Sulochana Amma v. Narayan Nair (Section 11)

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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, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the 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.

Explanation VIII.-An issue heard and finally decided by a Court of limited jurisdiction, competent to decide such issue, shall operate as res judicata in as subsequent suit, notwithstanding that such Court of limited jurisdiction was not competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in which such issue has been subsequently raised.

Facts: Wife of K by a settlement deed gave life estate to K and vested the remainder in favour of the Respondent (Narayan Nair). K, after the death of his wife, alienated the property by a registered sale deed in favour of N and C The respondent files a suit in the District Munsif court to restrain K from alienating the property and committing the acts of waste. Pending the suit the appellant purchased the suit property from N and C. The Trial Court decreed the suit and issued the permanent injunction. The appeal filed by K was dismissed. The appellant being not a party to the earlier suit, the respondent filed a second suit this time against K and the appellant for perpetual injunction restraining them from committing the acts of waste. The suit was decreed. Therein the validity of the appellant title was left open. The respondent filed a third suit in the court of subordinate judge for a declaration of his title and possession against the appellant. The trial court decreed the suit and granted mense profits. On appeal, it was confirmed. The second appeal was dismissed. Thus this appeal by special leave of the appellant.

Issue: Whether the decree of  District Munsif Court though of limited pecuniary jurisdiction would operate as res- judicata in the subsequent suit between the same parties?

Holding:  Court held that decree of District Munsif Court though of Limited pecuniary jurisdiction would operate as res- judicata in the subsequent suit between the same parties.

In a suit for an injunction when the title is in issue for the purpose of granting an injunction, the issue directly and substantially arises in that suit between the parties. When the same issue is put in issue in a later suit based on title between the same parties or their privies in a subsequent suit the decree in the injunction suit equally operates as res judicata.

Therefore, even the decree founded on equitable relief in which the issue was directly and substantially in issue and decided, and attained finality, would operate as res judicata in a subsequent suit based on the title where the same issue directly and substantially arises between the parties.

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