Can the validity of a decree passed on a compromise be challenged in a separate suit is the short question that falls for determination in this appeal.-NO


Lower court decreed the suit as prayed- Appeal filed – pending appeal a compromise petition filed – High court allowed the appeal as per the terms of compromise and set aside the lower court decree – I.A. filed stating that the compromise petition and memorandum are not signed by appellant and also filed suit challenging the same – defendant filed Or.7,Rule 11(d) C.P.C. – for rejection of plaint as per the provisions of Order XXIII Rule  3  CPC  and  in  particular Rule 3A which bars a suit to have a  compromise  decree  set  aside  on  the ground that the compromise on which the  decree  had  been  passed  did  not exist or take place– plaint rejected – High court declined to entertain the I.A. filed for setting aside the compromise decree as it was obtained by playing fraud on the court with forged signatures of appellant – Apex court held that it is a settled law that
"3. Compromise of suit. –
Where it is proved  to  the  satisfaction  of  the
Court that a suit has  been  adjusted  wholly  or  in  part  by  any  lawful
agreement or compromise [in writing and signed by  the  parties],  or  where
the defendant satisfies the plaintiff in respect of the whole  or  any  part
of the subject-matter of the suit, the Court  shall  order  such  agreement,
compromise or satisfaction to be  recorded,  and  shall  pass  a  decree  in
accordance therewith [so far it relates to the parties to the suit,  whether
or not the subject-matter of the agreement, compromise, or  satisfaction  is
the same as the subject-matter of the suit]:

[Provided that where it is alleged by one party  and  denied  by  the  other
that an adjustment or satisfaction has been  arrived  at,  the  Court  shall
decide the question; but no adjournment shall be granted for the purpose  of
deciding the question, unless the Court, for reasons to be recorded,  thinks
fit to grant such adjournment.]

Explanation - An agreement or compromise which is  void  or  voidable  under
the Indian Contract Act, 1872 shall not be deemed to be  lawful  within  the
meaning of this rule."
Therefore, the only remedy available to a party to a  consent  decree
to avoid such consent decree, is to approach the court  which  recorded  the
compromise and made a decree in terms of it, and establish  that  there  was
no compromise. In that event, the court which recorded the  compromise  will
itself consider and decide the question as to  whether  there  was  a  valid
compromise or not. This is so  because  a  consent  decree  is  nothing  but
contract between parties superimposed with  the  seal  of  approval  of  the
court. The validity of a consent decree depends wholly on  the  validity  of

the agreement or compromise on which it is made.

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