RES SUB JUDICE AND RES JUDICATA UNDER CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908

RES SUB JUDICE AND RES JUDICATA

RES SUB JUDICE:

Res sub judice means under judgment. This means the matter is being judged by a court of law.  When more than one case is filed on the same subject matter by the same parties then a Court having competent jurisdiction can stay proceedings of either case. Therefore, Res Sub Judice means a stay of the suit.

SECTION 10 OF CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908-

The doctrine of Res Sub Judice provided under Section 10 deals with the stay of suits. Section 10 says that-

No court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which-

The subject matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit

Between the same parties, or

Between the parties under whom they claim litigating under the same title

Such suit is pending in the same or any other court in India having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or

In any other court beyond the limits of India that is established and continued by the Central Government having like jurisdiction, or

Before the Supreme Court.

ESSENTIALS OF SECTION 10:

For the application of Section 10 following conditions must be fulfilled-

  1. Two suits must be filed, one previously instituted and the second subsequently instituted.
  2. The subject matter of both the suits must be substantially the same. Both suits must have the same issue or dispute.
  3. The parties of both the suits or representatives of the parties must be the same.
  4. The previously filed suit must be pending in the same court or any other court having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed in both previously and subsequently filed suits.
  5. In both suits both the parties must be litigating under the same title.

If all the above conditions are fulfilled then the Court can under Section 10 stay the proceedings of the subsequently filed suit.

OBJECTIVES OF SECTION 10:

The main objectives of Section 10 are as follows-

  1. Prevent courts of concurrent jurisdiction from simultaneously entertaining two suits of the same subject matter, the same issue between same parties claiming same relief.  
  2. Confining parties to the suit to only one litigation
  3. Prevent passing of contradictory verdicts by two Courts in suits having the same issue and claiming the same relief.
  4. As the Courts are already over-burdened with cases, section 10 helps in preventing multiplicity of cases.
  5. This helps in avoiding wasting Court resources and court’s time.

Scope of Section 10:

  1. It must be noted that Section 10 only bars the trial of the suit and not the filing of the suit.
  2. The suit subsequently filed by the same party with the same issue cannot be dismissed by the Court. The Court has the power to only stay the proceeding of the subsequently filed suit.
  3. The provision of Section 10 is mandatory. Thus, the Court does not have the power to use discretion in such cases.
  4. The stay of the subsequently filed suit can be granted during any stage of the proceeding of the subsequent suit.

RES JUDICATA:

Res means a thing and judicata means adjudicated. Thus, Res Judicata means conclusive judgment of a thing. When a competent Court based on facts of the case and or point of law gives a conclusive judgment and the matter is no longer subject to an appeal or the appeal procedure is exhausted in a case then the doctrine of Res Judicata stops the parties to the suit to initiate fresh proceedings on the same issue or dispute.

SECTION 11 OF CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908-

The doctrine of Res Judicata provided in Section 11 says that –

No Court shall try a suit in which a matter directly and substantially in issue was 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 issue has been subsequently raised, and has been heard and finally decided by such Court.

Thus, we can say that res judicata focuses on claim preclusion as it bars the same parties to a suit from initiating a fresh proceeding in the same subject matter which has already been finally adjudicated by a court having jurisdiction. If the appeal to a judicial process is exhausted or is barred by a limitation period then res judicata applies.

OBJECTIVES OF SECTION 11:

The following are the objects of the doctrine of res judicata given in section 11-

  1. It prevents two-time harassment and injustice to the parties of a case for the same cause of action.
  2. It gives finality to a judgment and precludes further claims on the same subject matter.
  3. Prevents multiplicity of judgments that may vary or contradict each other on the same subject matter thereby creating confusion.
  4. Prevents the defendant from getting punishment or paying damages twice for the same cause of action.
  5. Prevents wasting of Court’s time and resources.

ESSENTIALS OF SECTION 11:

For the application of res judicata following conditions must be fulfilled-

  1. The subject matter of dispute directly and substantially must be the same in the earlier and the subsequent suit.
  2. Both the former and subsequent suit must be filed by the same parties
  3. Both parties must be litigating under the same title
  4. The Court decided the former suit must have competent jurisdiction and should also be competent to try the subsequent suit.
  5. The subject matter of dispute in the subsequent suit must have been heard and finally adjudicated in the former suit by a Court having competent jurisdiction.

MAXIMS ON WHICH DOCTRINE OF RESJUDICATA IS BASED:

Res Judicata is based on the following three maxims-    

  • Nemo debet lis vexari pro eadem causa– This means that no man should be punished twice for the same cause.
  • Interest republicae ut sit finis litium– This means that it is in the interest of the State that there should be an end to litigation already judged by a competent Court.
  • Re judicata pro veritate occipitur– This means a judicial decision given by a competent court should be accepted as correct.

CONCLUSION:

         Res Sub Judice focuses on the stay of suits in which the subject matter of dispute between the same parties has already been adjudged by a Court of competent jurisdiction. This prevents two courts from simultaneously adjudicating two parallel litigation thereby also preventing contradictory decisions by two different courts on the same issue.

Res Judicata says that once a matter is finally adjudicated by a competent court then none of the parties to the suit is allowed to reopen the same case in subsequent litigation.

     From the above discussion, we can conclude that both the doctrines of Res Sub Judice and Res Judicata helps in lowering the burden of the Courts by preventing multiplicity of suits by the same parties litigating under the same title on the same subject matter asking for the same relief. They play a key role in making the judicial system work smoothly and efficiently.

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