Judgments of Courts of Justice When Relevant (Section 40 – 44)

Section 40: Previous judgments relevant to bar a second suit or trial

The existence of any judgment, order or decree which by law prevents any Court from taking cognizance of a suit or holding a trial, is a relevant fact when the question is whether such Court ought to take cognizance of such suit or to hold such trial.


Section 41: Relevancy of certain judgments in probate, etc., jurisdiction

A final judgment, order or decree of a competent Court, in the exercise of probate, matrimonial, admiralty or insolvency jurisdiction, which confers upon or takes away from any person any legal character, or which declares any person to be entitled to any such character, or to be entitled to any specific thing, not as against any specified person but absolutely, is relevant when the existence of any such legal character, or the title of any such person to any such thing, is relevant.

Such judgment, order or decree is conclusive proof—

that any legal character which it confers accrued at the time when such judgment, order or decree came into operation;

that any legal character, to which it declares any such person to be entitled, accrued to that person at the time when such judgment, order or decree declares it to have accrued to that person;

that any legal character which it takes away from any such person ceased at the time from which such judgment, order or decree declared that it had ceased or should cease;

and that anything to which it declares any person to be so entitled was the property of that person at the time from which such judgment, order or decree declares that it had been or should be his property.


Section 42: Relevancy and effect of judgments, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in Section 41

Judgments, orders or decrees other than those mentioned in Section 41, are relevant if they relate to matters of a public nature relevant to the enquiry; but such judgments, orders or decrees are not conclusive proof of that which they state.


Section 43: Judgments, etc., other than those mentioned in Sections 40 to 42, when relevant

Judgments, orders or decrees, other than those mentioned in Sections 40, 41 and 42, are irrelevant, unless the existence of such judgment, order or decree, is a fact in issue, or is relevant under some other provision of this Act.


Section 44: Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetency of Court, may be proved

Any party to a suit or other proceeding may show that any judgment, order or decree which is relevant under Section 40, 41 or 42, and which has been proved by the adverse party, was delivered by a Court not competent to deliver it, or was obtained by fraud or collusion.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Conclusive proof and effective date :

Satish Kumar v. Laxmi Narain, AIR 2016 P&H 44 : “….A judgment in rem e. g., judgments or orders passed in admiralty, probate proceedings, etc., would always be admissible irrespective of whether they are inter parties or not. The recitals in a judgment like findings given in appreciation of evidence made or arguments or genealogies referred to in the judgment would be wholly inadmissible in a case where neither the plaintiff nor the defendant were parties.…..”


 

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