Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

Silence equals consent.

Origin

Latin

Explanation

One who remains silent is considered to approve. According to this maxim, we are considered to be consenting to trespass against us, if we say nothing or do nothing.

Illustration

A and B are siblings. A committed theft of stealing Rs 1000 from his father. On asking who stole the money, A accuses B of the theft. If B keeps silent on such accusation, it is ought that B has given his consent on the theft.

Case Law

In B.Shanmugam vs Thulasirama Reddy, the Madras High Court referring to the maxim ‘Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur,’ held that the silence of counsel implied their assent to the course adopted by the judge, and a man who does not speak when he ought shall not be heard when he desires to speak.