Devilal Modi v. STO

Case Name : Devilal Modi v. STO, AIR 1965 SC 1150.

Author : Pallabi Paul


AIR 1996 P&H 107.


Gajendragadkar, P.B. (Cj), Wanchoo, K.N., Hidayatullah, M., Dayal, Raghubar, Mudholkar, J.R


A Challenged the validity of the assessment order provided for in Article 226. The petition had been rejected on merits. Also the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal against that order on merits.

Another petition in the same High Court filed another writ against the same assessment order by taking some additional grounds. The appeal was rejected in grounds by the High Court. The Supreme Court, on appeal, ruled that the petition had been barred by the principle of constructive res judicata.

The Court held that a party may file as many petitions as it likes if constructive res judicata is not applied to such proceedings and take one or two points each time. That is obviously contradictory to the public policy principles on which res judicata is based, and would result in harassment.


In this case, the appellant.was charged as a sales tax and a written appeal was filed in the High Court where questioned  the valuation order of the appellant. The High Court dismissed the complaint and after that the appellant filed a  appeal to the Supreme Court.

It tried to raise additional points. The appeal was dismissed, and the further arguments were not allowed and controversies and questions the appraisal order for the same year on  merits. On appeal the High Court dismissed the petition to the Supreme Court.


The basic question that emerged for consideration was whether the concept of positive res judicata was extended to this petition in writing?


The Court rejected the appeal, because in these situations the principle of positive res judicata is valid. While the courts dealing with infringement issues must strive continuously to maintain them

It would not be right to fully disregard the concept of res judicata in dealing with them and to strike down their unlawful invasion