Section 10 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 deals with Stay of Civil Suits. It is also called Res Sub-Judice.
- “Res” means “matter” and “sub-judice” means “pending” read together it implies “subject matter which is pending in the court of law”.
- In other words, this rule applies where the matter is already pending before a competent court for the purpose of adjudication.
- In other way, no court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly(सीधे) and substantially (काफी हद तक) in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties and that the court in which the previous suit is pending is competent to grant the relief claimed.
- Here the court is competent to trail the matter but court will not proceed because the same subject matter between the same party is pending in the same court or any other court in India.
Section 10 of the Code Defines that “ No court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title where such suit is pending in the same or any other court in India having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or in any court beyond the limits of India established or constituted by the Central Government and having like jurisdiction, or before the Supreme Court of India”.
Explanation– The pendency of a suit in foreign court does not preclude the courts in India from trying a suit founded on the same cause of action.
Conditions for Applying of Res Sub-Judice
The implementation of this section depends on the following conditions-
- For applying Res Sub-Judice there must be two suits, one previously instituted and the other subsequently instituted.
- The matter which is in issue in the subsequent suit must be directly and substantially in issue in the previous suit.
- Both the suits previously and subsequently instituted must be between the same parties or their representatives.
- The previously instituted suit must be pending in the same court in which the subsequent suit has been filed or in any other court in India or in any court beyond the limits of India established or continued by the Central Government or before the Supreme Court of India.
- The court in which the previous suit is instituted must have jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed in the subsequent suit.
- Both parties must be litigating under the same title in both the suits.
- If the above conditions are satisfied then the court cannot proceed with the subsequent instituted suit as the provisions contained in Section 10 are mandatory, and the court have no discretion regarding these provisions.
- Res Sub-Judice does not apply on an issue (facts in which suit is in process) rather it applies upon the entire suit, therefore all the issues in both the suits should be substantially same, if some individual issues are common then Res Sub-Judice will not apply upon the entire suit.
- It does not take away the power of the court to examine the merits of the suit. If the court is satisfied that the subsequent suit can be decided solely on legal points, then the bar of res sub-judice will not apply and the court will decide that matter.
- If the former suit is pending in a foreign court then on the same subject matter between same parties, the application of res sub-judice will not apply in any court in India.
National Institute Of Medical Health & Neuro Sciences VS. C.Parameshwara, (2005) S.C
Aspi Jal VS. Khushroo Rustom Dadyburjor, (2013) SC
In both the Cases the Hon’ ble Supreme Court held-
- That the Res Sub-judice will apply only if all the matter in issue are substantial the same in both previous and the subsequent suit.
- The real test for applicability of Res Sub-judice is whether the previously instituted suit was heard and finally decided, as it will operate as Res-judicata for the subsequent suit, if it is so then the subsequent suit must be stayed.
Nature and Scope
- Stay of proceedings means that no court should proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit which is between the same parties and the court before which the previously Instituted suit is pending is competent to grant the relief claimed.
- The rule of Res Sub-judice applies to trial of a suit and not on the institution thereof. It also does not preclude a court from passing interim orders, such as grant of injunction or stay, appointment of receiver, etc. It however applies to appeals and revisions.
Objects of Res Sub-judice
The object of rules contained in Section 10 of the Code are as follow-
- To prevent the courts of concurrent jurisdiction from simultaneously entertaining and adjudicating upon two parallel litigation in respect of the same cause of action, the same subject matter and the same relief.
- To avoid the possibility of two contradictory verdicts by one and the same court in respect of the same relief.
- This provision protect the parties from multiplicity of proceedings and to avoid a conflict of decisions.
- The other object of Res Sub-judice/Stay of Proceeding is to avert inconvenience to the parties and gives effect to the rule of Res-Judicata.
- The provisions of this section does not bar the institution of a suit, but only bars a trial, if all the said conditions are fulfilled. Therefore the subsequent suit cannot be dismissed by a court, but only has power to stay the same.
Res Judicata and Res Sub-Judice
- Res Judicata applies to the matter adjudicated whereas Res Sub-Judice applies to a matter which is pending before the court.
- Res Judicata bars the trial of the suit and issues which has been decided in a formal suit, whereas Res Sub-Judice bars the trial of a subsequent suit which is pending for decision.
Inherent Power to Stay
If the provision of section 10 of the code is not applied strictly by the court, then the Court has inherent power under Section 151 of the Code to stay the suit to achieve the ends of justice.
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