Suits Barred under CPC: Rule of Res Sub Judice and Res Judicata

Law, legal, legality.

January 12, 2018

As a general rule an aggrieved person can file a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure and legally there is no bar if the Plaintiff has a sustainable cause of action and the suit is filed at the appropriate place according to Code of Civil Procedure. However, there are few types of suits that are exclusively barred under the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure. Such suits are enumerated below:


Suit Barred as Res Judicata

Under Section 11, the Code deals with the Doctrine of Res Judicata, which implies that an issue or a point that has been decided and has attained finality should not be allowed to re-opened and re-agitated twice over[1].

Why such suits are prohibited?

  • No man shall be vexed twice for the same offence in respect of the same litigation
  • It is desirable that there is an end to litigation
  • A judicial decision must be accepted as correct

The doctrine of res judicata is often regarded by the Courts as a species of the principle of estopple[2].  However, a plea of res judicata has to be specifically raised and proved by the party willing to bar the suit. If the party fails to raise such plea then it will deemed to have been waived[3].

Stay of Suit i.e. Res Sub-Judice

Section 10 of CPC provides for stay of suit. The primary rule under stay of suit or rule of res sub-judice prevents Courts of concurrent jurisdiction from simultaneously adjudicating upon parallel litigation filed for the same cause of action, for the same matter and for the same relief[4]. Thus, two suit between same parties, involving same subject‑matter and same questions then the subsequent suit should be stayed[5].

Conditions to be fulfilled for stay of suit

  1. There must be two suits. On instituted previously and the other instituted subsequently.
  2. Both suits shall be pending in the Courts of India or Courts established outside India under the authority of the Central Government
  • The matter in issue in the previous suit shall be substantially in issue in subsequent suit.
  1. The Court in which previous suit is instituted must have jurisdiction to grant relief claimed in the subsequent suit.
  2. Both the parties must be between the same parties or their representatives
  3. Both parties must be litigating under the same title

If the aforesaid conditions are fulfilled then it is the Court’s duty to stay the suit. The Court is empowered to stay the later suit and not the earlier one[6].




[1] Escorts Farm Ltd v. Commr Kumaon Division, Nainital AIR 2004 SC 2186

[2] Ishwar Dutt v. Land Acquisition Collector, AIR 2005 SC 3165

[3] Wali Mohd v. Rahmat Bee (1999) 3 SCC 145

[4] Indian Bank v. Maharashtra State Co-op Marketing Federation Ltd AIR 1998 SC 1952

[5] Radhika Konel Parekh v. Konel Parekh, AIR 1993 Mad 90

[6] GC Care Centre & Hospital v OP Care Pvt Ltd, AIR 2004 SC 2339