Whether the principle of ‘Res Judicata’ applies to Writ Petitions?

In the case of “Pujari Bai V/s. Madan Gopal” [reported in AIR-1989 -SC -1764], it has been held that general principles of res judicata would apply to writ proceedings. But when a writ petition is disposed of on contest by a speaking order, if operates as res judicata. When it is dismissed on the ground of availability of alternative remedy the finding in such earlier writ petition does not operate as res judicata in the subsequent writ petition.

Whether the principle of ‘Res Judicata’ applies to Habeas Corpus Petitions?

The question relating to res judicata in habeas corpus petition was considered by Hon’ble Apex Court in several cases. It has been held by Hon’ble Apex Court in case of Srikant Vs. District Magistrate, Bijapur & Ors [reported in 2007(1) SCC 486] that, this principle of public policy is entirely inapplicable to illegal detention and does not bar a subsequent petition for a writ of habeas corpus on fresh grounds, which were not taken in the earlier petition for the same relief. Whether any new ground has been taken, has to be decided by the Court dealing with the application and no hard and fast rule can be laid down in that regard. But one thing is clear, it is the substance and not the form which is relevant. If some surgical changes are made with the context, substance and essence remaining the same, it cannot be said that challenge is on new or fresh grounds,

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