JUDGMENTS OF COURTS OF JUSTICE, WHEN RELEVANT – EVIDENCE ACT

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.

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

A final judgment, order or decree of a Competent Court, in exercise of probate, matrimonial, admiralty or insolvency jurisdiction, which confers upon or to take 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 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 come into operation;
That any legal character to which it declares and 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 to which it takes away from any such person ceased at the time from which such judgment, order or decree declared that it had cased 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.

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42. Relevancy and effect of judgment, order 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 inquiry; but such judgments, orders or decrees are not conclusive proof of that which they state. 

Illustrations-
A sues B for trespass on his land, B alleges the existence of a public right of way over the land, which A denies.
The existence of a decree in favour of the defendant, in a suit by A against C or a trespass on the same land, in which C alleged the existence of the same right of way, is relevant, but it is not conclusive proof that the right of ways exists.

43. Judgment etc, other than those mentioned in Section 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. 

Illustrations
(a) A and B separately sue C for a libel which reflects upon each of them C in each case says that the matter alleged to libellous is true and the circumstances are such that it is probable true in each case, or in neither.
A obtains a decree against C for damages on the ground that C filed The Orient Tavern make out his justification. The fact is irrelevant as between B and C. 

(b) A prosecutes B for adultery with C, A’s wife.
B denies that C is A’s wife, but the court convicts B of adultery.
Afterwards, C is prosecuted for bigamy in marrying B during A’s lifetime. CC says that she never was A’s wife.
The judgment against B is irrelevant as against C.

(c) A prosecuted B for stealing a cow, from him, B is convicted.
The existence of the judgment is relevant, as showing motive for a crime.
A, afterwards, sues C for cow. Which B had sold to him before his conviction. As between A and C, the judgment against B is irrelevant.

(d) A has obtained a decree for the possession of land against A, C, B’s son murders A in consequence.

(e) A is charged with theft and with having been previously convicted of theft. The previous conviction is relevant as a fact in issue.

(f) A is tried for the murder of B. The fact that B prosecuted A for libel and that A was convicted and sentenced is relevant under Section 8 as showing the motive for the fact in issue.

44. Fraud or collusion in obtaining judgment, or incompetence 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.

Next,
Section 45 to Section 51 – Opinions of Third Persons when relevant→

WritingLaw » Indian Evidence Act, 1872 » JUDGMENTS OF COURTS OF JUSTICE, WHEN RELEVANT – Section 40-44 of Evidence Act Law Study Material by WritingLaw
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