Whether Principle of “Res Judicata” is Exhaustive? (Code of Civil Procedure)
The principle which prevents the same case being twice litigated is of general importance, observed their Lordships in another case, and is not limited by the specific words of the Code in this respect.
The rule is applicable in probate proceedings, in execution proceedings and in interlocutory orders. As regards execution proceedings it was observed in Ram Kripal v. Rup Kauri, (11 I.A. 37) that if a particular construction is put on a decree in proceedings on a former application for execution, it is not competent to the court to treat that construction as erroneous and put another construction on it at a subsequent stage of the execution proceedings.
The rule of res judicata is as well applicable to ex parte orders in execution proceedings where notice has been duly issued and served. Similarly, an order made by consent of parties in an execution proceeding is binding on the parties as an order after a contentious trial.
The principle of res judicata has also been applied to insolvency proceedings and to an application for amendment of a decree where the same has been heard and finally decided.
Section 11 is not strictly applicable to compromise decrees as it applies in terms only to what has been heard and finally decided by the court. A compromise decree is not a decision of the Court on an application of its mind and the statutory bar or res judicata is not attracted.
But at the same time a judgment by consent or default is as effective an estoppels between the parties as the judgment whereby the Court exercises its mind on a contested case.
Even though the matter may have passed from the stage of representation into an agreement, there are cases where the Courts are entitled to entertain a plea of estoppels in order to prevent fraud or circuitry of action. (Guraj Narain Singh v. Babulal Khemka, A.I.R. 1975 Pat. 58).
Dismissal of writ petition in limine:
If a writ petition is dismissed in limine without passing a speaking order, then such a dismissal cannot be treated as creating a bar of res judicata. (Kunjabehari Sahu v. Satyabadi Sahu, A.I.R. 1983 N.O.C. 204, Orissa).