Supreme Court Guidelines


Chhaganlal Keshavlal Mehta v. Patel Narandas Haribhai, AIR 1982 SC 121: (1982) 1 SCC 223

The difference between an admission and estoppel is a marked one. Admissions being declarations against an interest are good evidence but they are not conclusive and a party is always at liberty to withdraw admissions by proving that they are either mistaken or untrue. But estoppel creates an absolute bar. It may be pointed out that estoppel deals with questions of facts and not of rights. A man is not estopped from asserting a right which he had said that he will not assert. It is also a well-known principle that there can be no estoppel against a statute.

To bring the case within the scope of estoppel as defined in section 115 of the Evidence Act:

(1) There must be a representation by a person or his authorized agent to another in any form – a declaration, act or omission;

(2) The representation must have been of the existence of a fact and not of promises due; future or intention which might or might not be enforceable in contract;

(3)  The representation must have been meant to be relied upon;

(4)  There must have been belief on the part of the other party in its truth;

(5) There must have been action on the faith of that declaration, act or omission, that is to say, the declaration, act or omission must have actually caused another to act on the faith of it, and to alter his former position to his prejudice or detriment;

(6) The misrepresentation or conduct or omission must have been the proximate cause of leading the other party to act to his prejudice;

(7) The person claiming the benefit of an estoppel must show that he was not aware of the true state of things. If he was aware of the real state of affairs or had means of knowledge, there can be no estoppel;

(8) Only the person to whom representation was made or for whom it was designed can avail himself of it. A person is entitled to plead estoppel in his own individual character and not as a representative of his assignee.

Source: M A Rashid, Supreme Court Guidelines and Precedents


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