Know The Difference Between Res Judicata And Estoppel With Case Laws

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(1) Introduction: 

Whether a party has a right to file litigation again which subject matter is already verdict? No one can file civil litigation on the basic of same subject matter between the same party which is already decided by the court. If a party doing like this he can suffer a bar of race judicata under the civil procedure code 1980 1908 under section 11.

That same thing is also covered regarding the estoppel. When a person once declares act, omission, or with permission to believe the thing is true, after that, he or his legal representative is legally binding for that. They can not file litigation of such person or their legal representative to deny that which is previously declared valid.

After referring to those similarities, it makes some confusion in our mind that both are the same in thing? No, there is a diffence between res judicata and estoppel. In this article, we discuss that difference in detail.

(2) What is Res Judicata? Know the Concept Of Res Judicata with Case Laws:

section 11 of the civil procedure, 1908, deals with res judicata. the principal of res judicata is that to bar lay civil litigation against the same party with same cause of action, which matter is already decided by that court in previously. the main aim of the court to prevent multiplicity of litigations, as well the matter which is decided by once that should be final after verdict by the court. this principal is covered public policy.

In the case of U.P. State Road Transport vs State Of U.P. And Another (AIR 2005 SC 446), the supreme court held, Section 11 of the civil procedure code has an immense sense. The principal is based on to prevents the litigation not being twice with the same subject matter. This res judicata can apply between two stages regarding the same case, whether the trial court or higher court has already decided a case. And second is that it will not allow parties to re-apply the matter next time with the same proceedings.[1].    

In the case of State Of Karnataka & Anr vs All India Manufacturers, (AIR 2006 SC1846), the supreme court observed, ‘Matter directly and substantially in issue’ in previous litigation – Only those matters will constitute res judicata in subsequent proceedings. Further, issue should have been raised by one party and expressly denied by other.[2].

In the case of Charanjit Kaur Vs S R Cable, (AIR 2009 MP 66), the madhya pradesh high court rightly observed that, Principle of res judicata applies to bring a fresh suit for same cause of action.[3].

In the case of Bhanu Kumar Jain vs Archana Kumar & Anr, (AIR 2005 S 626), the supreme court held, There is a distinction between ‘issue estoppel’ and ‘res judicata’. Res judicata debars a Court from exercising its jurisdiction to determine the lis if it has attained finality between the parties whereas the doctrine of issue estoppel is invoked against the party. If such an issue is decided against him, he would be estopped from raising the same in the latter proceeding. The doctrine of res judicata creates a different kind of estoppel viz. Estoppel by Accord.[4].

In the case of The Amalgamated Coalfields Ltd. vs The Janapada Sabha, Chhindwara, (AIR 1964 SC 1013), the supreme court obsered that, There can be no doubt that the general principle of res judicata applies to writ petitions filed under Art. 32 or Art. 226. It is necessary to emphasise that the application of the doctrine of res judicata to the petitions filed under Art. 32 does not in any way impair or affect the content of the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens of India.[5].

In the case of Tilk Rice Versus Dgm Union Bank Of India,(AIR 2009 Ori 26), the orisa high court held that, Successive writ petitions for same relief would be barred by principle of constructive res judicata.[6].

(3) What is Estoppel? Know the Concept Of Estoppel with Case Laws:

When a person declares an act, omission, intentionally, or permitted to another one to believe anything like a true, he or his legal representative has no right to deny that thing by filing a suit against that person or his legal representative.

As per the provision of the Indian evidence act, under section 115, the doctrine of estoppel is clearly defined that when the party declares through act, omission, or intentionally or permitted another person to believe things to be true. Then after such, the party or his legal representative can not be allowed to file civil litigation against that person or his legal representative to deny what is permitted by him previously.If doing so, there is a bar of estoppel, according to the Indian evidence act 1872.

  • These essentials condition must be required in the rule of issue estoppel-

(1) The parties of the litigation must be the same.

(2) The issue of that case has already been decided previously that should be identified, which is sought to be agitated.

In the case of Delhi Cloth & General Mills Ltd vs Union Of India, (AIR 1987 SC 2414), the supreme court held, For the applicability of the Doctrine of estoppel, the representation made must be clear, unambiguous and not tentative or uncertain.[7].

In the case of Krishi upaj mandi asmiti vs. Ashok singhal and others,(AIR 1991 SC 1320), the supreme court obsereved,Where certain land was acquired from a person by the Govt. for a statutory authority without serving a notice on the authority even a reference was also made to an arbitrator/reference court who passed the award which was however accepted by the authority, it would be estopped from assailing the correctness of the decision made by the court of reference.[8].

The prinicpal of estopal and res judicata both is related to the justice and public policy. The doctrine of res judicata is treat like a branch of the esstopal however thee are some difference between res judicata and esstopal. lets see that in detail given below.

(4) Difference between res judicata and estoppel:

After referring to the above concept, it has the distinction between res judicata and estoppel that is given below.

No. Res Judicata Estoppel
(1) The principle of res judicata is come to know as the verdict of the Court.  The principle of Estoppel is come to known as acts of the parties.
(2) The proceedings of res judicata are covered based on public policy and justice. The proceedings of Estoppel are covered based on the law of equity.
(3) The aim of Res Judicata prevents the multiplicity of proceedings and litigation in the same thing.   The main aims of Estoppel to stop the parties, who is agree on one thing,  and as well as denial that at another time.
(4) The principle of res judicata is assumed the fact of the previous verdict. The rule of estoppel forbids a party from fabricating what he claims to be the facts.
(5) The principle of Res Judicata is to debar the jurisdiction of the Court to proceed with the case.

The law of Estoppel is base on rule of evidence.

(5) Reference:

(1) U.P. State Road Transport vs State Of U.P. And Another, (AIR 2005 SC 446).

(2) State Of Karnataka & Anr vs All India Manufacturers, (AIR 2006 SC1846).

(3) Charanjit Kaur Vs S R Cable, (AIR 2009 MP 66).

(4) Bhanu Kumar Jain vs Archana Kumar & Anr, (AIR 2005 S 626).

(5) The Amalgamated Coalfields Ltd. vs The Janapada Sabha, Chhindwara, (AIR 1964 SC 1013).

(6) Tilk Rice Versus Dgm Union Bank Of India,(AIR 2009 Ori 26).

(7) Delhi Cloth & General Mills Ltd vs Union Of India, (AIR 1987 SC 2414).

(8)  Krishi upaj mandi asmiti vs. Ashok singhal and others,(AIR 1991 SC 1320).

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