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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • According to the Supreme Court, the principle of res judicata will apply to execution proceedings as well. The Court also stated that a judgement debtor cannot object to installment execution.
  • This observation was made by a Bench comprised of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasburmanian while rejecting a new objection raised by a judgment-debtor against the auction-sale proceedings in the fifth round.

WHO IS A JUDGEMENT DEBTOR

  • Judgement debtor is someone who is obligated to pay a debt or damages in accordance with a court's judgement.

WHAT IS RES JUDICATA

  • A case that has already been decided, or a matter settled by a decision or judgement, is referred to as res judicata.

BACKGROUND

  • To prevent the execution of the decree issued in 1974 in a money-suit filed for the recovery of Rs.3000, the legal representatives of the judgement debtors filed a fresh application under Section 47 of the Code of Civil Procedure in the fifth round of litigation, claiming that the sale did not follow the mandate of Rule 64 of Order XXI of the CPC.
  • In essence, Rule 64 states that only that portion of the property should be sold in order to satisfy the decree amount.
  • The application was denied by the trial court, then by the appellate court, and finally by the High Court.
  • A further appeal was filed, and the case was eventually taken to the Supreme Court.


COURT’S OBSERVATION

  • The Supreme Court noted that the Rule 64 objection had not been raised in previous rounds and was raised for the first time in 2006. Earlier rounds provided ample opportunities for the party to raise this objection.
  • "A judgment­-debtor cannot be allowed to raise objections as to the method of execution in instalments. After having failed to raise the issue in four earlier rounds of litigation, the appellants cannot be permitted to raise it now", the judgment authored by Justice Ramasubramanian observed.
  • According to the decision, the principle of res judicata will apply to Execution Proceedings as well.

What is res judicata and where and when can it be applied? Let us know in the comments below!

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