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S. 21 CPC | Subsequent Suit Seeking Further Reliefs has to Be Stayed If There Is ‘Identity Of Matter’ In Previous Litigation: Delhi HC

[18 February 2022] The Delhi High Court recently delved into an issue relating to the staying of subsequent suit under Section 10 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 where there is identity of matter with previous litigation.
Section 10 CPC stipulates that no Court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties, in the same or any other Court in India.
Justice Asha Menon remarked that the fundamental test that is to be applied to determine whether Section 10 was applicable or not, is to see whether, on the final decision being reached in the first suit, such decision would operate as res-judicata in the subsequent suit. She observed,
“Where there was “identity of matter” in both the suits i.e., the whole of the subject matter in both the proceedings were identical, even if further reliefs were claimed in the subsequent suit, it would be immaterial and the second suit would necessarily have to be stayed.”

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