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Diya Arvind   18 February 2022

legal maxim

In what cases was the maxim "Ab Initio" used and what is its importance?


 1 Replies

Aarushi   18 February 2022

The maxim “Ab Initio” is a Latin term which literally means “from the beginning”. Used in the reference of law, deed, agreements or contracts, this maxim renders the said document void. It basically says that the document was never created in the first place, because it was impossible to make such a document. The use of this maim means that the said document was never legal at any point of time. If a Court uses the phrase “void ab initio” in a case, it means that the Court traces the case to the beginning of the concerned Act and no matter what changes are made in the document, it can never become legal. Generally, this term is used in Contracts, Property and Marriages.

Delhi Development Authority v. Kochhar Construction Work & Ors.

In this case, the Court applied the maxim of Ab Initio and held that the company on whose name a complained has been filed did not exist at the time when the case was initiated and thus the proceedings were void ab initio.

Manjeet Singh v. Parson Kaur

In this case the Court explained that void marriages were void ab initio, which meant that they never occurred in the eyes of Law.

Mohiri Bibi v. Dharmodas Ghosh

In this case, the Privy Council used the term “void ab initio” for the first time in a minor’s contract and held that this means that the Contract has never occurred and the parties have to go back to as they were before the execution of the Contract. In this case, however, since Mohiri Bibi had used up all the money that she got from the transaction, Dharmodas had could not get his money back.

Saghir Ahmed v. State of U.P.

In this case, the U.P. Transport Service Act, 1951 was held to be void ab initio by the Court, since it only allowed the State Government to run and operate Road Transport or only allowed the Railways to help with it. The Court held that this Act was in contradiction to the Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution, according to which, all citizens of India are allowed to carry any trade or business of their choice.

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