Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

From day to day




The term is used to refer to an action occurring from day to day or a continuing right of action. The maxim often refers to a type of pay schedule. A continuing cause of action is an action which arises from the repetition of acts or omissions of the same kind as that for which the action was brought. However, the concept of de die in diem cannot be applied in the branch of Criminal Law, which was explained by a full bench of the Bombay High Court in Emperor vs. Chotta Lal Amar Chand. It was held therein that a person cannot be charged with committing an offense de die in diem over a substantial period.

Case Laws

In Maya Rani Punj vs. Commissioner of Income Tax, the Supreme Court held that a continuing wrong or default giving rise to a liability de die in diem, that is, from day to day. The distinctive nature of a continuing wrong is that the law that is violated makes the wrongdoer continuously liable for the penalty. A wrong or default which is complete but whose effect may continue to be felt even after its completion is, however, not a continuing wrong or default.

In S. Tirupathi Rao vs. M. Lingamiah, the Telangana High Court held that “Though the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 recognizes a distinction between the civil contempt and criminal contempt, the essence of both are to punish the contemnor. Therefore, the civil law concept of de die in diem cannot be applied to the failure of a contemnor to comply with an order requiring him to carry out a single act.”

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