Understanding Ratio Decidendi And Obiter Dicta


Ratio decidendi method the motive or the principle upon which the case has been determined via the higher Courts and most effective this tons is binding at the subordinate courts whilst making use of the sooner choice. The ratio decidendi can be ascertained by an analysis of data. When talking of the ratio decidendi of a case it’s far tempting to assume in phrases of constant and single entity with an objective and continuing existence, which merely wishes to be positioned and recognized, just as a treasure hunter may additionally are searching for to find and identify a sunken spoil inside a given vicinity of the seabed.

Goodhart’s view:

One of the maximum influential commentators at the concept of ratio became Goodhart, whose essay The Ratio Decidendi of a Case first regarded in (1930) , and changed into reprinted in 1931.
The essence of Goodhart’s argument is that the ratio may be observed by means of considering the fabric facts and the choice based totally on the ones facts. Furthermore, data as to individual, time, vicinity, kind and quantity are all presumed to be not cloth until there is right cause to the contrary. Identifying the ratio through reference to the material records is explicable on the idea that it’s miles affordable to suppose that each the choose and the advocates had been concentrating at the law because it related to the ones statistics, and consequently the nice of those elements of the judgment which relate to the fabric information is likely to be higher than the excellent of anything else which the judge says.

In the case Krishna Kumar v. Union of India and others, it has been observed the hon’ble preferrred court docket that:

“In other words, the enunciation of the purpose or precept upon which a query earlier than a courtroom has been determined is alone binding as a precedent. The ratio decidendi is the underlying principle, particularly, the overall reasons or the general grounds upon which the decision is based at the take a look at or abstract from the unique peculiarities of the precise case which offers upward thrust to the decision. The ratio decidendi has to be ascertained by using evaluation of the facts of the case and the procedure of reasoning regarding the most important premise consisting of a pre ¬current rule of law, either statutory or choose¬ made, and a minor premise along with the cloth facts of the case beneath immediate consideration. If it isn’t clear, it isn’t always the obligation of the courtroom to spell it out with issue with a view to be sure via it.”

Read – Meaning Of Public Interest Litigation (PIL)


Obiter Dicta manner all that is said via the courtroom by using the way or the statement of law which go past the necessities of the precise case and which laid down rule i.E. Inappropriate or useless for the purpose in hand are referred to as obiter dicta. These dicta have the pressure of persuasive precedents handiest. The judges aren’t certain to follow them.

However, obiter dictum of Their Lordships of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is entitled to maximum recognize and is binding on all the Courts of the united states. It is determined in case of Mohandas Issardas and others v. A.N. Sattanathan & Others, that:
“the courtroom in India need to accept as an authoritative pronouncement on the particular factor of regulation and deal with that pronouncement as binding. The Supreme court docket has now taken the place of privy council and we would really like to say unhesitatingly that we have to display the identical appreciate for the ‘obiter dicta’ of the Supreme Court that we did for those of privy council. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial tribunal in India these days and it is as lots essential as inside the interest of judicial uniformity and judicial area that each one the High Courts should take delivery of as binding the ‘obiter dicta’ of the Supreme Court in the same spirit because the High Courts generic the ‘obiter dicta’ of the privy council.”

Sub Silentio:¬

A choice is sub silentio if an important trouble neglected or become not argued via recommend. That point or issue can also turn the choice of the court docket. Such choice isn’t always an expert at the factor which is not fully argued is sub silentio.

Aayushi Bana

Aayushi Bana, Content Writer, Law Corner Student of 7th Semester, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Leave a Comment