Res-judicata Meaning, Object and Kinds of Res-Judicata

The doctrine of Res-judicata is enunciated in section (11) of C.P.C is in the following words:
According to section (11), “No Court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter’ directly and substantially 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, litigating 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.”

Res-judicata Meaning

Res-judicata technically means that a matter in issue which has already been tried by competent Court, then trial between the same parties in-respect of the same matter shall not be allowed. Res-judicata is very important doctrine of C.P.C, it emphasis that a subject matter of the suit which has already been decided, is deemed to be decided forever, and can’t be reopened by the same parties. The rule of Res-judicata is based upon the principle that no person should be vexed twice for the same cause of action, and the interest of the State behind this principle is that, there should be an end to litigation.

Object of Res-judicata

The object of Res-judicata is to prevent a question which has already been decided to be re-agitated. A question finally decided at one stage of a proceeding cannot be re-agitated between the same parties or their representatives at a subsequent stage.

Kinds of Res-judicata

There are two kinds of Res-judicata namely; Actual Res-judicata and Constructive Res-judicata.

Actual Res-judicata

It means a matter actually resolved by Court, between the parties in earlier suit cannot be reopened through subsequent suit. In-other words an issue has been alleged by one party and either denied or admitted, (expressly or impliedly) by other party in earlier suit, second suit in respect of the same matter can not be filed, and if any is filed, the same would be hit by actual Res-judicata.

Constructive Res-judicata

It means a matter which might and ought to have been made ground of claim or defense in a former suit, but a party ignores it, then that issue shall be deemed to have been a matter directly and substantially in issue in such suit. In other words if a party had an opportunity that he ought to have taken a plea (as a plaintiff or defendant) if he fails to do so, and the matter is decided, the decision will operate as Res-judicata in-respect of all issues, which were taken, and which ought and might have taken/ and second suit would not lie for such issue.

Essential conditions of res-judicata

For applicability of Res-judicata the following conditions must be present:

  • A previous suit in which the matter in issue directly and substantially should have been decided.
  • A competent Court of Civil jurisdiction should have decided it.
  • It should have been decided on merits and final decision should have been made after hearing.
  • It should contain directly and substantially same matter in issue.
  • It should have been contested between the same parties or their legal representatives, such parties are indulging litigation under the same title, with respect to the same cause of action.
  • If these conditions are fulfilled then subsequently/further instituted suit shall be liable to be dismissed by application of doctrine of Res-judicata.


Issues and kinds of issues

Issues are points of contest between the parties in a suit . In other words issues are those points raised from the pleadings which se a way for the court for entertaining a case and it brings the court at the right conclusion of justice. The determination of issues has great importance in the trial of a case, because it is issues and not the pleadings, which indicates the appropriate evidence to be given. Pleadings constitutes allegations to one-side or the other, and after determination which of the allegations are material for the purpose of the trial and which of them are admitted or denied, issues are framed and on the basis of these issues the parties stand the test of the trial.
The object of settlement of issues is to determine the material points in controversy between the parties.
Issues arises when a material proposition of fact or law affirme by one party and denied by other party.
Issues , whether raised from allegations in the pleadings or from other materials, should not be inconsistent with pleadings, the court is bound to frame the proper issues arising from the pleadings.

Framing of Issues

According to order 14 rule 1, issues arise when a material proposition of fact or law is affirmed by one party and denied by the other. Material propositions are those propositions of law or fact which a plaintiff must allege in order to show a right to sue or a defendant must allege in order to constitute his defence.
Each material proposition affirmed by one party and denied by the other shall form the subject of a distinct issue. At the first hearing of the suit the court shall, after reading the plaint, and the written statements, if any, and after such examination of the parties as may appear necesssary, ascertain upon what material propositions of fact or of law the parties are at variance, and shall thereupon proceed to frame and record the issues on weich the right decision of the case appears to depend.
If the defendant at the first hearing of the suit makes no defence, then according to order 14 rule 1 , nothing in this rule requires the court to frame and record issues.

Omission to frame issues

If an issue is not framed in the suit, while an allegation was made in the plaint in-respect of certain facts and challenged in written statement, the court can allow the parties to lead the evidence on such point, and would give its decision without framing that issue.

Kinds of Issues

Issue of fact means any issue, which has not been determined, by a rule of law, but is to be answered, in accordance with the evidence laid before the court.
Issue of law means that issue, which is to be answered in accordance with the law, and not in accordance with the facts or evidences that is laid before the court.
According to order 14 rule 2, ” where issues both of law and fact arise in the same suit, and the court is of the opinion, that the case or any part thereof may be disposed of on issues of law only, it shall try those issues first, and for that purpose may if it thinks fit, postpone the settlement of the issues of fact untill after the issue of law have been determined”.

Materials from which issues may be Framed

The provision regarding the materials from which issues are framed is found in order 14 rule 3, which provides that ” the court may frame issues from any of the following materials :-

  • The court may frame issues from the allegations made on oath by bthe parties, or by any persons present on their behalf or made by the pleaders of such parties.
  • The court may frame issues from the allegations made in the pleadings or in answers to the interrogatories delivered in the suit.
  • The court may frame issues from the contents of the documents produced by either part “.

Power of court to amend and strike-out issues

The power of the court to amend and striking-out of issues is mentioned in order 14 rule 5, which provides that, ” The court may at any time before passing a decree amend the issues or frame additional issues as may be necessary for determining the matters in controversy between the parties shall be so made or framed. The court may also, at any time before passing a decree, strike-out any issues that appear to it to be wrongly framed or introduced.

Pleading and object of Pleading

Pleadings are statements in writing of each party containing contentions of each party and detail of his case . Pleadijnd is defined in order 6 of the code of civil procedure as plaint or written statement.


Plaint is the statement of claim in writing and filed by the plaintiff, in which he sets out his cause of action with all necessary particulars. Plaint is the first process in inferior court in the nature of an original writ, whereby a party seeks remedyfrom court for the redressal of his grievances.

Written Statement

Written statement is the statement of defence in writing and filed by the defendent, in which he deals with every material fact alleged by the plaintiff in the plaint.
Defendant can state any new facts, which he considers to be in his favour, and cn raise legal objections to the merits of the case, prescribed by various lawse.g plea of limitation , plea of estoppel, plea of res-judicata etc.


Rejoinder means answer of the plaintiff, which he gives keeping in view new facts alleged by the defendant in written statement.

Additional written statement

It means further answer of the defendant ( if court permits) which he gives in light of rejoinder.

Object of Pleading

The object of pleading is to bring the parties to an issue and purpose of the rules relating to pleading is to prevent the issue beig enlarged. Further that the parties themselves know what are the matters in dispute and what facts they have to prove at the trial.

Pleading Should Contain

Every pleading shall contain and contain only, a statement in a concise form of the material facts, n which the party pleading ( plaintiff or defendant) relies for his claim or defence, as the case may be.
IT shall not contain, the evidence by which they are to be proved, and it shall, when necessary, be divided into paragraphs, numbered consecutively.
Dates, sums and numbers shall be expressed in figures.

General rules of Pleading

In civil procedure code order 6 deals with pleadings in general, order 7 deals with plaint, and order 8 deals with the written statement. The following is the summary of the rules comprised in orders 6,7, and 8 of civil procedure code:

  • In pleading state your whole case, in other words set forth in pleading all material facts on which you rely for your claim or defence , as the case may be.
  • In pleading state facts and not the law, if any matter of law is set out inj your opponent’s pleading, do not plead to it.
  • In pleading state only the relevents facts on which you rely, and not the evidence by which tose facts are to be proved.
  • In pleading state material facts onlyand ommit immaterial and unnecessary facts, and do not plead to any matter which is not against you.
  • In pleading, state the facts of the case concisely, but with precision.
  • It is not necessary to setout the whole or any part of the document, unless the precise words thereof necessary, it is sufficient to state the effects of document as briefly as possible.
  • It is not necessary to allege any matter of fact which the law presumes in your favour or as to which the burden of proof lies upo your opponent party.
  • The party should not plead conclusion of law in pleading.
  • Legal pleas such as estoppel, limitation and resjudicata or res subjudice etc, may be pleaded in written statement.
  • In cases where the party pleading relies on any mis representation, fraud, breach of trust,wilful default, or undue influence , particulars shall be stated in the pleading.

Civil Procedure Code 1908

Civil procedure code lays down the procedure, which the courts of civil jurisdiction have to follow.
The procedural law is framed to provide the courts a uniform and unquestionable procedure to avoid diversity in dealing with civil cases.
The object of the code is clear from its preamble, the code intended to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the procedure of civil courts .
The code, being a general law, in case of conflict between the code and special law, the latter prevails over the former.
It can be concluded that civil procedure code as a civil law describes the formation of civil courts, its procedure, classification, powers and discretion of the judges.