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Satyendra Kumar & Ors Vs Raj Nath Dubey & Ors, on 6th May 2016, Supreme Court of India: Case Brief – Read Judgement

‘Res Judicata’ and ‘Estopel’: Court says though parties are same, but subject matter of suit and cause of action are different in subsequent litigation, principles do not attract

Civil Appeal No. 4083- 4084 of 2016
Bench: Justice Dipak Mishra; Justice Shiva Kirti Singh

Case Brief: In the present case, the appeals are brought challenge against the judgement and order passed by the High Court. Earlier the Consolidation authorities like Consolidation Officer, Settlement Officer Consolidation and Deputy Director of Consolidation orders in favour of Appellants in title proceedings, under the U. P. Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1953. The said orders were challenged by the respondents and writ petitioners before the High Court, and such challenge was allowed by that court. Here the learned counsel appearing for the appellants strictly restricted his contentions to the effect that High Court has erred in holding that the previous judgements though in respect of another property would not operate as res judicata in respect of pure question of law in a subsequent proceeding between the same parties. The appellants here brought the question of applicability of the principles of res judicata and estopel in their matters. Now, this bench after considering the facts and circumstances and previous ruling observed that the findings given by the High Court that the previous proceedings would operate as res judicata only in respect of issues of facts and not on issue of pure questions of law, when the subsequent suit or proceeding is based upon a different cause of action and in connection with the different property though between the same parties, should not be faulted with.

 Thus, the bench found if sufficient to say that once a judgement in a former suit or proceedings acquires finality, it binds the parties totally and completely on all issues relating to the subject matter of the suit. Moreover, this bench also observed that no equitable principle or estoppel can impede powers of the court to determine an issue of law correctly in a subsequent suit which connected with the different property founded upon a different cause of action, even though parties are same. Thus, the plea of appellant here dismissed with their appeals as bench found no merits in the same. Moreover, bench after considering the facts and circumstances in the appeals, found there should be no cost on any party.

Read the Judgement: Satyendra Kumar & Ors Vs. Raj Nath Dubey & Ors

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