Every so often, a situation presents itself in cases in which the statements made by a man are twisted and turned by him to transfer his blame onto someone else. They go back on their words and bring a new meaning to the situation at hand.
To prevent a situation such as mentioned above, the Indian Constitution states the ‘Principle of Estoppel’ to ensure the court is not misinformed and wrong.
What is the ‘Principle of Estoppel’?
“The meaning of estoppel can be understood as when one person, either by his act or omission or by declaration, has made another person believe something to be true and persuaded that person to act upon it, then in no case can he or his representative deny the truth of that thing later in the suit or in the proceedings.”
This principle is listed in articles 115 to 117 in the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 and is a substantiative law but is rather considered a principle under the law. The basic understanding of the principle is that once a statement is made by an individual in court, through words or actions, it will be used as incriminating evidence to deter the hindrance of the law while attempting to transfer their wrongdoings onto others.
For the ‘Principle of Estoppel’ to be applicable following few conditions are a pre-requirement:
- The change of facts must be directed towards another person by the person whose statement was recorded initially.
- The changes can only be made to the facts of a case and not laws.
- The changes must be made to already established facts in the case that were made through the statements made by an evader.
- The changes made to the statement must be believable by another person in a persuasive nature.
- The person to whom this persuasive statement change is being made must be willing to act upon it.
- The person aforementioned to whom a statement change s being made must suffer the consequences of such a situation.
Types of ‘Estoppels’
- “Quasi-record”- This prevents all the parties from raising another case matter or contesting a passing judgement.
- “By deed”- Parties sign a deed that establishes facts and the said facts cannot be contested by any representing counsel or otherwise.
- “By Pais”- This type describes the basic principle of estoppel saying once a statement is made against another individual by another, he cannot change his statements.
The principle of estoppel is an extensive one, covering various aspects such as negligence, and taxes, hence forming various other types of estoppels such as contractual estoppel, and proprietary estoppel, all of which will come under estoppel and tax, followed by estoppel of negligence under estoppel and tort law and several such topics.
The principle of estoppel is an important provision as it ensures that the first statement made by a person against another is set in stone. Hence, any changes will result in legal consequences.
Although, in order for this to be applicable, a few prerequisites need to be met in order to ensure it is a matter of principle of estoppel.
The extent of matters of cases extends to various different fields hence various different forms of estoppels have been established to cover cases that differ in the subject matter.