Legal Maxim

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Having performed his duty, having served its purpose/ Of no further legal effect




It means no longer holding an office or having official authority. When an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created it is termed as functus officio.


Once an arbitrator makes an award, she is functus officio—used especially of an officer who is no longer in office or of an instrument that has fulfilled its purpose


Re: VGM Holdings Ltd (1941 (3) All. ER 417)

When a judge passes an order and it is registered, he becomes functus office. This means he cannot change the order passed as he no longer has the capacity to do so. The change in order can only be made by the high court.

State Bank of India & Ors. vs. S.N. Goyal

In this case court held that once the order has been passed by the Appointing Authority it becomes functus officio. Thereafter, they cannot modify, review and revise the order.

Juggilal Kamlapat vs. General Fibre Dealers Ltd., AIR 1962 SC 1123

Arbitrator becomes functus officio after he has made the award, it means that he cannot change that award in any matter of substance himself.

(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.)

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