Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

Suppression of truth or Suggestion of an untruth




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.


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.

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