Q. ‘A’ files a suit against ‘B’ for recovery of possession of a house situated at Juhu (Mumbai) on the basis of a sale deed executed by ‘B’. The suit is heard and dismissed by a court of competent jurisdiction ‘A’ after two years again files a suit against ‘B’ for the same house on the same ground which he had asserted in previous suit, in the same court. Can the court try the subsequent suit filed by ‘A’ against ‘B’? Give reasons for your answer. Sail (Steel Authority of India) Law Officer Exam 2006 (Based on memory).
Ans: No, court cannot try the subsequent suit filed by ‘A’ against ‘B’—-Section——Section 11 (Res-judicata).
Reasons: This problem is based on Section 11 of Civil Procedure Code which deals with doctrine of ‘res judicata’. The relevant part of Section 11 on which this problem is based speaks that no court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter directly and substantially in issue has been directly and substantially in issue in a former suit between the same parties litigating under 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.
In the instant case matter directly and substantially in issue in subsequent suit i.e., recovery of possession of house at Juhu (Mumbai) was directly and substantially in issue in former suit and all other conditions of Section 11 (same parties, same subject-matter and court of competent jurisdiction etc.) are also satisfied. Thus, subsequent suit by ‘A’ against ‘B’ is barred by res judicata and the court cannot try the subsequent suit again.
Source: Kishor Prasad, Problems & Solutions in Civil Law (Universal)