PRINCIPLE OF ESTOPPEL
Rajesh, a student got mark-sheet from Haryana Education Board, showing that he had passed in Biology, Physics and Chemistry with good marks. Rajesh as a matter of fact had never opted or appeared for biology. However, he remained silent and sought admission in 1st year if M.B.B.S course at Guru Nanak Dev Medical College. When he had to appear in his 1st professional course of M.B.B.S, Haryana Board realising the error, served a notice on him for wrong mark-sheet. Subsequently, the Medical College cancelled the admission. Rajesh consults for using estoppel against Haryana Board. Decide.
The main issue which is involved in the present case is whether the estoppel should be applied upon Haryana Board.
The concept of estoppel is based upon the principle of justice and equity and founded upon public policy. Being a public law, the main aim of this law is to estop the person from denying his previous statement and to give relief to person who has acted upon that statement only because of faith and trust. This principle of estoppel tries to protect the faith and trust of an innocent party.
Section 115 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, deals with the provisions of Doctrine of Estoppel. According to this section, if one person only because of declaration made by another person acts upon that declaration after believing it true, then if in future, any dispute arises between the parties, the latter party cannot deny his declaration before the court of law.
In the leading case of Pickard vs Sears, the Hon’ble court held that the doctrine of estoppel is applicable where: –
- One party by his words or actions makes a representation
- The other party believing in his words acts on that representation
- Or alters his position, then the party would not be allowed to deny the things he previously said.
According to the provisions of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, simply, it means when a party because of declaration made by another party changes his position and it becomes difficult for him to go back to his previous position, then in such a case, if the latter party tries to deny his declaration, the court has power to estop him from denying the declaration made by him.
In the leading case of Maritime E. Co. vs. General Diaries, the Hon’ble Court held that the estoppel is only a rule of evidence which can bring the party to an action. It cannot give rise to a cause of action.
According to the provisions of Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the principle of estoppel applies upon a person only if another person changes his position after believing the declaration made by former person true. If the person who changes the position knows that the declaration is false, then in such a case, the principle of estoppel is not applicable.
In the leading case of Perma Nand vs. Champa Lal and ors. (All 1955), the Hon’ble court held that if the party to whom the representation was being made somehow recognizes that it was a false representation then he would not be entitled to the claim of the doctrine of estoppel.
In the present case, Rajesh knew that he had not opted or appeared for biology and the mark-sheet has been sent by Haryana Board due to any mistake. So, it is clear that Rajesh has not changed his position after believing the declaration made by the Haryana Board true. He himself has committed a fraud by accepting the mark-sheet of biology which has been issued by the Haryana Board due to any mistake.
Hence, it is evident that the principle of estoppel is not applicable upon the Haryana Board.