FAQ's

B&B Associates, Author at B&B Associates LLP
Persona Non Grata

Literal meaning

Person not welcome

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim has evolved in the field of diplomatic relations and such a declaration means that the foreign diplomat is unwelcome in that country; he is not permitted to enter or continue to stay in a particular country. Just as the principle of diplomatic immunity provides protection to the State sending the diplomat, this principle of persona non grata safeguards the interests of the receiving State. Such a statement could be given either before the diplomat even arrives at the receiving state, or after he has started carrying out his functions. Therefore, not every statement results in the diplomat’s expulsion, but if it does, it has to be in conformity with Article 41 of the Vienna Convention, 1961.

Illustration

State X sends a diplomat to State Y.  Due to war, or severed relations between the States, or due to some offense committed by the diplomat, State X can issue a statement declaring the diplomat to be persona non grata (unwelcome) to their State.

Cases

In 2016, Surjeet Singh an Indian national was declared persona non grata by the Government of Pakistan. This happened shortly after the Government of India detained a Pakistani diplomat before his expulsion, thereby causing a violation of the Vienna Convention of 1961. Therefore, this incident was on account of the strained relations between the two states. This case led to his expulsion from the country.

In 2014, Devyani Khobragade incident occurred; she was an Indian diplomat in New York. She was accused of stating false information to enter the country, and committing visa fraud for her servant. Upon request, India refused to waive its immunity and charge the diplomat in the Court. Hence, the United States applied this principle and declared her an unwanted diplomat, leading to her expulsion from the country.

In 2013, Jagmeet Singh, was a Canadian MPP, was barred from traveling to India by application of this principle. He was the first sitting member from a Western Legislature, whose visa was canceled for travel to India. This was primarily based on the accusation that he was linked to the Khalistan Extremists settled in Canada, who had bombed Air Flight 182 causing a deadly incident.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Ayushi Goyal during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Ayushi is a 4th-year law student at Christ University, Bangalore.

Nolle Prosequi

Literal meaning

Unwilling to pursue

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim means that there is no longer a will to pursue the case forward. It is generally applied by a judge or the prosecutor with respect to a criminal case. In some instances, it is also used by a plaintiff during a civil case. It could be applied either before or during the trial proceedings. Once this maxim is used the case will not proceed further and all charges against the defendant will be dropped.

In a few jurisdictions, this maxim is not applicable and the case is simply dismissed in such circumstances. This includes countries like New York and India. The difference between the two is that, once this maxim is used, it implies that the case never happened and the charges were never framed; therefore there can be no instance of double jeopardy, unlike cases that are dismissed.

Illustration

This maxim is used when the charges cannot be proved, or the evidence submitted has indicated innocence or a major flaw in the claim of the prosecution or the district attorney is convinced that the accused is not guilty.

Case Laws

In People vs. Daniels, 187 Ill. 2d 301 (1999), the Court had held that by application of this maxim the defendant is not acquitted but all charges against him are dropped.

In Kenyon vs. Com., 37 Va. App. 668 (2002) ¸ it was held that the consequence of this maxim is that the case can still be filed again and be prosecuted by fresh charges document. This is sometimes done ‘with prejudice’, whereby the prosecution in such cases can never re-file the charges against the defendant for the same case.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Ayushi Goyal during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Ayushi is a 4th-year law student at Christ University, Bangalore. 

Animus Nocendi

Literal meaning

Mind to Harm

Origin

Latin

Explanation

In criminal jurisprudence, the maxim animus nocendi is indicative of a state of mind of the criminal offender. It denotes that the offender has the actual and exact knowledge of the criminal act that is being committed along with its consequences. A comparison with mens rea reveals that it relates to the person being aware of their conduct; whereas animus nocendi aids in the detection of the innocence or criminal intent of the person. This serves as an important element in the commission of a crime. The constituent elements of this are:

  1. knowledge of law; it is presumed that the offender is aware that his acts are in violation of the existing laws.
  2. knowledge of the consequences of the act.
  3. intention to violate the law by the act and its consequences.

Illustration

This state of mind is said to be absent in the mentally disabled or persons with mental illness. Minors are in most jurisdictions considered to be incapable of knowingly committing criminal acts. Therefore, the possibility of them being punished is comparatively lesser.

Cases

In Ryland vs. Fletcher, the Court held that the element of animus nocendi is not required. Instead, the principle of strict liability was laid down, stating that irrespective of whether the intention was present or not, the person will be liable for keeping a hazardous substance in their premises and its escape causes damage.

In M.C.Mehta vs Union of India (Oleum Gas Tragedy case), the Court had taken the intention into consideration and imposed an absolute liability for the severe damage caused to the life and health of neighboring residents.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Ayushi Goyal during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Ayushi is a 4th-year law student at Christ University, Bangalore.

Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in Lege

Literal Meaning

The best way to construe a document is to read it as it would be read when it was made.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim is based on the principle of Salmond- “the essence of law lies in the spirit, not its letter or the latter is significant only as being the external manifestation of the intention that underlies it”. It means to read the statute by reference to the exposition it has received from the authority where the language given by the authority is plain and unambiguous. The maxim is considered to be the best exposition of a statute or any other document as it states that the construction as provided by the authority is competent enough. It states that the words of statutes should be construed in a true sense as in the manner created by the person who created such a statute. The maxim aims at providing meaning to the words when the statutes were constructed logically and should bore the meaning as to that when it was passed.

Illustration

If some provision of a particular Act defines that only a particular section of the society is eligible for the benefits of reservation or anything else and since it was been particularly mentioned and the intention by applying the principle of ‘Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in lege’ is clear and definite, it means that only that particular section of the society can prevail the benefits offered by the provision and none else unless otherwise mentioned.

Case laws

JK Cotton Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd and another v. Union of India and Others, the appellants are operating composite mills where they manufacture different kinds of fabrics at the immediate stage and for the same, they have to pay excise duty which was removed from the factory. The Collector Central Excise issued a notice under rule 9(1) of the central rules demanding the payment of central excise.  The appellants contended that they are liable to pay the excise only when the yarn is removed from the factory and pleaded ‘Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in lege’, however, the apex court rejected the appeal by taking into the amount another case of KP Varghese v. Income-tax Officer, Ernakulam, in which it was observed by the court that if in any case there is ambiguity and a word is capable of two constructions then the principle can be applied but in the instant case the maxim of Contemporanea Expositio Est Optima Et Fortissmo in lege cannot be applied as there is no ambiguity.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Arushi Lamba during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Arushi is a 4th-year law student of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus

Literal Meaning

A person making contradictory allegations are not to be heard

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The legal maxim ‘Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus’ means that a person adducing to the contrary is not to be heard. This is the principle of good faith that a person should not be allowed to testify hot and cold at different times about the same event, in other words, he/she should not give contradictory statements. It is a concept of common sense and used to bring cross-examinations to an abrupt end.

The legal maxim is based on common sense and common justice and it is called ‘estoppel’ or any other name which is generally used in courts. In simple terms, the maxim means that if a person states something in good faith on one event and says the contrary about the same event, that shall not be allowed. The contradiction in the statements is likely to give the benefit of the doubt in cross-examinations to invalidate the statements. Thus, it can be comprehended by the principle that a person producing contradictory statements shall not be heard in a court of law.

Case laws

In the case of Hiralal Maganlal and Co. vs. Dcit, it was stated by the Hon’ble court that the principle of Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus will be upheld as the instant case involved provisions under the Income Tax act and it was argued that  Section 115 of Indian Evidence Act will not apply, however, it was held by the court that since section 115 of the Indian Evidence Act  provides statutory recognition of the said principle which is applicable to all the judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings, the principle of Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus shall be considered.

In case of Vallapareddy Sumitra Reddy and others vs. Kasireddy Laxminarayana Reddy and Ors.,it was held by the Hon’ble Court that the principle of Allegans Contraria Non-Est Audiendus means a party cannot be allowed to approbate and reprobate. It means that no one shall state contradictory things to each other. This maxim is applied in form of ‘estoppel’ in the said court proceedings.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Arushi Lamba during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Arushi is a 4th-year law student of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Nova Constitutio Futuris Formam Imponere Debet, Non Praeteritis

Literal Meaning

A new law ought to regulate what is to follow, not the past.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

To understand the meaning of the above legal maxim, it can be said that a new state of the law is supposed to affect the future, not the past. It means that the cardinal principle of construction that every statute is prospective in nature unless it has been stated to have retrospective operation. It implies that except in special cases the new law has been to construed so as to interfere as little as possible with already vested rights. It embodies a particular rule of construction which is valuable only when the words of the Act of the Parliament are not clear and plain. It means that a new law ought to be construed to interfere as little as possible with vested rights.

Case laws

In the case of Vallabhaneni Lakshmana Swamy and others vs. Valluru Basavaiah and others, the principle of Nova Consititutio Futuris Formmam Imponere Debt, Non-Praeteritis was applied and it was held by the Hon’ble Andhra Pradesh court that it is a cardinal principle of construction that every statute prima facie perspective, unless expressly or by necessary implication has been made to operate with retrospective effect. The rule, in general, is to impose new burdens to the impair existing obligations.

In the case of Secretary Shivdatt education trust and another vs. Ramlochan Rajbali Patel and others, it was stated by the Hon’ble court that unless there are words in the statute sufficient to show the intention of the Legislature to affect existing rights. It is deemed to be prospective as per the principle of Nova Consititutio Futuris Formmam Imponere Debt, Non-Praeteritis- a new law ought to be regulated what to follow, not the past.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Arushi Lamba during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Arushi is a 4th-year law student of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Pari Materia

Literal Meaning

Of the same matter; on the same subject

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The doctrine of Pari Materia is a useful tool for the interpretation of statutes that work towards the same objective. It is an ordinary rule of interpretation of statutes that the words of a statute when there is uncertainty about their meaning are to be perceived in the sense in which they best harmonize with the subject of the enactment and the object which the legislature has in see. The doctrine helps in harmonizing the aim and subject of the legislation. It is a doctrine in statutory construction that statutes that are in pari materia must be construed together.

To summarize, statutes are considered to be in pari materia to pertain to the same subject-matter when they relate to the same individual or things, or to the same class of people or thing, or have the same reason or object. The doctrine of ‘pari materia’ provides that reference to different statutes dealing with the same subject or shaping part of the same system is a permissible aid to the construction of provisions in a statute. Where there are various statutes in pari materia, however, made at various occasions, or even lapsed and not alluding to each other, they shall be taken and construed together, as one system and as explanatory to each other. It is to be gathered, that a code of statutes relating to one subject was administered by one spirit and policy and, planned to be consistent and harmonious in its several parts and provisions. It is along these lines an established rule of law, that all Acts in pari materia are to be taken together as in the event that they were one Law, and they are directed to be compared in the construction of statutes because they are considered as framed upon one system, and having one object in seeing. The rationale behind this rule is based on the interpretative assumption that words utilized in legislations are utilized in an identical sense. Nonetheless, this assumption is rebuttable by the context of the statutes.

Considerations for Pari Materia

This doctrine consequently gives that all legislations pertaining to labor regulatory system or taxation, inter alia, others can be utilized to interpret the legislations having a place with the same sort. There are certain cases wherein the Court has utilized the said doctrine to derive the meaning for certain words not characterized in the Act being referred to. At the point when a word isn’t characterized in the Act itself, it is permissible to allude to dictionaries or any similar legislations to discover the sense in which that word is perceived. Notwithstanding, in selecting one out of the various meanings of a word, regard should always be to the context as it is a fundamental rule that ‘the meanings of words and expressions utilized in an Act must take their color from the context in which they appear’. Thus, ‘when the context makes the meaning of a word quite clear, it becomes unnecessary to search for and select a particular meaning out of the diverse meanings a word is capable of, according to lexicographers’.

There are certain considerations discussed in Bennion on Statutory Interpretation for naming acts to be pari materia and the same has been alluded to by the Delhi High Court in Raees-Uz-Zama and Anr. v. State NCT of Delhi.

The conditions are as per the following:

  1. Acts which have been given a collective title. This is a recognition by Parliament that the Acts have a solitary subject matter.
  2. Acts which are needed to be construed as one. Again, there is a parliamentary recognition of a solitary subject matter.
  3. Acts having short titles that the identical (apart from the calendar year).
  4. Different Acts that deal with the same subject matter on the same lines. Here it must be recollected that the Latin word part or paris means equal, and not only similar. Such Acts are once in a while described as shaping a code. This doesn’t mean that the Acts are codifying Acts in any case.

On the off chance that the Acts are in pari materia, it is assumed that uniformity of language and meaning was planned, attracting the same considerations as arise from the linguistic canon of construction that an Act is to be construed in general. This principle overseeing Acts in pari materia was accordingly communicated by twelve judges to mean such Acts ‘are to be taken together as shaping one system, and as interpreting and enforcing each other. At the end of the day, they are to be construed as one, regardless of whether the relevant enactment explicitly requires this. This has been applied even to repealed Acts inside a gathering’.

Case Laws

In the matter of J.K. Steel Ltd. vs. Union of India and Ors., the Hon’ble Supreme Court, while considering pari materia provisions of Central Excises and Salt Act held that Acts being in pari materia must be taken together as framing one code and as interpreting and enforcing each other.

Alluding to its earlier judgment in the matter of C.A. Abraham vs. I.T.O., Kottayam, it was seen that “In interpreting a fiscal statute the Court cannot proceed to make great deficiencies if there may be any; the Court must interpret the statute as it stands and in case of uncertainty in a manner favorable to the taxpayer.”

Nonetheless, the majority in J.K.Steel case didn’t accept the contention that a section in the Excise Act could be interpreted with reference to a similar passage in Tariff Act which was in pari materia with the Excise Act. Justice Sirki, who conveyed the majority judgment saw as under:

“I am not able to appreciate how the addition of thing No. 63(36) in the First Schedule of the Tariff Act or the ensuing amendment of the Indian Tariff Act, 1934, by Indian Tariff (Amendment Act) 1963 illuminate the interpretation of thing 26AA (i)”.

Justice Hegde who gave the minority supposition appears to have been based on two important factors which existed in that case, i.e., that both the said entries were inserted in the said statutes on one and the same day and the encompassing circumstances indicated that they were so incorporated for a common reason.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Himani Gautam during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Himani is a 5th-year law student at Surendranath Law College, Kolkata.

Vigilantibus Non Dormientibus Jura Subveniunt

Literal Meaning

The law assists only those who are vigilant, and not those who sleep over their rights.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The maxim refers to the obligation of individuals to not only be aware of their rights under the law, but also to be vigilant while exercising or using the same. The legal process only benefits those who have been careful enough with their rights, instead of being ignorant. This maxim expands upon through the Limitation Act of 1963, which entails that if the suffered/ aggrieved party does not file a suit for relief within the stipulated period, for the breach of his rights, then it cannot be claimed at a later stage.

Any suit of legal right infringement will automatically be considered invalid if filed beyond the limitation period, prescribed by law. In the practical sense, other than the common civil suit actions, the special legislation on various subject matters specifically provides for a period of limitation. Such a maxim with supporting provisions is primarily to ensure that the legal system provides justice for those who realize legal damage.

Illustration

Filing an appeal at the High Court, in a civil suit from a lower Court, must be done within 90 days from the date of its decree or order. If X, the aggrieved party, approaches the High Court after the exhaustion of such a period, then the appeal would not be entertained, by application of this maxim.

Case Laws

In the case of Nacinchandra N. Majithia vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors (2000), the Supreme Court made a key observation with respect to the application of this maxim. Given the aphorism that ‘to err, is human’, could practically lead to unintentional situations despite being vigilant, which could attract the commission of an offense. The Courts should not always find means to pull down the shutters of adjudication before a party seeking justice, instead should take measures to entertain all possible cases of grievances, if it is genuine.

In the case of Vanka Radhamanohari v Vanke Venkata Reddy and Ors. [1993 (2) BLJR 875] “An exception to this maxim was observed in this which involved a criminal case of cruelty to a woman under Section 498-A. The Court observed that, given the gravity of the offense committed and with respect to the specific facts and circumstances of this case, the maxim would not be applicable in this case and the case will be admitted in case of offenses relating to cruelty against women.”


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Ayushi Goyal during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Ayushi is a 4th-year law student at Christ University, Bangalore.

Noscitur A Sociis

Literal Meaning

The meaning of a word may be known from accompanying words

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The above principle is a rule of construction and is one of the rules of interpretation that is used by the courts to interpret the legislation. The translation of Noscitur a sociis is ‘the immediate context rule’ and underlines the importance of context in the statutory interpretation where two or more words are associated together, they should take their meaning from one another. This principle is also used in interpreting the questionable words in statutes when the word is ambiguous, so its meaning is derived with reference to the rest of the statute. This means that the meaning of an unclear word or phrase must be determined by the words that surround it. It can be said that the meaning of a word can be derived from the company it keeps. The questionable or doubtful meaning will derive a meaning when kept and determined from the associated words and is usually helpful when a statutory provision has a word or phrase that is capable of bearing two or more meanings.

The rule of interpretation is very well explained by Maxwell in his book of Interpretation of statutes in the following words- he states that when two or more words susceptible to analogous meaning are coupled together, they are to be used in their cognate sense. He comments that when the words take their color from and are quantified by each other, the meaning of the general words being restricted to the sense analogous to that of the less general. Thus, it can be comprehended that words in a list within a statue have meanings that are related to each other, and interpreting that word in an association of related words or phrases in a statute can help the court to interpret the exact meaning of the legislation. Therefore, this rule is more colloquially known as “birds of a feather flock together”.

Illustration

The eminent professor Graham illustrated the maxim with an example of the inability of an insured bankrupt to collect proceeds in the event of “illness, disability or death’. Bankruptcy means that there is a disability under the law since you cannot hold office and considered legally disabled. However, the rule of Noscitur a sociis says that in spite of this, no one can collect insurance since disability is associated or related by ‘illness’ and ‘death’. In this context, it is clear that the intention of the legislation is that ‘disability’ refers to the physical capacity as it is clear that this meaning can be determined in reference to the color of other words in this provision.

Case laws

in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax vs. Bharti cellular it was held that term ‘technical services’ used in section 194J of the Income Tax Act is unclear. The word technical would take colour from the words managerial & consultancy between which it is sandwiched. These terms ‘managerial services’ & ‘consultancy services’ necessarily involve human intervention. So, applying noscitur a sociis the word ‘technical’ would also have to be construed as involving a human element. Thus, interconnection & port access services rendered by the assessee do not involve any human interface & therefore cannot be regarded as technical services u/s 194J of the Income Tax Act.

In the case of Foster vs. Diphwys Casson, it was stated that a statute involved which stated that explosives taken into the mine must be in a “care or canister”. In the instant case, the defendant used a cloth bag and it was held that applying the principle of, the intention of the parliament was of using ‘care and container’ means using something of the strength of a container. Thus, it was held that the ‘bag’ does not fall under the statutory definition.

In the case of Parsons Brinckerhoff India (P) Ltd vs. Asstt. DIT (Int. Tax), applying the rule of noscitur a sociis held that the words “model” and “design” cannot fall under the definition of ‘royalty’ under explanation 2 of section 9 (I) (VI) of the Income Tax Act as they cannot relate or cannot be coupled with other words surrounding such as patent or invention or trademark.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Arushi Lamba during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Arushi is a 4th-year law student of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Suppressio Veri or Suggestio Falsi

Literal Meaning

Suppression of truth or Suggestion of an untruth

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim has emerged as a rule of equity, as well as a rule of law. It means that when with respect to a material fact of the case, either suppression of truth or suggestion of a false statement is proven, then the injured party can seek relief. Both of these are considered to be equally wrong. This maxim is most often useful to rescind the contracts entered between parties, in order to ensure that all material facts are disclosed whilst making any agreement. Therefore, an important facet of this maxim is observed under the principle of good faith under general contracts as well as under special legislations like insurance contracts.

Illustration

X and Y enter into a contract of sale of a horse, but X does not reveal the bad medical condition of the horse knowingly, in order to facilitate the sale. Such a contract will become invalid and voidable at the option of Y, on account of this maxim.

Case Laws

In K.K.Anathan Pillai v State of Kerala [AIR 1968 Ker 234], during an ex parte proceeding, the party that had appeared, did not disclose the complete material facts in order to get a stay order in their favor. Later, when the Court discovered this, it was held that such a stay order issued on untrue facts would be deemed invalid.

In Nand Lal v. State of Jammu & Kashmir [AIR 1960 JK 19], it was held that when the relevant facts of the case are not correctly and precisely mentioned in the petition, then by application of this maxim, the writ petition will be dismissed, without going into the merits of the case.

In Ravindra Ramesh Barkul v Executive Engineer (2017), observed that before holding any person guilty for an offense, this maxim should be applied to confirm that the knowledge of the fact is attributable to him.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Ayushi Goyal during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Ayushi is a 4th-year law student of Christ University, Bangalore.

Fiat Iustitia Et Pereat Mundus

Literal meaning

Let justice be done, though the world shall perish

Origin

Latin

Explanation

It is very aptly said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

This sentence was the motto of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor. The maxim aptly summarises the essence of social justice, meaning, justice must be delivered at all costs. Justice is given great significance in society. It is placed at a higher pedestal than all other goods in the societal sphere. Justice, the word that itself explains the need and importance of law and order in a society, is one of the characteristic fundamental values of our preamble in the Indian Constitution. The phrase highlights that justice shall not be sacrificed at any cost, even if it costs the end of the world. It is iterated that if justice is not served, it eventually leads to doom like situation. It is therefore pertinent to note that, no matter what happens, justice shall not be denied.

An alternative phrase is Fiat iustitia, ruat caelum which means “Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall.”

Herein, it is important to note that, justice shall not just be done, but shall also seem to be done, i.e. justice shall be delivered well within the stipulated time. The time constraints shall be kept in mind while dealing with the crucial act of serving justice.

It is very aptly said that Justice delayed is justice denied. And hence, it is important that justice shall be served, even if the sky is falling or the Earth splits into two. If there is a failure to deliver justice it is impending doom. Injustice is next to evilness and justice is equivalent to godliness. There is no exaggeration in saying that, justice is the very essence of the legal system in a society. The free legal aid and awareness to victims and poor sections of the society is another way of ensuring justice to all.

There may be several obstacles inefficient delivery of justice, like political influence, bias, bureaucracy, threat, or lacunae in the legal system. These lacunae are bound to creep in as a result of several factors in the society, the involvement of a political party in an offense, or a decision that might result in public outrage, etc. are some amongst the many.

However, it is time and again, observed that justice shall be upheld, and all other things are secondary. For, the smooth achievement of this, the judiciary is adorned with special powers like that of review, PIL, and discretionary powers, that make it powerful and independent to the interpretation of laws in the best possible manner. Injustice in any manner is a threat to the society and is violative of basic human rights. The principle not just entitles humans the right to justice but also encompasses the non-human rights protection, like that of animals and other organisms.

Illustration

For instance, A, who is son of a political leader, commits the offense of hit and run. His trial shall be done in a manner like all other people, in order to make sure that the ends of justice are not defeated in the hands of lacunae in the legal system. The political party may try to make an undue influence on the judicial authorities to favor his son, but here is the point when the judiciary plays a crucial role and uplifts the spirit of laws and helps the public establish faith in the justice system.

Another example is, a case where the judiciary is fearful, that its judgment may lead to widespread devastation and the loss to public property and lives of people, still it shall adjudicate the matter with all honesty and uphold the stature of justice, at all costs. Justice shall not be driven by societal influence but shall be based on principles of law and facts of the case.

Case laws

The landmark case of Nirbhaya, the embodiment of the fearless daughter of India is a great example to understand the maxim in its true sense. The case was twisted and took several unfavorable turns before ultimately delivering justice to the victim and her family. This case is a perfect instance to analyze the importance of justice and the crucial role of the judiciary in ensuring the same. The judgment in this case was challenged several times before the final verdict, and there were several other obstacles that hindered the delivery of justice; the judiciary very smoothly and effectively, iterated that, Justice is one of the basic human rights and shall not be denied at any cost.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.

Ei Incumbit Probatio, Qui Dicit, Non Qui Negat

Literal Meaning

The burden of proof lies upon the person who affirms but not who denies.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The principle as stated means that the onus to prove the guilt of the accused lies upon the person who affirms it i.e. it is the prosecution’s duty to prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt rather than the accused. According to this principle, there is a presumption of innocence for every individual unless he or she is proven guilty. This rule prevents the harassment, embarrassment, and punishment of the ‘innocent responsible people’ who might be wrongfully or maliciously framed. In general, the principle states that a person is considered to be innocent unless proven guilty. This notion is considered to be one of the primitive notions which are remarkably widespread in the legal system of every country all over the world. Under this presumption of innocence, the burden of proof lies upon the prosecution to collect all the material evidence and present it and prove the guilt of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. This instant rule not only provides protection against the malicious detention or framing but also asserts rights to the accused against false accusations and safeguard the human rights of every individual.

As stated that the rule of presumption of innocence prevails unless the accused is proven guilty and thus the onus to prove the guilt of the accused is upon the affirming party and the affirming is ordered by the court to collect and present compelling evidence against the accused and prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Illustration

X was accused of robbing a jewelry store at gunpoint. X was arrested, charged, and brought to trial. It is the duty of the prosecution to provide the court with all the compelling as well as material evidence to prove all the elements of the crime of robbery. Prosecution produces all the evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. Thus, it was held that the prosecution has the burden to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt and the accused till that guilt is proven and that he is assumed to be innocent.

Case laws

In the case of Dr. Om Prakash Rawal vs. Mr. Justice Amrit Lal Bahri, it was stated that the rule of evidence as under section 101 of the Indian Evidence Act is based on the well-known maxim Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat which means that the burden of proof lies on the party who asserts, not on him who denies it.

In another case of M/S G.D Engineering Works vs. Arvind Kumar, it was held that in industrial claims, the procedure is guided by the general principles of the law of evidence that the person who asserts must prove. In the instant case, it was concluded by the court that burden of proving the facts rests upon the asserting party and not upon the denying party as per the legal principle of law i.e. Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Arushi Lamba during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Arushi is a 4th-year law student of Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Expressio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius

Literal meaning

The explicit mention of one (thing) is the exclusion of another

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The legal maxim simply means that if one of the two possibilities of an event is talked about expressly, then the second possibility is kicked out by default. Since simultaneous occurrence of both possibilities of a single event is undesirable and not valid under the law. In order, to make a particular outcome valid and admissible, the other aspect has to be completely knocked out. It can also be understood as; when one or more things of a class are expressly mentioned others of the same class are excluded. The legal maxim forms the basis of the statutory provisions of law and states that inclusion of a specific category or class, excludes the other, completely. Since inclusion of two contradictory statements is violative of the principle of natural justice. It is also a prominent characteristic of law that an implied exclusion argument lies whenever there is reason to believe that if the legislature had meant to include a particular thing within the ambit of its legislation, it would have referred to that thing expressly. Because of this expectation, the legislature’s failure to mention the thing becomes grounds for inferring that it was deliberately excluded. Although there is no express exclusion, the exclusion is implied. The doctrine is useful not only in determining the extents of contracts but also plays an important role in the construction of statutes.

It can be interpreted as- Where certain persons or things are specified in the law, contract or will, an intention to exclude all others from its operation shall be inferred. In such a case, the reference to the assignment to a financial institution excludes assignment to any other entity. It is pertinent to note that, the express inclusion of one (maybe an act, a statute, or a provision), leads to exclusion of the other. This is a well-established condition, that express inclusion of one means implied exclusion of others.

Illustration

Let us assume that, initially, A and B enter into a written contract over a certain matter, then, later on, B cannot depute C on his behalf to execute the contract. Therefore, it can be observed that entering an express contract between the two parties A and B excludes any possibility of a third party, C, stepping into the contract during its execution.

Likewise, if a specific act is barred by the law of land, expressly, under any of its statutes, then its commission is impliedly illegal and punishable. For instance, smuggling is an illegal act and is expressly barred under the Indian Penal Code, any act in furtherance of the same act or any other act of this class is illegal and shall lead to harsh consequences.

Another example is that, the inclusion of an expressions like, ‘notwithstanding anything contained in this section’ in the provision bars the possibility of inclusion of any other condition.

Case laws

In R. r. Therms case, Le Dain J. applied the expressio unius principle of construction to s. 24 of the Charter. Subsection (2) of s. 24 provides that a court shall exclude evidence if its admission, having regard to all the circumstances, would bring the adminis­tration of justice into disrepute. In the decision appealed from, the majority in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal had held that in addition to the duty to exclude evidence under s-s. (2), a court has the discretion to exclude evidence under s-s. (1) of s. 24 if it considers it “appropriate and just in the circumstances” to do so. Le Dain J., with whom five other members of the court concurred on the point, came to a contrary conclusion.

In the above-cited case law, it was iterated that, where one set of laws have taken dominance over the subject matter, and the law itself expressly declares the same, then, the inclusion of other law governing the same shall be excluded.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.

Dubia In Meliorem Partem Interpretari Debent

Literal meaning

Doubtful things should be interpreted in the best way

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim is often abbreviated as “to give the benefit of the doubt”. It simply means that, if there is no prima facie or circumstantial evidence to prove a certain act, then before pronouncing the final verdict, facts shall be ascertained beyond a reasonable doubt. It can be understood as “Anyone who can be found guilty of a crime, must also necessarily be capable of being found innocent of it.” Hence, it is iterated by the principle that, prior to adjudication of a matter, it is utmost necessary that circumstances and facts of the case should be crystal clear to validate the judgment; both the sides of the coin shall be analyzed with great care and caution, before reaching a particular decision.

The benefit of doubt refers to the fact that if there is slightest possible doubt as to occurrence or omittance of a particular act, then its exact status shall be inquired by the judges in a matter, before drawing a conclusion. In case, if there persist any doubts as to the actual status of an event, more preference is given to proving the accused as innocent. It is one of the basic principles of the criminal justice system that, “a hundred guilty shall be left free, but not even a single innocent shall be punished.”

It can be said that hearsay evidence is a weak form of evidence and is inadmissible in court, as a matter of fact, that, the testimony of the person can be challenged on the basis of an absence of circumstantial evidence to support his statement. It is, therefore, suggested that prima facie evidence is the true form of evidence and holds great importance under the justice system.

The literal meaning of the maxim suggests that, doubtful things with regards to any offense shall be examined and interpreted in the best possible manner, leaving no room for any further clarification. It is clear from the underlying principle of the maxim that prima facie or circumstantial evidence play a vital role in deciding the liability in a case, and hence, shall be closely and carefully examined by the investigating authorities. Any kind of discrepancy in the crucial process of investigation can lead to disastrous consequences and defeat the ends of justice.

There may be situations where doubtfulness creeps into the facts of a case or where the facts of the case are silent about a particular the event, it is very important that all such doubts be removed and the judge uses his expertise and experience to reach a particular conclusion, after following the proper procedure as observed under the statutes or law of land.

The law strongly opposes hearsay evidence and basis its judgment on things that can be proved, beyond reasonable doubts.

Illustration:

  • For an instance, a person is found with a knife in his hand, at a crime scene and his clothes are covered with bloodstains, then before accusing the said person of murder, there shall be other circumstantial evidence or eye-witness or prima facie case to try the person for the offense of murder.
  • If there is any confusion with regards to the title of the property in a matter relating to Breach of contract of sale or lease or other commercial transactions involving the said the property, the court shall make all possible attempts to clarify any doubts as to material facts of the case, before pronouncing judgment; and the fact which is proved beyond reasonable doubts shall constitute the final facts of the case.

Case laws:

Vinod Kumar Bhutani vs State Thr. Cbi on 28 May 2013

In this case, the learned Trial Court erroneously held that it was the duty of the Appellant to prove consignee’s existence. Relying on Shambu Nath Mehra Vs. State of Ajmer (1956) SCR 1999 it is contended that Section 106 casts the onus to prove the facts especially in the knowledge of the accused. The prosecution cannot investigate half-heartedly, not prove the facts which it could have proved and then shift the onus under Section 106 Evidence Act on the accused.

Also, it was observed that, even if the onus is on the accused, the accused has to prove not beyond reasonable doubt but by the preponderance of probability and the same can be done even by cross-examining the prosecution witnesses.

Hearsay evidence is not a valid form of evidence, on the ground that it is always desirable, in the interest of justice, to get the person, whose statement is relied upon, into court for his examination in a regular way, in order that many possible sources of inaccuracy and untrustworthiness can be brought to light and exposed, if they exist, by the test of cross-examination.

Its tendency to protract legal investigations to an embarrassing and dangerous length, its intrinsic weakness, its incompetence to satisfy the mind of a judge about the existence of a fact, and the fraud which maybe practiced with impunity, under its cover, combine to support the rule that hearsay evidence is inadmissible in court.

The burden of proof plays a significant role in the effective and speedy trial.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.

Nemo Cogitur Suam Rem Vendere Etiam Justo Pretio

Literal meaning

No one is bound to sell his own property, even for a just price.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This legal maxim lays emphasis on the simple fact that no one can be forced or bound to sell his property, without his free consent to do so. It is a well-established principle under the law that free consent is a vital element in the creation of a valid contract, failing which the contract so made will be Void Ab Initio. In order to create a legal relationship or establish a legally enforceable contract, it is important that both parties to the contract willingly, by their own supreme will agree to the contents (terms and conditions) of the contract. The principle of free consent is ensured by the underlying principle of another important legal maxim – Consensus Ad Idem; which means that the parties to contract to ascertain their free consent to the same thing (or meeting of minds). The definition of contracts under Section 10 of the Indian Contract Act 1872, which reads as: “All agreements are contracts if they are made by the free consent of the parties competent to contract, for a lawful consideration and with a lawful object and are not expressly declared to be void”. The definition itself is a clear indicator of the fact that any agreement that is not made by the free consent of the contracting parties, is not a valid contract.

The principle of free and fair consent occupies a special place under the Indian Contract Law 1872; which can be observed under sections 13 and 14 of the Act.

Section 13 of the Indian Contract Act defines ‘Consent’ in the following manner – “Two or more a person are said to consent when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense.”

Further, Section 14 of the Indian Contract Act provides states following regard to ‘Free Consent’– “Consent is said to be free when it is not caused by –

  1. Coercion, as defined in section 15, or
  2. Undue influence, as defined in section 16, or
  3. Fraud, as defined in section 17, or
  4. Misrepresentation, as defined in section 18, or
  5. Mistake, subject to the provisions of sections 20, 21, and 22.

After reading these provisions, it can be said that, for a contract relating to the sale of one’s property also falls under the ambit of contracts and shall be guided by free consent in order to be legally enforceable.

It is a well-understood fact that forced consent to create a contract undermines the very objective of the free and fair practice of law. Anything that is against the free and supreme will of a person, frustrates the foundation of the contract itself and can be challenged at any time. It is pertinent to note that, sale of one’s property is a right in personem (personal right) and cannot be forcefully exercised. The maxim clearly talks about the protection of one’s personal as well as proprietary interests and says that no one can be compelled to sell his or her property unless they wish to do it by their own supreme will and that is what marks the importance of law and order in a society. The principle construed under the maxim states that ensuring security is not limited to the safety of physical beings but also extends to protecting one’s proprietary interests.

The term ‘property’ under the meaning of this section shall not just include movable or immovable assets, but shall also encompass intellectual property rights. Hence, it can be deduced that the creation of third-party interest in one’s property without one’s free consent is against the principles of law and render the contract void and shall also make the perpetrator liable for punishment.

It is important to note that, consent is placed at a higher pedestal than the consideration; which is clear from the maxim that, although, one is entitled to a fair and just consideration for the property possessed, still, one cannot be forced to enter into a contract that is not by free consent. And hence, it is consent and consideration together, along-with other requisites that make a valid contract. Absence of any essential condition that creates a legally enforceable contract would pose a question to the validity of the contract and hence, its execution cannot be enforced under the law. Free consent occupies a vital place in the creation of a legal relationship and its absence can render the whole contract null. Consent is placed at a higher pedestal than consideration since a will is superior to monetary assets and material things.

Illustration

‘A’ forcefully entered into a contract with ‘B’ at the gunpoint. The contract was for the sale of all properties that belonged to ‘B’, for a just and fair consideration, to ‘A’. Afterward, when ‘B’ was asked to validate the contract before the Magistrate, ‘B’ expressly refuted that his free will existed during the contract. Ultimately, the contract was held void-ab-initio and its execution was not enforceable under law.

Case laws

In Chikam Amiraju vs. Chickam Seshamma (1912) 16 IC 344, the petitioner entered into a contract with the respondent against his free will, under threat of suicide by the respondent, which amounts to coercion; hence frustrates the purpose of the contract and was held void. Although, the consideration offered was fair, but the absence of free will distort the creation of a valid contract, and the maxim (Nemo Cogitur Suam Rem Vendere Etiam Justo Pretio) was upheld.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.

Dramatis Personae

LITERAL MEANING

Persons of the Play

ORIGIN

Latin

EXPLANATION

This Latin maxim is used to refer collectively to the characters represented in a dramatic work. This phrase is the conventional heading for a list of characters that are published in the play or theatrical program. The people in such a list are prominent.

ILLUSTRATION

The dramatis personae of this scrutiny are thus numerous, high-profile, monied and multi-national.

CASE LAWS

In the case of R.P. Malik vs. New Gayatri Cork Industries, the Court held that “in brief, the dramatis personae are that – Accused No. 1 in this case is M/s New Gayatri Cork Industries, Accused No. 2 – is Ms. Asha Soni, purportedly the proprietor of the said firm. Accused No. Navin Soni is her son and the signatory of the cheque, he is stated to have represented himself to be the manager of the firm.”


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Vishakha Bhardwaj during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Vishakha is a third-year law student at the Army Institute of Law, Mohali.

Cuius Est Solum, Eius Est Usque Ad Coelum Et Ad Inferos

Literal meaning

Whoever’s is the soil, it is theirs all the way to Heaven and all the way to Hell

Abbreviated form

ad coelum

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The maxim is based on the principle that governs the English property laws and solves the question regarding the extent to which one may be able to exert rights on a piece of immovable property in a particular land.

The underlying principle of the maxim relates to defining the extent to which an individual enjoyed their property rights on the land. It simply means that the property holders have rights to not only to the plot of land itself but also the air above and (in the broader formulation) the ground below. In contemporary law, this principle is still accepted in limited form, and the rights are divided into air rights above and subsurface rights below. Property title includes the space immediately above and below the ground – preventing overhanging parts of neighboring buildings, but does not have the rights to control flights far above the ground or in space nor entitles the right to things deep underneath the ground.

The underlying principle of the maxim, enables the owner of a property to deal with the property in a manner pleasing to the owner, he may sell it or lease it to some other or he may sue some other for trespass or harm to his property. These rights are not limited to encroachment itself, but also extends to boundaries of the building or property so established. The Transfer of Property Act and Intellectual Property Rights are certain legal frameworks where the rights of property holders are protected.

In English law, immovable property is normally interchangeably referred to as an estate. It clearly highlights lands as including the surface as well as the minerals underneath the land among many others. The common law has tried to develop several tests that may be used in identifying fixtures from fittings and decide if fixtures and fittings are a part of the land under the meaning of property. Proprietary rights govern one’s ability to use and enjoy both lands they possess and land physically possessed by others, however, subject to certain reasonable restrictions. These rights are entrusted within the land itself and are capable of surviving multiple separate ownerships as the land changes hands several times.

The property law or land law is closely interlinked and also includes other branches of Law such as Tort, Contract, Aviation law as well as Human rights law.

A person may use their land as they please but they cannot do so in a way that disturbs their neighbor’s enjoyment of their property, unreasonably or cause damage.

The law of tort, the law of contract, and Human Rights law all work in protecting the rights of the property holder as well as potential victims. The tort law ensures the protection by virtue of provisions like trespass and private nuisance. Similarly, the Law of Contract envisages the rights by means of acts and sections relating to Breach of contract, remedies for breach, easement contracts are some many others. The human right laws talk about how the right to property is a right in personem and how the right of enjoyment of one’s property a basic human right. Property is considered one of the basic rights under the UN Charter on Human Rights.

Illustration

Suppose, three people own neighboring plots of land. The owners of the plots on either side want to build a bridge over the middle plot connecting their two properties. Although the bridge would never touch the soil of the owner in the middle, the principle of cuius est solum would allow the middle owner to impose a restriction on its construction or demand payment for the right to do so.

Likewise, if a person wishes to perform mining activity under somebody’s land, then he would have to get permission from the owner to do so, even if the mine entrance is on neighboring land.

Case laws

  • Kelsen v. Imperial Tobacco Co. [1957] 2 QB 334

In this case, the rights of landowners to the airspace immediately over their land were decided upon. The case was regarding a sign erected on a building that overhung the plaintiff’s property, committed the tort of trespass. Although no harm or nuisance was caused by it. An injunction was granted to the plaintiff requiring the sign to be removed.

Subsequently, the right of landowners to prevent the ‘overflying’ without their permission of the large crane jibs used in construction was also been affirmed.

In the above-mentioned case it was iterated that the principle of the legal maxim Cuius Est Solum, Eius Est Usque Ad Coelum Et Ad Inferos, vested a person with absolute rights over one’s property and also protected those rights.
At the same time, it was observed that the right did not extend to more than what was ‘necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the land and structures upon it’.

  • Anchor Brewhouse Developments v Berkley House Ltd [1987] EGLR 172

In this case, the defendant’s crane over sailed on to the claimant’s airspace above their land on a regular basis during the construction of a housing development. No damage was caused. The claimant was entitled to an injunction to prevent the trespass since trespass is actionable per se. Here again, the importance of the said maxim was highlighted.


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.

Dies Dominicus Non Est Juridicus

Literal Meaning

Sunday is not a day for judicial or legal proceedings

Origin

This Latin maxim has, at its origin, the 4th of the Ten Commandments, to keep Sunday ‘holy’; later, Sunday was said to be the day of the week upon which Jesus resurrected.

Explanation

It means Sunday is not a day of law. It is considered as a day of rest in most parts of the world so no legal proceeding is carried on. In India as per the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 the term “public holiday” includes Sundays and any other day declared by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, to be a public holiday.

Illustration

When the date of maturity of a bill of exchange falls on a public holiday i.e. Sunday, the preceding business day will be the date of maturity.

Case Law

In the case of Smith vs. State the court in the State of Tennessee stated that the rule at common law, expressed by the phrase “dies dominicus non est juridicus”, is that judicial proceedings cannot be held or judicial acts performed on Sunday. In Jurisdictions where the common law prevails, right or authority to perform any judicial act on Sunday must be derived from statute conferring that right or authority.

In the case of Blizzard vs. Blizzard in the Appeal Court of Georgia, it was held that Sunday is dies non juridicus service cannot be made and legal notice given on that day or business or work of ordinary callings done.

In the case of Cooper vs. Nolan in Court of Tennessee state that in common law which is adhered by the court generally, Sunday is dies non juridicus and any judicial act performed on Sunday is void.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Agrima during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Agrima is a third-year law student at Hidayatullah National Law University, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh.

Nemo Judex In Causa Sua

Literal meaning

No one is a judge in his own case

Origin

Latin

Explanation

The underlying principle of the maxim says that, no one can judge his own case. It is said so because it contradicts the principles of natural justice. The principles of natural justice include three major principles-

  1. Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa/ Nemo judex in causa sua
  2. Audi alteram partem
  3. Speaking order or reasoned decision

The first principle Nemo debate esse judex in propria causa is abbreviated as demo judder in cause sua. This principle of natural justice is often referred to as rule against bias; which simply says that a person shall not judge his own case or any case in which he has an interest. This principle was recognized as a measure of controlling one from defeating the ideals of justice and fair play. It was contended that in order to install confidence in the justice system, it is necessary that justice is not just done but also is seen to be done. The rule simply talks that the person in authority to judge shall be just, impartial, and shall act without bias.

Bias can be of three kinds:

  1. Pecuniary bias
  2. Personal bias
  3. Official bias

The underlying principle is very straightforward and states that, bias is bound to creep in when the one judging the case has any kind of interest in it, be it personal bias, i.e. a person is judging his own case or a case against in his relatives; pecuniary bias where the judge or adjudicator performs partially under the influence of monetary benefits; official bias where bias behavior creeps in because of the influence of position.
It is a well-established fact that the probability of bias is sufficient to invalidate the right to sit in judgment and there is no need to have proof of actual bias.

This principle may also be called:

  • Nemo judex idoneus in propria causa est
  • nemo debet esse judex in propria causa
  • in propria causa nemo judex
  • nemo judex in parte sua
  • Nemo judex in re sua

Needless to say, that, a person judging his own case would be incapable of delivering justice and hence defeating the purpose of law and order in society.

Illustration:

‘A’ is the father of ‘B’ and a judge in the district court where the case of ‘A’ being accused of murder is filed. It is pertinent to note that it is ‘A’ is incompetent to judge this case since his own son is accused in the case and personal bias is bound to creep in. Hence, in order to secure the ends of justice, it is advised that a person having any kind of interest in the case shall be kept away from deciding upon the matter and the case shall be referred to some other judge having competency to decide on the matter.

‘X’ is one amongst the board of directors of a renowned corporate firm. He is accused of sexual harassment against multiple female employees of his organization. A committee meeting is called upon to dispense the matter, and ‘X’ being a member of the board is present to decide his own case, which again falls under the condition of official bias, and hence a review committee was set up to decide the case.

Case laws:

Yunus Khan v. State of Uttar Pradesh and ors.

In this case, it was held that the principle of Nemo judex in causa sua shall be upheld and if there is a case where a person who is accused, himself is the judge or has fiduciary relations with the adjudicator or in any manner whatsoever, is likely to cause bias on the adjudication process, then the judgment or order so passed, shall not be valid and binding in nature.

Sri K. Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy vs Government of Andhra Pradesh and ors

In this case, as well, it was observed that the principle of equity and justice is greatly dependent on the rule against bias. The judgment read as: ‘A Judge is disqualified from determining any case in which he may be, or may fairly be suspected to be, biased. So important is this rule that Coke supposed, as we have seen, that it should prevail even over an Act of Parliament.’


This Maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.


Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam

Literal Meaning

The perpetual memory of the matter.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

This maxim was generally used in Roman Documents. It’s written at the end of the document to show that it is “permanent” and “trustworthy”. It’s also used in depositions to preserve the event. It simply means perpetual remembrance of an event.

Illustration

For instance, if a document has this the term, it can be understood that it has a permanent and everlasting nature.

Case Law

In Richter vs. Union Trust Company, 115 U.S. 55 (1885), Chief Justice Waite held that “Any circuit court, upon application to it as a court of equity, may, according to the usages of chancery, direct depositions to be taken in perpetuam rei memoriam, if they relate to any matter that may be cognizable in any court of the United States”.

The general assembly of free Church of Scotland and Ors. vs. Lord Overtoun and ors. [1904] A.C. 515, the Assembly concluded that the policies that have been agreed upon should be registered under the Acts of Kirks so that it will become ad perpetuam memoriam.


This maxim has been written and submitted by Ms. Navya Sony during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Navya is a final year law student of Symbiosis Law School, Pune.