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The word ‘Res’ means ‘a subject matter’ or a ‘dispute’ and the word ‘Judicata’ means ‘adjudged’ or ‘decided’. In simple language if we see then meaning of the word ‘Res Judicata’ is ‘a subject matter decided’. Res Judicata means a final decision pronounced by a judicial tribunal having competent jurisdiction over the cause or matter in litigation and over the parties thereto.


The main objective of including Res Judicata in law was to bring a suit to its end, once a suit is decided by a competent court it cannot be brought back in the court. Once a part is succeeded it cannot be harassed by the other party in same matter again and again. If this option is not available for the parties then both party can keep filing the suit and the matter won’t ever be closed. This concept is for any party who does not want to be disturbed again and again in the same matter.

The doctrine of Res Judicata is based on 3 maxims:-

  1. nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem causa

no person should be vexed or harassed for the same cause.

  • Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium

It is in the interest of the state that there should be an end of litigation.

  • Re judicata pro veritate  

Judicial decision should be accepted as true.

The doctrine of Res Judicata is based on these three maxims, res judicata is basically a power given to court so that, neither the court nor the other party gets disturbed again and again for same matter which has already been decided by the authority capable of deciding and giving judgement.


In section 11 of Civil Procedure code of 1908 it has been laid down that, “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, litigation 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.”

The doctrine of Res Judicata has been defined in under section 11 of C.P.C. the doctrine simply refers to the matter already decided. 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. When the court finds that a case in which any issue has already been judged and decided by the court and there is no appeal pending before in any court, the court has the power to dispose the case by granting a decree of Res Judicata. The court can grant the decree of Res Judicata if the issue directly or subsequently involved between the same parties in the former and the present suit, are same.


There are following conditions which should be satisfied first before granting a Res Judicata:-

  1. There must be two suits one former suit and one subsequent suit.
  2. Parties of the former and subsequent suits or parties under whom they or any of the claim should be same.
  3. The subject matter of the subsequent suit should be identical or related to the former suit either actually or constructively.
  4. The case must be finally decided between the parties.
  5. The former suit should be decided by the court of competent jurisdiction.
  6.  Parties in the former as well as in subsequent suit must have litigated under the same title.

These are the conditions which a court looks in order to grant Res Judicata in any case, the plaintiff or defendant either of the party can apply for Res Judicata by showing these conditions and can present their wish in front of the court.


There are numerous case laws relating to Res Judicata we will study few of them so that it is easily understandable for us:-

In Ramdas Nayak v. Union of India AIR 1995 Bom 235,

The court observed that it is a repetitive litigation on the very same issue coming up before the court again and again in the grab of public interest in the grab of public interest litigation. It is high time to put an end to the same.

In case of Satyadhan Ghosal v. Smt. Deorajin Debi

Where the principles of Res Judicata is invoked in the case of the different stages of proceedings in the same suit in the nature of the proceedings, the scope of the enquiry which the adjectival law provides for the decision being reached as well as the specific provision made on matters touching such decisions are some of the factors considered before the principle is held to be applicable. Order IX Rule 7 does not put to an end to litigation nor does it involved in determination of any issue in controversy in the suit. A decision or direction in an interlocutory proceeding of the type provided for the order IX Rule 7 is not of the kind which can operate as Res Judicata so as to bar the hearing on the, merits of an application under order IX Rule 13.

In Sheodan Singh v. Smt. Daryao Kunwar

There was two separate appeals made infront of the court the court said that there is no need to file different appeals and the court heard and dismissed both the appeals together. Court held that one suit needs to be filed and not two.




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