Manipur HC | Mere dismissal of earlier suit which was not decided on merits would not attract ‘res judicata’

Manipur High Court: Kh. Nobin Singh, J. allowed civil revision petition questioning the validity and correctness of the order passed by the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Imphal East.

In the present case, a suit was instituted by the petitioner in a land dispute, without the originals of the documents being filed in support of his case. When he realised his mistake, he filed an application praying for leave to file original documents which was rejected on the ground that the sufficient cause for non-production of the documents was not shown and that the provision of law under which the application had been filed, was not mentioned in the application. The second application was filed by the petitioner stating that he simply signed the application drafted by his counsel and due to lack of communication and under the impression that since the copies of the documents had been filed, their originals would be allowed to be filed without any objection. The Court of Civil Judge, Senior Division dismissed the application on the ground that the application was barred by the principles of ‘res judicata’ being a successive application in the same court on the same facts. Aggrieved thereby, the petitioner filed the instant civil revision petition before the High Court.

The Court observed, “the earlier application had been rejected on technical grounds and not on merits.” Reliance was placed on the judgment of the Supreme Court in Kewal Chand Mimani v. S.K. Sen, (2001) 6 SCC 512, where it was held, “if the earlier suit had not been decided on merits, the mere dismissal thereof could be of no help in invoking the principles of res judicata.”

The Court held that the principles of ‘res judicata’ would not be applicable in the instant case as the same applies to a case “where the earlier application or for that matter, a suit or any petition has been decided on merit and that too, between the same parties.”

Thus, the petition was allowed and parties were directed to appear before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Imphal West.[Moiranthem Basanta Singh v. Thockchom Mangol Singh, 2019 SCC OnLine Mani 63, decided on 02-05-2019]

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.