Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

With the intention to return




It applies primarily to refer to an animal that is under the care of another. Under the concept of animus revertendi, any animal that strayed away from the owner’s property onto public land cannot be killed and taken without any compensation to the original caretaker. It was originally fabricated to protect the rights of livestock holders that had free-ranging animals.


A man retains his domicil if he leaves it animo revertendi.

Case Laws

In P.Kalyanasundaram vs. K.Paquialatchamy, the Madras High observed that “the case of the husband is that the wife had left the house with the intention to leave the matrimonial home; therefore, the mere statement/expression of intention to return is not sufficient; that is, mere animus revertendi is not sufficient to terminate the act of desertion; that intention must be coupled with factum revertendi, that is the wife should have in fact returned to the matrimonial home.”

In Mohini Bhiryomal Hingorani vs. Bhanubhai Manilal Patel, Gujarat High Court observed that ‘One will have also to take into consideration the factor of animus revertendi, the factor whether the house was kept fit for occupation, whether the house was from time to time, no doubt intermittently used as a house for the purpose of residence of the tenant.’

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