Ad Ea Quae Frequentius Accidunt Jura Adaptantur – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

The laws are adapted to those cases which occur more frequently.

Explanation

The maxim Ad ea quae frequentius accidunt jura adaptantur states that the laws are adapted to those cases which more frequently occur. Laws are usually framed giving more emphasis to cases with tends to occur more frequently rather than on cases which are rare or accidental in occurrence. It is not possible for any law to include every case which may occur or has a possibility to arise. All legislation is based on the principle that it should be sufficient enough for providing the ordinary course of action. Keeping in view the cardinal principle of law that every law is designed to further the ends of justice, law should be applied for catering to the needs of public at large. Thus when the language of a statute, act, contract or any legal document in its ordinary meaning and grammatical construction, leads to a manifest contradiction of the apparent purpose of the enactment or objective it should be remembered that laws are Ad ea quae frequentius accidunt jura adaptantur and interpreted accordingly.

Origin

The fundamental rule of interpretation that Judiciary must always try to expound the law and not to legislate the law. Thus when laws having ambiguous and uncertain language are set forth for interpretation the golden rule of interpretation needs to be followed. This rule is made with an aim to achieve social welfare. When literal interpretation renders irrational meanings and defeats the actual intention of the legislature, it is the duty of the court to uphold the objective of the act or statute.  While using the golden rule of interpretation it is important to remember that laws are made with a view to be applied on situations that are apprehended to happen frequently.

Illustration

Section 375 of IPC is not gender neutral. The offence of rape is said to be committed only by a man against a woman. It is very rare to witness a situation where a woman commits rape of a man or of another woman. However the later is also punishable but not under section 375. Thus laws are made in accordance with the frequent offences rather than rare instances.

For example if there is a contact of sale between two parties and the amount to be paid was not mentioned in a particular currency then it is interpreted to be in the currency used in the local territory of the parties in question.

Case Reference

In the case of Ghulam Ahmad Dar and others v Abdul Rahim Dar and others[1] it was observed that:

Laws ought to be, and usually are, framed with a view to such cases as are of frequent rather than such as are of rare or accidental occurrence; or, in the language of the civil law, jus constitui oportet in his quoe ut plurimum accidunt, non quoe ex inopinato; for, neque leges neque senatusconsulta ita scribi possunt ut omnes casus qui quandoque inciderint comprehendantur, sed sufficit ea quoe plerumque accident contineri; laws cannot be so worded as to include every case which may arise, but it is sufficient if they apply to those things which most frequently happen.[2]

In Nagar Palika Nigam v Krishi Upaj Mandi Samiti and Othres[3] SC held that Court cannot read anything into a statutory provision which is plain and unambiguous. A statute is an edict of the Legislature. Language employed in a statute is the determinative factor of legislative intent. At this juncture, it would be necessary to take note of a maxim “Ad ea quae frequentius accidunt jura adaptantur

Further in the case of State of Kerala and another v P.V. Neelakandan Nair and others[4] the  Kerala Education Rules, 1959 (r. 62) was in question.  It was regarding the benefit of increment and promotions. The court took note of the legal maxim “Ad ea quae frequentius accidunt jura adaptantur” and held, the rules does not refer to pay revisions which is conceptually different from annual increments within prescribed pay scale.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference:

[1] Ghulam Ahmad Dar and others V. Abdul Rahim Dar and others, 2018 SCC OnLine J&K 292

[2] Ibid para 25

[3] Palika Nigam V.  Krishi Upaj Mandi Samiti and Othres, 12 SCC 364;AIR 2009 SC 187

[4] Kerala and another V. P.V. Neelakandan Nair and others, (2005) 5 SCC 561

 

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I am Kousini Gupta, final year BBA.LLB. student from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. The topics in Constitutional, Intellectual Property, Entertainment and Media Law excite me in particular and bring out the best in me. I have interned at District Court, High Court and several reputed law firms. The experience of these internships was highly valuable and enriching. My research and publications have been accepted in reputed national journals. Besides, I also enjoy mooting and have several participation certificates to my credit. In my free time, I like to be creative with paintings and dance to my favourite tunes.