Whether a decision of a criminal court operates as ‘Res Judicata’ in a subsequent civil proceeding?
It has been held by Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of “Adi Pherozshah Gandhi v. H. M. Seervai, Advocate General of Maharashtra, Bombay” [reported in AIR 1971 SC 385] that…..
“Now in disciplinary proceedings the advocate was not estopped from questioning the charge that he was guilty of corrupt practice. In a civil proceeding the decision of a criminal court is not res judicata. To give an example, if a person is involved in a traffic offence in which someone is injured he may in the criminal court receive a light sentence but if he is sued in a civil court for heavy damages he can plead and prove that he was not negligent or that accident was due to the contributory negligence of the defendant. The decision of the criminal court would not preclude him from raising this issue before the civil court.”