Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

Abundant or extreme caution does no harm.




The theory is usually applied to the creation of instruments in which superfluous terms are added to convey the purpose more explicitly. In general terms, the maxim refers that a great vigilance does not hurt.

Case Laws

In Gokaraju Rangaraju Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court held that “the statutes are full of provisions introduced because of abundans cautela non nocet (there is no harm in being cautious). Where judicial pronouncements have already proclaimed the law on the subject, the substantive reiteration of the law with respect to the particular cases do not lead to the requisite conclusion that the law established by the judgments was not found relevant to particular cases.”

In George vs. George, the Kerala High Court held that “It is made clear by way of abundant caution (abundans cautela non nocet) that if the parties of the second part required concurrence or authority of the parties of the first part for any of the purposes aforementioned parties of the first part shall join in such document or act necessary for the above purpose or give letters or execute deeds or other documents expressing their consent to the proposals of the parties of the second part for raising money provided that the parties of the first part shall not be bound to meet any obligation personally in respect of such transaction.”

In Satpuda Tapi Parisar Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. Vs. Jagruti Industries and anr., the Mumbai High Court cited the above maxim and held that “the reintroduction of Section 9A by the State Legislature was based on the principle of’ Abundans cautela non nocet and the action to obtain consent from the Honorable President. Therefore, precisely because such consent is not obtained until the Central Amendment Act of 1999 and the Central Amendment Act of 2002 have come into effect, it cannot be claimed that the provisions of Section 9A are abolished pursuant to Sections 32 and 16 of the respective Acts, because that section is essentially in no way incompatible with either of the provisions of Central Act.”

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