Monthly Archives: December 2019

Consent Decree – Does Not Operate As Res Judicata

In Pulvarthi Venkata Subba Rao v. Valluri Jagannadha Rao, AIR 1967 SC 591, the Hon’ble Supreme Court specifically repelled the contention that a compromise decree would operate as res-judicata, though accepted that it may create estoppel by conduct—

          “The compromise decree was not a decision by the Court. It was the acceptance by the Court of something to which the parties had agreed. It has been said that a compromise decree merely sets the seal of the Court on the agreement of the parties. The court did not decide anything. Nor can it be said that a decision of the court was implicit in it. Only a decision by the Court could be res judicata, whether statutory under section 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, or constructive as a matter of public policy on which the entire doctrine rests.“

          A full bench of the Hon’ble Allahabad High court in Parma Nand v. Champa Lal, AIR 1956 All 225, explained the various types of estoppel, as follows:

          “Under the English, estoppel is of three kinds; estoppel is of three kinds; estoppel by judgment, estoppel by deed and and estoppel by pais.”

          In Baldev Shivlal v. Filmistan Distributors India (P) Ltd., (1969) 2 SCC 201, the Hon’ble Apex Court again specifically held that “a consent decree, according to the decisions of the Court, does not operate as Res Judicata, because a consent decree is merely the record of a contract between the parties to a suit, to which is superadded the seal of the court. A matter in contest in a suit may operate as res judicata only if there is an adjudication by the Court: the terms of Section 11 of the Code leave no scope for a contrary view. Manoj v. Smt. Devendri Devi, 2019 (137) ALR 445.    

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