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ask 1800 180 1961/ 1961

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Legal Maxim
A
  • a coelo usque ad centrum : In principle, the extent of the right of the owner.
  • a fortiori : Much more, with stronger reason.
  • a la : After the manner of.
  • a mensa et thoro : From table and bed (from ‘board and bed’). It is a term used to describe a partial divorce in a case in which the marriage was just and lawful ; but, for some supervening cause, such as the commission of adultery or cruelty by the husband or wife it becomes improper or impossible for them to live together. The partial divorce was earlier effected by the Ecclesiastical Court. It only caused the separation of husband and wife ; but did not dissolve the marriage so that neither of them could marry during the life of the other. This is now substituted by section 22 of the Indian Divorce Act. Thus, a divorce ‘a mensa et thoro’ has to be distinguished from a regular divorce and also from a divorce ‘a vinculo mariytimonii’, which means a decree for nullity. (R. S. Manual Raju v. Mary Sara AIR 1982 Kar. 235)
  • a posse ad esse : From possibility to reality.
  • a posteriori : (From the effect to the cause) Inductive reasoning; pertaining to the process of reasoning whereby principles or other propositions are derived from observations of facts.
  • a priori : From cause to effect; deductive reasoning; pertaining to the line of reasoning based on specific assumptions, rather than experience.
  • a verbis legis non est recedendum : You must not vary the words of statute.
  • ab initio : From the beginning.
  • ab intestato : From an intestate (Person); Succession to property of a person who has not made a will.
  • ab intra : From within.
  • absolute sententia expositore non indiget : Plain language does not need an interpretation. (Amar Singh v. State of Rajasthan AIR 1955 SC 504)
  • absque hoc : Without this.
  • absque tali causa : Without such cause.
  • abundans cautela non nacet : There is no harm in being cautious The presumption that Parliament may be presumed not to make superfluous legislation, the presumption is not a strong presumption and the statutes are full of provisions introduced because abundans cautela non nacet (there is no harm in being cautious) (Gokaraju Rangaraju v. State of AP AIR 1981 SC 1473)
  • act in pais : Judicial or other act performed out of court and not a matter of record.
  • acta jure gestionis : Commercial acts.
  • acta jure imperii : Governmental acts. The test what constitutes an act jure imperii is whether the act in question is of its own character a governmental act, as opposed to an act which any private citizen can perform. It follows that in the case of acts by a separate entity it is not enough that the entity should have acted on the directions of the State, because such an act need not possess the character of a governmental act. To attract immunity, what is done by a separate entity must be something which possesses the character of a governmental act, the entity will not be entitled to state immunity. Likewise, in the absence of such character the mere fact that the purpose or motive of the act was to serve the purposes of the State will not be sufficient to enable separate entity to claim immunity. [see Kuwait Airways Corporation v. Iraqi Airways Co. [1995] 1 WLR 1147 (HL)]. It is clear, therefore, that— (a) it is first necessary to consider what is the relevant act of the separate entity which forms the basis of the claim of immunity; (b) to qualify for immunity, the act must be govenmental rather than commercial in character; (c) this is a question of the analysis of particular facts against the whole context in which they have occurred; (d) if the act in question is not governmental, the mere fact that the purpose or motive of the act was to serve the purposes of the State will not be sufficient to enable the separate entity to claim immunity. [see In re, Banco Nacional De Cuba [2002] 1 WLR 2039 (Ch.D)/110 Comp. Cas. 889] In the case of a central bank, for example, line between governmental and commercial acts is difficult to be drawn, since the role of a central bank is necessarily to exercise a role over financial and economic activity. The authorities have held that : (1) The issue of letter of credit by a central bank is a commercial act [Trendtex Trading Corporation v. Central Bank of Nigeria [1977] QB 529 and Hispano Americana Mercantil SA v. Central Bank of Nigeria [1979] 2 Llyod’s Rep 277]; (2) The issue of bank notes is a governmental act [Camdex International Ltd. v. Bank of Zambia (No. 2) [1977] 1 WLR 632, 636, F-G]; (3) The regulation and supervision of nation’s foreign exchange reserves is an aspect of Government’s sovereign function of regulating the monetary system and is governmental [Crescent Oil and Shipping Services Ltd. v. Banco Nacional de Angola (unreported) 28 May, 1999 Cresswell J., applying De Sanchez v. Banco Central de Nicaragua (1985) 770 F 2d 1385]; (4) The issue of promissory note by a central bank is a commercial activity [Cardinal Financial Investments Corpn. v. Central Bank of Yemen affirmed by Court of Appeal (2001) Lloyd’s Rep Bank 1].
  • actio : An action; the right of suing before a judge for what it is due; also proceedings or a form of procedure for the enforcement of such right.
  • actio personalis moritur cum persona : A personal right of action dies with the person. When he dies, the suit should abate. (Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb v. State of Bombay AIR 1958 SC 253.) The maxim is applicable only when the action is one for damages for a personal wrong. It has no application in a suit for property. (Kakumanu Pedasubhayya v. Kakumanu Akkamma AIR 1958 SC 1042.) The expression, thus, operates in a limited class of actions ex delicto such as action for damages for defamation, assault or other personal injuries not assuming the death of the party, and in other actions where after the death of the party the relief granted could not be enjoyed or granting it would be nugatory - Girijanandini Devi v. Bijendra Narain AIR 1967 SC 1124.
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