Abundans cautela non nocet

Abundans cautela non nocet

Literal Meaning

Abundant caution does no harm.


This principle is generally applied to the construction of instruments in which superfluous words have been inserted more clearly to express the intention. In simple terms, it means that great caution does no harm.



Case References

Achanti Sreenivasa Rao and ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1981 SCC (Cri) 652

In this case, the Parliament may be presumed not to make superfluous legislation. But the presumption is not a strong presumption and statutes are full of provisions introduced because Abundans cautela non nocet (there is no harm in being cautious).


Madhuri Prabhakar Patole v. Aruna Satishchandra Gaikwad , 2007 SCC Online Bom 1059

Court held that it must be noted that when the provision of Section 9A of Civil Procedure Code is not at all inconsistent with the Central Act there was in fact no need for the State of Maharashtra to obtain assent of the president. However, we find that such assent was obtained earlier only by way of abundant precaution. This is clear even from the 4th recital of the preamble of the Maharashtra Amendment Act, 1977 wherein it is clearly mentioned that to leave no room for any doubt the said provision was being reintroduced. In other words, reintroduction of section 9A by the State legislature and action of obtaining assent from the Hon’ble President was on the principle of ‘Abundans cautela non nocet’. So, merely because such assent is not obtained after coming into force the Central Amendment Act of 1999 and Central Amendment Act of 2002, it cannot be said that the provisions of section 9A stands repealed by virtue of section 32 and 16 of the respective Acts because basically the said provision is not at all inconsistent with any of the provisions of Central Act.

Thol. Thirumavalavan v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2013 SCC OnLine Mad 1987

In this case court mentioned in the judgement that A perusal of the order informs that a Dalit boy, namely, Elavarasan was found dead near Thadangam Railway Track near Government Arts College, Dharmapuri on 04.07.2013 and on completion of post-mortem by a team of three Doctors in the Government Medical College Hospital, Dharmapuri, the body of Elavarasan is being preserved at the mortuary of the said Hospital for further examination as per the orders of this Court. Further, it is seen that in order to keep law and order under control and also based on the report received from the Superintendent of Police, the District Collector, Dharmapuri promulgated proceedings under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code and Abundans cautela non nocet, which means, abundant caution does no harm

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje 

Shivani Rani
I am Shivani Rani from Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh pursuing BALLB(Hons.). Criminal law and personal laws of country attracts me the most. I like to read books mostly based on fictin and also like to watch suspense & thriller movies as well as crime thriller web series, in free time. I love to take part in moot court competitions as well as research study work. I am enthusiastic about exploring new places and listening music. I am kind of ambivert person i.e., not so introvert and not so extrovert.