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Res-judicata in Section 11 of the CPC prohibits the Court from trying an issue that has been in issue in a former suit between the same parties: Orissa High Court

A decision made in the suit on a vital issue involved therein to operate as res-judicata in a subsequent suit between the same parties. Such an opinion was held by The Hon’ble High Court of Orissa before The Hon’ble Mr. Chief Justice B.P. Routray in the matter of Premlal Panda Vs. Panchanan Panda and Others [WA/61/2006]. 

The facts of the case were associated with property disputes. A judgment regarding such was challenged in the appeal. The properties of the four sons of Jagannath, among them Krushna Chandra died without any child. The dispute was concerned with the property of Krushna Chandra. A title suit was filed by Bhabagrahi, who claimed to be the adopted son of Krushna Chandra, the appeal by him was dismissed. An objection case was filed by Premlal praying for the recording of lands of late Krushna Chandra in his name claiming to be the adopted son of late Krushna Chandra. All the objection cases filed were disposed of by common judgment. Later, it was reported that Premlal was not the adopted son and that the claimed Adoption Deed was invalid and illegal. 

A revision petition was filed which was disposed of by the Joint Commissioner. It was stated that it was an injustice to bind the petitioner by applying principles of res-judicata. Res-judicata was not applicable to the consolidation case and that the Joint commissioner was in favour of petitioner Premlal, declaring him to be the adopted son. 

Considering all the facts and submissions, The Hon’ble Court stated that “… In the instant case the issue in question was substantially in issue in the previous suit, the competency of the earlier court in deciding the issue is not questioned and the parties in the list remains same, the decision of the former court shall definitely operate as res-judicata against all subsequent proceedings including the proceeding before Consolidation Authorities…  The legal position is unambiguous and the findings of the learned Single Judge are based on strong reasons. Accordingly, we do not find any ground to interfere with the same and the writ appeal is dismissed.”

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Judgment reviewed by Bipasha Kundu

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