal meaning of this term Res Sub Judice is “under judgment”. This doctrine is based on the principle of public policy which forbids a person to file the same suit in two parallel court at the same time. the purpose of this to avoid two contradictory judgements for the same subject matter by two different court.

FOR EXAMPLE- Rahul has filed suit against Roushan in court ‘A’ and at the same Rahul filed suit against Roushan in court ‘B’ as Rahul thinks there is a chance of delay in the disposal of case by court ‘A’. Then, it is not possible for Rahul to file suit against Roushan in two different courts at the same time because this will come under the preview of Doctrine of Res Sub Judice.


PURPOSE OF RES SUB JUDICE: -

1. To prevent the filing of the same suit in two different courts between the same parties at the same time.

2. To avoid unnecessary delay in the proceedings of the court.

3. To reduce the burden of the court.

4. To avoid wastage of resources and time on the same suit by two court on the same subject matter.

5. It also avoids contrary decisions by two different courts.

CASE LAW: -

In Indian Bank v. Maharashtra State Cop. Marketing Federation Ltd., the court held that “where the matter is pending before the competent court and the subject matter is directly and substantially is same in a previously instituted suit between the same parties then the Civil Court should not proceed with the trial of the suit in order to grant the relief sought.”


DIFFRENCES BETWEEN RES JUDICATA AND RES SUB JUDICE: -

➢ Res Sub Judice is contained in the provision of civil procedure code,1908 under sec 10, while Res Judicata is explained under section 11 of cpc,1908.

➢ Doctrine of Res Sub Judice is applied where the suit is pending before the court, while Doctrine of Res Judicata is applied where the matter I s already being decided.


CONCLUSION: -

If we will read both doctrines, the main purpose of introducing them is to help the judiciary to reduce the burden of the case and to avoid waste of resources on the same subject matter again and again. Even, 45th chief justice of India Justice Dipak Mishra also conveyed the importance of speedy disposal of cases in one of his interviews.



This article is written by Priya Kumari of BMS College of LAW, BANGALORE.

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