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RATIO DECIDENDI

MEANING:-
REASON OF THE DECISION

GENERAL PRINCIPLE DEDUCED IN A


CASE.

RULE OF LAW UPON WHICH THE


DECISION IS FOUNDED.
DEFINED AS MATERIAL FACTS OF THE
CASE PLUS DECISION THEREON.

ACC. TO PROF. KEETON:-


IT IS A PRINCIPLE OF LAW WHICH
FORMS THE BASIS OF DECISION IN A
PARTICULAR CASE.
DECISION HAS 2 ASPECTS:-
1. WHAT PRINCIPLE IT LAYS DOWN ON
THE RULE OF LAW FOR WHICH IT
BECOMES AN AUTHORITY. THIS IS
GENERALLY CALLED RATIO
DECIDENDI OF THE CASE.
2. WHAT THE CASE DECIDES BETWEEN
PARTIES SUCH MATTER BECOMES
RES JUDICATA BETWEEN THE
PARTIES AND CANNOT BE SUBJECT
OF FURTHER DISPUTE.
ILLUSTRATION
BRIDGE V. HAWKESHWORTH (1851)21
LJ QB 75

COURT APPLIED THE PRINCIPLE OF


FINDERS-KEEPERS WHICH WAS THE
RATIO DECIDENDI OF THE CASE.
OBITER DICTA
IN COURSE OF JUDGMENT, A JUDGE
MAY TAKE VARIOUS OBSERVATIONS
WHICH ARE NOT PRECISELY
RELEVANT TO ISSUES BEFORE HIM.

EG. MAY ILLUSTRATE REASONING


BY REFERENCE TO HYPOTHETICAL
SITUATIONS.
IT LITERALLY MEANS SOMETHING
SAID BY THE JUDGE BY THE WAY,
WHICH DOES NOT HAVE ANY BINDING
AUTHORITY.

HAVE THE FORCE OF PERSUASIVE


AUTHORITY AND ARE NOT BINDING
UPON THE COURTS.

COURTS MAY SEEK HELP FROM THEM


BUT THEY ARE NOT BOUND BY THEM.
ACC TO PROF. GOODHART-

OBITER DICTA IS A CONCLUSION


BASED ON A FACT, THE EXISTENCE OF
WHICH HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED
BY THE COURT.
STARE DECISIS
MEANING:-
LET THE DECISION STAND IN ITS
RIGHTFUL PLACE.
WHEN A DECISION CONTAINS A NEW
PRINCIPLE IT IS BINDING ON
SUBORDINATE COURTS & HAS
PERSUASIVE AUTHORITY FOR
EQUIVALENT COURTS.
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
EACH COURT IS ABSOLUTELY BOUND
BY THE DECISIONS OF THE COURTS
ABOVE IT.

HIGHER COURTS ARE BOUND BY


THEIR OWN DECISIONS. IN INDIA, SC
IS NOT BOUND BY ITS OWN EARLIER
DECISION.
DECISION OF ONE HIGH COURT IS
NOT BINDING ON ANYOTHER HC. HAS
ONLY PERSUASIVE VALUE.

A SINGLE BENCH BOUND BY THE


DECISION OF A DIVISION BENCH OF
THE SAME HC BUT A DIVISION BENCH
IS NOT TO FOLLOW A DECISION OF A
SINGLE BENCH OF THE SAME HC.
Res Judicata
Result or the decision of the case which is
fully conclusive between the parties , no
place left for further dispute.