Legal Fiction

Lon Luvois Fuller defined the classic legal fiction as “either (1) a statement propounded with a complete or partial consciousness of its falsity, or (2) a false statement recognized as having utility.” The common law was rife with fictions: a plaintiff who had bailed his chattel under a bailment terminable at his will was deemed to […]

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Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum

“The Latin maxim fiat justitia ruat caelum is what first comes to mind on a reading of Article 142 – let justice be done though the heavens fall. This maxim was quoted by Lord Mansfield in R. v. Wilkes, (1770) 4 Burr 2527: (1558-1774) All ER Rep. 570. The Article gives a very wide power […]

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Misconduct

I have previously commented on Moral Misconduct of Arbitrators. ‘Misconduct’ has been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary (6th Edn.), at p. 999: “A transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a forbidden act, a dereliction from duty, unlawful behaviour, wilful in character, improper or wrong behaviour, its synonyms are misdemeanour, misdeed, misbehaviour, delinquency, […]

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Public Policy

“The phrase ‘public policy’ is not capable of precise definition. In P. Rathinam, (1994) 3 SCC 394 it was observed: “The concept of public policy is, however, illusive, varying and uncertain. It has also been described as ‘untrustworthy guide’, ‘unruly horse’ etc…” Broadly it will mean what is in the larger interest of the society […]

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Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit

“There cannot be an iota of doubt that no prejudice shall be caused to anyone due to the fault of the Court, but it is to be seen in what situations the Court can invoke the maxim ‘actus curiae neminem gravabit’. In this regard, we may usefully refer to a passage from Kalabharati Advertising, (2010) […]

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Legal Proceeding

“The expression ‘legal proceeding’ has been the subject matter of consideration in the Federal Court decision in Governor-General in Council v. Shiromani Sugar Mills Ltd., AIR 1946 FC 16. In that decision Section 171 of the Indian Companies Act, 1913 came up for consideration. That Section reads as follows: “When a winding-up order has been […]

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Prima Facie

Throughout the history of the use of the term in Latin, ‘prima facie’ meant only the most cursory, initial impression. It retained that meaning upon its adoption into colloquial English. The term ‘prima facie’ is used in the law both as an adjective and as an adverb. The Common Law Courts which developed the judicial […]

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