In the Supreme Court of India 1961 AIR 1457, 1962 SCR (1) 574 Petitioner Daryao & ors. Respondent The State of U.P. & ors. Date of Judgement 27 March 1961 Bench Justice P.B. Gajendragadkar; Justice A.K. Sarkar; Justice K.N. Wanchoo; Justice K.C. Das Gupta; Justice N. Rajagopala Ayyangar
In the above leading case, the supreme court interpreted and augmented the doctrine of “Res Judicata”. The doctrine of “Res Judicata” well placed and covered in Section 11 of Code of Civil Procedure 1908, the question which emerged in this case that weather such Doctrine plays an intrinsic role in adjudging the petitions pertaining to Article 226 and 32 of the Indian Constitution. It was speculated and settled prior to this case that the Doctrine of Res Judicata holds immaterial and unrealistic operations in deciding the petition under the ambit of Article 226 and 32 of the Constitution. The argument is that the whether the dismissal of such writ petition filed by a party-petitioner for claiming relief or remedy before The High Court, creates a bar of res judicata against a similar petition filed in the apex Court under Article 32 on the comparable facts and praying for the same or similar writ. It was held that the doctrine of Res Judicata doesn’t contravene in dismissing the petition filed under Articles 226 and 32 of the Indian Constitution thus, it plays a specific composite element in dismissing the petition on similar grounds and relief.
Background of the study:
Article 32 enshrines a very important and most significant right embodied in our Indian Constitution, it postulates to safeguard and guarantees the citizen to move to the Supreme Court for the imposition of the fundamental rights. The power vested by the Supreme Court to issue directions or orders including Writs which comprises like Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Quo Warranto and Certiorari whichever may be applicable and appropriate for the implementation of any Fundamental Rights. The Supreme Court of India conferred the powers even on High Court/s by way of Article 226 of the Constitution to discharge the Rule of Law and ensure that the State and other statutory organizations and authorities act in accordance with the law.
The judgment of Sir William de Grey, (afterward Lord Walsingham) in the leading Duchess of Kingston’s case, 1described the elements which include in the Doctrine of Res Judicata “from the variety of cases relative to judgments being given in evidence in civil suits, these two deductions seem to follow as generally true: First, that the judgment of a court of concurrent jurisdiction, directly upon the point, is as a plea, a bar, or as evidence, conclusive between the same parties, upon the same matter, directly in question in another court; Secondly, that the judgment of a court of exclusive jurisdiction, directly upon the point, is in like manner conclusive upon the same matter, between the same parties, coming incidentally in question in another court for a different purpose” As has been observed by Halsbury,2 “the doctrine of res judicata is not a technical doctrine applies only to records; it is a fundamental doctrine of all courts that there must be an end of litigation”
Constitution and Statutory Provisions:
- Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, 1950.
- Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, 1950.
- Section 11 of the Code Civil Procedure, 1908.
In this leading case, the petitioners allege that for the last fifty years the petitioners and their ancestors have been the tenants of the land described in Annexure A affixed to the petition and that respondents 3-5 are the proprietors of the said land. (Annexure A). Due to communal riots in the Western District of Uttar Pradesh in 1947, the petitioners had to evacuate their village in July 1947, later in November 1947, they returned but they found that during their interim absence respondents 3-5 unlawfully encroached the said land and since then they refused to deliver the said land to the petitioner/s.
The petitioner/s filed suits for ejectment under the section. 180 of the U. P. Tenancy Act, 1939, the trial court passed the decree in favor of petitioner which was even affirmed by the learned Additional Commissioner in the Appellate Court which was brought by the Respondent/s. In pursuance of the appellate decree, the petitioner obtained possession of the land through the order of the appellate court. Then the respondents 3-4 filed the second appeal before the Board of Revenue under Section 267 of the U. P. Tenancy Act, 1939 where the petitioner suit was dismissed and restored the possession of described land (Annexure A) in favor of respondent/s under the ambit of U. P. Zamindary Abolition and Land Reforms (Amendment) Act XVI of 1953 finally it was held that the entitlement of land shall be vested to Respondent.
Being aggrieved the petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution filed Writ of Certiorari to direct to quash the said judgment. The bench of the Allahabad High Court elucidated section 20 of the U. P. Land Reforms Act as amended by Act XVI of 1953 in effect to this the High Court dismissed the Writ Petition of the Petitioner. In pursuance of dismissal by the High Court, the petitioner has filed the present petition under Article 32 before the Supreme Court of India for the remedy a writ petition.
Whether the Doctrine of Res Judicata (section11 of C.P.C) implies in deciding the constitutional validity of petition/s filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution in a case where High Court dismissed the Writ on the same reliefs and grounds?
Arguments on behalf of the Petitioner:
The learned counsel on behalf of petitioner contended that the rule of Res Judicata is way dissimilar from the rule of Estoppel can not be implied where question is to judge the merits about the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by the constitution further urged that the right to seek remedy from the Supreme Court for the enforcement of the fundamental rights which is guaranteed by Article 32(1)which depicts itself a fundamental right, and it would be unjust and unfair to diminish the fundamental right guarded under this article by exhibiting the rule of Res Judicata stating as a technical rule in juncture with the Article 32 of the Constitution.
Arguments on behalf of Respondent:
The learned counsel on behalf of respondent/s contended that Article 32 does not validate the citizen to institute a petition under such article where the subject matter is exuded from the angle of Fundamental Rights but it gives a right to citizen appropriate proceedings, to give effect in the context of this current petition the proper remedy is to file Special Leave Petition under Article 126 of The Constitution. Citing the case of Laxmanappa Hanumantappa v. The Union of India And Another,3 it was held with reference to the article 265 which says about the subject matter of imposition and collection of tax is not a fundamental right conferred by Part III of the Constitution, it cannot be enforced under Article 32 of the Constitution.
In a simple language, the Doctrine of Res Judicata says that none of the courts has the power to constitute or try out the cases or suits or issues which are directly and substantially in issue has been directly and substantially in issue in a former suit between the same parties, in pursuance of trying such suit in a subsequent suit/s it will be termed to bared as the principles laid down in Res Judicata shall be applied.
- The court held that the rule of Res Judicata forms the base of the public policy and the functional element is of technical nature and it co-joints with the statement that the same person or individuals shall not be vexed for the same kind of litigations which is also in the public interest so the rule of Res Judicata shall not be ignored or designate irrelevant or forbid in dealing the matters pertains to fundamental rights.
- Where in the writ, the question of the fundamental rights has not been pleaded by the party and the same has been dismissed by the High Court, the dismissal to remain binding between the parties unless it is attacked by the appropriate procedural rules mentioned in the constitution
- The biding attribute judgment which was pronounced by the court of competent jurisdiction, it signifies itself the best product of Rule of Law
- From the below table we shall extract the outcomes of which order shall constitute to bar of Res Judicata or which shall not constitute bar as to Res Judicata
|H.C Decision on writ/s Article 226||Constitute to bar||Not constitute bar||Applied in Article 32 in S.C|
|Dismissal because of laches by the party not on merits||—-||Not Constitute to bar||Can be Applicable|
|Dismissal on merits||Yes constitute to bar||—-||Not applicable|
|Dismissed order without speaking||—||Not constitute to bar||Can be Applicable|
|Dismissed order as withdrawn||—||Not constitute to bar||Can be Applicable|
|In this case, dismissed on merits||Yes constitute to bar||——||Not applicable|
- In the case of Janardan Reddy and Others v. The State of Hyderabad 4 where the High Court dismissed the writ on merits and subsequently the parties applied in Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution where the petition was entertained but dismissed at the later stage and in the case of Syed Qasim Razvi v. The State of Hyderabad, conviction which was passed by the High Court shall be held binding and can not entitle to assail the benefit of subsequent proceeding under Article 32
In this case, the supreme court rightly dismissed the petition under Article 32 of the Constitution as the high court gave its verdict by dismissing the writ of certiorari on merits and the apex concluded that it would constitute a bar of Res Judicata under the Article 32. The order has been given in the interest of the law and justifies the judgment in a prolific manner emphasizing The Doctrine of Res Judicata. The doctrine contains the characteristic of public policy which outlays the provisions of Rule of Law which creates an important ingredient in general law and Administrative law. It becomes very essential that one should be guided with the correct difference between Article 226 and Article 32, what are the parameters included in it and how it has been stretched in underlining the concept. Article 226 which has 5 writs that can be utilized to redress aggravation, which is implied for the enforcement of fundamental rights and even it belongs to more remedial coverage, but Article 32 is itself a fundamental right which empowers the Supreme court to issue a direction, orders and writs and limits only to this extent. Thus the supreme court laid down principles on the usage of Doctrine of Res Judicata and stated that it does apply when it question arises regarding Writ Petition.
“The views of the authors are personal“
1 Kingston’s case 2 Smith Lead. Cas. 13th Ed., pp. 644, 645.
2 Halsbury’s Laws of England, 3rd, Ed., Vol. 15, para. 357, P. 185.
3 Laxmanappa Hanumantappa v. The Union of India and Another, (1955) 1 S.C.R. 760, 772, 773.
4 Janardan Reddy and Others v. The State of Hyderabad 1951 AIR 217, 1951 SCR 344.