Accessorium Principale Sequitur

Accessorium Principale Sequitur

Literal Meaning

The accessory good follows the main good or the accessory follows the principal.


This maxim is a abbreviated form of Latin maxim ‘Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale, which means that an accessory does not draw, but follows its principal.’ Thus, an accessory thing does not lead but follows the principal thing to which it is accessory.



Case References

Malik v. Union of India and another, 1969 SCC OnLine All 276 ,: AIR 1970 All 268 (FB)

In the judgment of this case court mentioned that when the principal right is lawfully extinguished, the alternative right, which is accessory to the principal right, cannot survive. The accessory right does not lead but follows its principal. Thus, when the obligation of the principal is extinguished by release or discharge, the obligation of the surety is also extinguished. The creditor cannot then complain that the extinction of the obligation of the surety impairs the obligation of his contract with the principal debtor. So here, on the lawful extinguishment of the principal right to payment in sterling, the alternative right of conversion of sterling into rupees is automatically extinguished, ( Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale).

Joseph Parker Camp, Appt., v. Kate Willard Boyd, 1913 SCC OnLine US SC 203 : 229 US 530 (1913)

In the judgment of this case court mentioned that one of the duties of such a court is to prevent a multiplicity of suits, and to this end a court of equity, if obliged to take cognizance of a cause for any purpose, will ordinarily retain it for all purposes, even though this requires it to determine purely legal rights that otherwise would not be within the range of its authority. In strictness of law, the deeds made by Brent, trustee, purporting to convey the ‘ground rents’ on the Daugherty and Frothy leases, cannot be deemed to have included the reversion. The rule at law is that by a grant of the reversion, the rent reserved will pass; but they by a grant of the rent, the reversion will not pass. ‘The incident, accessory, appendant, and regardant, shall in most cases pass by the grant of the principal, without the words cum pertinentiis, but not e converse; for the principal doth not pass by the grant of the incident, etc. Accessorium non ducit, sed sequitur, suum principale.’

Shaik Madhu vs Shaik Sahar Ali, 6 Ind Cas 177

If the maxim, Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale, upon which the doctrine of accession is based, is applicable to the original owner, there is no intelligible reason why it should not apply equally to the Receiver who holds possession for his ultimate benefit.”

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.