Question: Does the principle of res judicata apply between co defendants? Give reasons in support of your answer and also refer to the case law if any, on the point. Or  Does the principle of res judicata apply between co-plaintiffs? [UPHJS. 1996, UPHJS. 1978, MPHJS. 1996, UPCJ. 2003] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal… Read More »

Question: Does the principle of res judicata apply between co defendants? Give reasons in support of your answer and also refer to the case law if any, on the point. Or Does the principle of res judicata apply between co-plaintiffs? [UPHJS. 1996, UPHJS. 1978, MPHJS. 1996, UPCJ. 2003] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Does the principle of res judicata apply between co defendants? Give reasons in support of your answer and also refer to the case law if any, on...

Question: Does the principle of res judicata apply between co defendants? Give reasons in support of your answer and also refer to the case law if any, on the point. Or Does the principle of res judicata apply between co-plaintiffs? [UPHJS. 1996, UPHJS. 1978, MPHJS. 1996, UPCJ. 2003]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Does the principle of res judicata apply between co defendants? Give reasons in support of your answer and also refer to the case law if any, on the point. Or Does the principle of res judicata apply between co-plaintiffs?]

Answer

Yes, the principle of res judicata applies between co-defendants as it was held in the case of Mahboob Sahab v. Syed Ismail, (1995) 3 SCC 693.

In the case of Mahboob Sahab v. Syed Ismail, (1995) 3 SCC 693 wherein the Supreme Court considering the applicability of the said doctrine between co-defendants held that the four conditions must be satisfied, namely-

  1. There must be a conflict of interest between defendants concerned;
  2. It must be necessary to decide the conflict in order to give reliefs which the plaintiff claims;
  3. The question between the defendants must have been finally decided, and
  4. The co-defendants were necessary or proper parties in the former suit.

The Court held that if a plaintiff cannot get his claimed relief without trying and deciding a case between the co-defendants, the court will try and decide the case in its entirety including the conflict of interest between the co-defendants and the co-defendants will be bound by the decree.

But if the relief given to the plaintiff does not require or involve a decision of any case between co-defendants, the co-defendants will not be bound between each other.

Thus, in view of the decision given in Mahboob Sahab v. Syed Ismail, (1995) 3 SCC 693, it can be said that the doctrine of ‘res judicata ‘applies in the case of co-defendants also if above mentioned four conditions are satisfied.

Example: ‘A’ sues ‘B’ ‘C and ‘D’ and in order to decide a claim of ‘A’, the court has to interpret a Will. The decision regarding the interpretation of the ‘Will’ on rival claims of the defendants will operate as res judicata in any subsequent suit by any of the defendants against the rest.

Res Judicata between Co-plaintiff

In the case of Iftikhar Ahmed v. Meharban Ali, AIR 1974 SCR (3) 464, the Supreme Court observed that doctrine of res judicata applies between the co-plaintiffs also if the conditions laid down the Privy Council in Munni Bibi v. Triloki Nath AIR (1931) 33 BOMLR 979 for the application of res judicata between co-defendants are satisfied.

Just as a matter may be res judicata between co-defendants, so also it may be res judicata between co-plaintiffs. If there is a conflict of interest between plaintiffs and it is necessary to resolve the same by a court in order to give relief to a defendant, and the matter is in fact decided, it will operate as res judicata between co-plaintiffs in the subsequent suit.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – I of X
  2. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – II of X
  3. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – III of X
  4. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – IV of X
  5. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – V of X
  6. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VI of X
  7. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VII of X
  8. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VIII of X
  9. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – IX of X
  10. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – X of X
Updated On 2021-12-16T11:55:23+05:30
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