Might and Ought

Hon’ble Justice S Rangarajan in Delhi Cloth & General Mills Co. Ltd., ILR (1975) II Delhi 174 noticed:

“The words employed – might and ought – are cumulative; they are not in the alternative.”

The words ‘might’ and ‘ought’ are used in a conjunctive sense. Lord Morris in Kameswar Pershad, 1892 SCC Online PC 16 held:

“That it ‘might’ have been, made a ground of attack is clear. That it ‘ought’ to have been, appears to their Lordships to depend upon the particular fact of each case. Where matters are so dissimilar that their union might lead to confusion, the construction of the word ‘ought’ would become important; in this case the matters were the same.”

In deciding whether the matter ought to have been urged in the earlier proceedings, the Court will have due regard to the ambit of the earlier proceedings and the nexus which the matter bears to the nature of the controversy. In holding that a matter ought to have been taken as a ground of attack or defence in the earlier proceedings, the Court is indicating that the matter is of such a nature and character and bears such a connection with the controversy in the earlier case that the failure to raise it in that proceeding would debar the party from agitating it in the future.”

 Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Asgar v. Mohan Varma, [Civil Appeal No. 1500 of 2019].