Res judicata, by Anubrati Debnath @Lexcliq

  1. History 


The theory of res judicata has evolved from the English Common Law System. The Common Law policy has been derived from the overriding theory of judicial consistency. Res judicata seized its place first in the Code of Civil Procedure from Common Law and again in the Indian Legal System.


Earlier res judicata prevailed as Purva Nyaya or old judgment by the Hindu lawyers and Muslim jurists according to chronological Hindu Law. The regions of the Commonwealth and the European Continent have submitted that once the consequence has been brought to examination once, it must not be tried again. The belief of res judicata is originated from the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


2. Meaning


It means “subject matter” and judicata suggests “adjudged” or decided and concurrently it suggests “a matter adjudged”. 


Res judicata applies to both civil and criminal legal operations.

3. Example


  • ‘A’ sued ‘B’ as he didn’t compensate rent. ‘B’ defended for the lessening of rent on the footing as the area of the property was less than the mentioned on the lease. The Court originates that the area stood greater than shown in the lease. The sector was excess and the regulations of res judicata will not be compensated. 


  1. In a case, ‘A’ new lawsuit was filed in which the defendants requested that the Court dismiss the lawsuit with a plea of res judicata. She was barred from bringing a claim of res judicata because her previous claim was dismissed for fraud. The Court said that the defence of res judicata must be proved by evidence.

4. Principle of Res Judicata


The principle of res judicata seeks to promote the fair administration of justice and honesty and to prevent the law from abuse. The principle of res judicata applies when a litigant attempts to file a subsequent lawsuit on the same matter, after having received a judgment in a previous case involving the same parties. In many jurisdictions, this applies not only to the specific claims made in the first case but also to claims that could have been made during the same case.

5. Pre-requisites for Res Judicata


It includes:


  •  A judicial decision by a proficient court or tribunal


  •  Final and binding and


  •  Any decision made on the merits


  •  A fair hearing


  • Earlier decision right or wrong is not relevant.

6. Nature and Scope 


Res judicata includes two concepts of claim preclusion and issue preclusion. Issue preclusion is also known as collateral estoppel. Parties cannot sue each other again after the final judgment based on has reached in civil litigation.


The scope has been decided in the case of Gulam Abbas v. State of Uttar Pradesh. I  this case the court incorporated the rules as evidence as a plea of an issue already tries in an earlier case. The judgment of this case was difficult as the judges should apply res judicata.

7. Conclusion


Res Judicata is the concept that is prevalent in all the Jurisdictions of the world. The doctrine of Res Judicata has become an important part of the Indian Legal System.  Section 11 of Civil Procedure Court, 1908 states that the court can apply Res Judicata when he thinks that matter is already decided by the former suit.


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