Types of Estoppel

Estoppel by Matter of Record or Estoppel by Res Judicata

Estoppel by record means nothing more generally than that the matter is res Judicata. It belongs more properly to the province of the pure procedure and is so dealt with in the Indian legislation. Res judicata is an estoppels by judgment. It embraces all those rules, the common characteristic of which is that final judicial decision of a tribunal of competent jurisdiction, once pronounced between parties litigant, cannot be contradicted by anyone, as against any other of such parties, in any subsequent litigation between the same parties respecting the same subject-matter. There is a difference in the principles upon which the doctrines of res judicata and estoppel by representation are based. Res judicata in this country is founded on the principle that there should be an end to litigation as to any issue between the parties when once that issue has been directly determined between them by a Court of competent jurisdiction, and it affects not only the original parties but all others afterwards claiming under them and litigating under the same title. It bars fresh litigation at the outset. Estoppel by representation is a rule of evidence based on the principle that a man, who by his acts or statements has induced another to believe a thing to be true, should not afterwards be heard to deny the truth of that thing to the prejudice of the other who acted upon the belief so induced. Res judicata ousts the jurisdiction of the Court, while estoppel merely shuts the mouth of a party. Estoppel does not forces and effect of judgment depend on (1) nature of proceedings (2) forum on which it was pronounced mean anything more than that a person shall not be allowed to say one thing at one time and the opposite of it at another time while res judicata means nothing more than that a person shall not be heard to say the same thing twice over. Estoppel by res judicata extends also to matters of admission fundamental to the decision. A judgment by consent or default is as effective an estoppel between the parties as a judgment whereby the Court exercises its mind on a contested case.

Estoppel by Deed

The rule of estoppel binds the parties to the instrument and those claiming through them by deed. An estoppel by deed is a preclusion against the competent parties to a valid sealed contract and their privies, to deny its force and effect by any evidence of inferior solemnity. The tendency in modern times is, to treat estoppel by deed as resting upon contract and as merely a form of estoppel by representation. The doctrine of estoppel by deed in its technical sense cannot be said to exist in India. In Indian law, a representation contained in a document of however formal a character, being merely an admission, is not conclusive, and does not operate as an estoppel, unless the party to whom the representation was made has acted upon it and thus altered his position. A representation contained in a formal deed is not clothed with any special sanctity in this country, except that in certain cases it excludes oral evidence to the contrary.

Estoppel by Matters in paiis

“Estoppel by matters in Paiis” (also, pais) is defined by Blackstone as an “assurance transacted between two or more private persons in pais, in the country, that, is, upon the very spot to be transferred”.Estoppel in paiis is said to arise, firstly, from agreement or- contract; secondly independently of contract, from act or conduct of misrepresentation which has a change of position in accordance with the real or apparent intentions of the party against whom the estoppel is alleged. The Act deals with the subject of in pais in sections 115-117. The rules contained in sections 116 and 117 are instances of the estoppel by contract. Other cases which have been included under that designation will be found to fall within the purview of section 115, which, however, primarily appears to refer to what is known as estoppel by representation.

Equitable Estoppel

The modern law of estoppel owes immensely to the doctrine of equity being founded on the incidents of contracts or relations analogous to contracts coupled with the representations of parties by a declaration, act, or omission. Estoppels that are not provided by statute law may, in this country, be termed equitable estoppels. A man may be estopped not only from giving particular evidence, but from doing acts, or relying upon any particular arguments or contention which the rules of equity conscience prevent his using as against his opponent. This doctrine also applies to a case where a person is given an unequivocal assurance and On the faith thereof, he acts detrimental to his interest and he then suffers an irretrievable injury in that pursuit. In such a case having made a promise, the maker thereof is precluded to resile therefrom.

However it has been held that section 115 is not exhaustive and there may be rules of estoppel which may be applicable in India other than what is contained in that section.

Proprietary Estoppel

A legal precedent that will prevent a party from denying the right that another party has in the first party’s property. The second party will have had costs in relation to the first party’s property. Until 1986 the doctrine of proprietary estoppel was used as a way to bar litigants from asserting their strict proprietary rights. The doctrine had not been used to give effect to promises to leave property to someone in the future. It has developed into one of equity’s sharpest instruments in its intervention in the common law and statutory regulation of land and the distribution of assets on death. In such a manner, there is a balance to be struck between the need to hold people for their bargains and promises.

In the case of Cobbe v Yeoman’s Row Management, the essentials of proprietary estoppels were taken into consideration. The House of Lords in this case stated that Cobbe cannot make a claim of proprietary estoppel, and also negated on the aspect of acquiring an interest as regards to a constructive trust.

Promissory Estoppel

The legal enforcement of a promise. Made by words or conduct to the promisee without the consideration of the detriment it may cause. The doctrine of promissory estoppel does not fall within the scope of section 115 as the section talks about representations made as to existing facts whereas promissory estoppel deals with future promises.

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