Legal Principles

Legal principles are the foundation of the Constitution of India and they pervade all statutes.However they have gone into the background and are not a major part of legal discourse.

Legal principle of Suppression of material facts

The Indian Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of disclosing all relevant facts and avoiding suppression of facts in court proceedings. The judgments warn that failure to disclose material facts or misrepresenting them could result in the revocation of special leave or the dismissal of a case. The courts also observe a decline in the value of truth and non-violence in modern Indian society, which has resulted in litigants resorting to unethical means and suppression of facts to achieve their goals. The judgments emphasize that suppression of facts is equivalent to falsehood, and any litigant who pollutes the stream of justice will not be entitled to any relief, interim or final.

Legal principle of Contemporanea exposito

Principles of interpretation of statutes

Contemporanea expositio is a legal principle that means “contemporaneous exposition” in Latin. It is a principle of statutory interpretation that suggests that the courts should give great weight to the interpretation given to a statute by those who were responsible for its implementation at the time the statute was enacted.

In other words, when a statute is ambiguous or unclear, the courts may look to how the statute was understood and applied by the authorities who were responsible for implementing it at the time it was enacted, to determine the intended meaning of the statute.

This principle is based on the idea that the people who were responsible for implementing the statute at the time of its enactment were likely to have a better understanding of the intent and meaning of the statute than the courts, which are interpreting it years or even decades later. Therefore, their understanding of the statute should be given significant weight when interpreting it.

UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. …RESPONDENT(S) decided by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on Feb.1, 2023

Legal principles of conviction by circumstantial evidence

in Shivaji Sahabrao Bobade v. State of Maharashtra [(1973) 2 SCC 793 :
1973 SCC (Cri) 1033 : 1973 Crl LJ 1783] where the observations were made: [SCC para 19, p. 807: SCC
(Cri) p. 1047]
“Certainly, it is a primary principle that the accused must be and not
merely may be guilty before a court can convict and the mental distance between
‘may be’ and ‘must be’ is long and divides vague conjectures from sure
(2) the facts so established should be consistent only with the hypothesis of the
guilt of the accused, that is to say, they should not be explainable on any other
hypothesis except that the accused is guilty,
(3) the circumstances should be of a conclusive nature and tendency,
(4) they should exclude every possible hypothesis except the one to be proved,
(5) there must be a chain of evidence so complete as not to leave any reasonable
ground for the conclusion consistent with the innocence of the accused and must
show that in all human probability the act must have been done by the accused.

These five golden principles, constitute the panchsheel of the proof of a case
based on circumstantial evidence.

Legal Principle of delay in seeking relief from courts.

Introduction: This case analysis pertains to a legal matter involving delay in seeking relief and concealment of material facts in a writ petition. The respondents had filed a writ petition after a significant delay of 46 years from the finalization of the record of rights. Additionally, they had not disclosed the filing and subsequent withdrawal of a civil suit claiming the same relief. The court examined the applicability of constructive res judicata and the maintainability of the writ petition based on these factors.


The case involved a delay of 46 years in filing the writ petition after the finalization of the record of rights, which the court deemed highly belated. The respondents had multiple opportunities to seek appropriate remedies, including filing objections before the finalization of the record of rights, filing for revision within one year, and filing a civil suit. However, they failed to avail of these remedies effectively.

The court also considered the maintainability of the writ petition in light of the withdrawal of the civil suit without the liberty to file a fresh one. Referring to the principle of constructive res judicata, the court concluded that the respondents’ writ petition was not maintainable and should not have been entertained. The respondents should have disclosed the complete facts, including the filing and withdrawal of the civil suit, while justifying the filing of the writ petition.

Furthermore, the court emphasized that mere notings in government files cannot be relied upon as orders unless communicated to the concerned party. In this case, there was no formal order from the government conveyed to the respondents regarding land allotment, rendering their claim baseless.


Based on the analysis, the court allowed the appeal, set aside the order of the High Court, and dismissed the writ petition. The respondents were not entitled to any relief due to the significant delay in seeking remedies, concealment of material facts, and the absence of a formal order from the government regarding land allotment.

State of Orissa & anr. … Appellants
Laxmi Narayan Das (Dead)
thr. LRs & ors.
… Respondents……………….. decided by the Supreme Court of India on July 12, 2023.

Principle of preponderence of probability

The principle of preponderence of probability is applicable in Motor Vehicle Accident claims.

In a recent legal development, the Supreme Court has overturned a High Court order that quashed a final report from further investigation into an accident involving a driver of tanker lorry. The High Court’s observations and findings were deemed unnecessary during the report’s examination. The accident, which tragically claimed several lives, led to compensation claims filed by the affected parties. The Supreme Court emphasized that establishing negligence on the part of the tanker lorry driver is crucial for the compensation claims to be considered.

The burden of proof lies with the claimants, and the standard of “preponderance of probabilities” is applied, not “proof beyond reasonable doubt.” Consequently, the High Court’s order has been set aside, and the case will proceed accordingly.

Mathew Alexander Appellant(s)
Mohammed Shafi and Anr. Respondent(s)
decided by the Supreme Court of India on July 13, 23.

Rule of Subsilentio

Sub silentio is a legal term that refers to a situation in which a court makes a ruling or applies a principle without taking into account the applicable law or any argument