Legal Maxim

Home » Accessorium Principale Sequitur

Literal Meaning

The accessory follows the principal




The maxim explains that an accessory thing does not lead but follows the principal thing to which it is accessory. The grant of a reversion will also include a rent incident thereto, so heirlooms follow the inheritance.

Case Laws

In Malik vs. Union of India and another, the court while referring to the above maxim, stated that when the principal right is lawfully extinguished, the alternative right, which is accessory to the principal right, cannot survive. The accessory right does not lead but follows its principal. Thus, when the obligation of the principal is extinguished by release or discharge, the obligation of the surety is also extinguished.

In Shaik Madhu vs. Shaik Sahar Ali, the court held that if the maxim, Accessorium non-ducit sed sequitur suum principale, upon which the doctrine of accession is based, is applicable to the original owner, there is no intelligible reason why it should not apply equally to the Receiver who holds possession for his ultimate benefit.