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Naman P. Charan (Shop)     08 March 2021


Difference between res judicata and principle of estoppel?


 4 Replies

G.L.N. Prasad (Retired employee.)     09 March 2021

Please search google for a detailed explanation with case laws.

In simple "Res judicata" is that a judgment was delivered already in the same issue already and there is no scope for further litigation on that issue.

The doctrine of estoppel is when there is a duty to speak or deny or the other party maintaining silence at an appropriate time in the issue, can not later deny or dispute on such facts.

Please remember this is only a general understanding for a common man, and both the issues are complicated with several exemptions and applications limited to a particular fact.

1 Like

aditi srivastava   01 April 2021

respected sir

The point of origination of res judicata is a judgement in a former suit by the court whereas the estoppel is originated by the act of the parties themselves. The reason for the development of the doctrine of res judicata is for the public policy, which means an end to litigation, while the estoppel is rather based on the principles of equity, which means it bars the multiplicity of representations. On the other hand res judicata bars the multiplicity of suits.

Authoritatively, res judicata is a bar on the jurisdiction of a court, and is a basic test to institute a suit whereas, as mentioned before, estoppel is only a doctrine observed in evidence and disables the parties to speak further. In the lines of prohibitory values of both, both doctrines in one way or the other prohibits something, for which the res judicata prohibits a man averring the same thing in successive litigations whereas estoppel prevents a person from saying one thing which he has said before and consequences have arrived thereafter. And the last point of difference between both doctrines is the binding nature that can be showed by observing the doctrines in general. In res judicata, both the parties are subject to the application of res judicata since both has approached a subsequent court for the same matter to be adjudicated upon therefore its binding effect is on both the litigants. On the other hand, in case of estoppel, occurrence of a binding effect is only on the party who had made the previous statement or conduct through which the course of litigants have changed and thereby only that person will have to suffer the binding force.


1 Like

sneha jaiswal   11 April 2021

Hello, Greetings of the day,

In simple words,  Estoppel is that standard which disallows an individual from repudiating what was before said by him in the court of law.

On the other hand,  Res judicata is that standard which disallows different courts from settling on a similar matter, between similar gatherings which has effectively been chosen by a competent court.

Hope it helps


Sneha Jaiswal

Preksha Goyal   14 May 2021

In the term Res Judicata, Res means “the subject matter” and Judicata means “adjudged” or decided, and together it means “a matter adjudged or decided”. For example, ‘A’ filed a lawsuit in which the defendants requested the court to dismiss the lawsuit with a plea of Res Judicata. She was barred from bringing a claim of Res Judicata because her previous claim was dismissed for fraud. The court held that the defense of Res Judicata must be proved by evidence.

The term estoppel means that a person cannot contradict, deny or declare to be false the previous statement that was made by him in the Court. When a person either by his act, omission, or declaration has made another person believe something to be true and even persuaded that person to act upon it, then in no case can he or any of his representative can deny the truth of that thing in the suit or its proceedings.

The differences between Estoppel and Res Judicata are:

  1. Estoppel results from the acts of the parties whereas the principle of Res Judicata result from the court's decision.
  2. Estoppel proceeds upon the doctrine of equity whereas the principle of Res Judicata proceed on the grounds of public policy.
  3. Estoppel prevents a man from changing his statements from time to time whereas the principle of Res Judicata prevents him from arriving for the same thing in the successive litigation.
  4. The rule Estoppel prevents any person from setting up, what he calls truth whereas the theory of Res Judicata is to presume conclusively, the truth of the former decisions.
  5. Estoppel is only a rule of evidence whereas the principle of Res Judicata outs the jurisdiction of the court to try the case.

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