Bis Dat Qui Cito Dat – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

He gives/pays twice who pays promptly


Bis Dat Qui Cito Dat describes that he who gives quickly is said to have given quickly. It also describes a situation which means that a gift which has been given without any hesitation is as good as two gifts. The maxim aims to state the concept that something given anything in an expeditious manner is far preferable rather than giving the same thing over a period of time. The maxim is used to distinguish between two situations which are often considered to be the same. Giving the same thing in different span of time does not amount to the same payment. One may argue that the subject matter is the substance that is being returned or paid. And it does not matter that at which time such payments are made. However to the contrary the maxim states that the time has an important role to pay in matters of payment. It states that anything given quickly or expeditiously is more effective and often amounts to twice as much as has been given.


The legal maxim is used in cases of payment of any kind. It states that any payment should be done promptly otherwise its value decreases. If it is done swiftly then it signifies twice as much as has been paid. This maxim includes the concept of gifts as well. Thus any payment made with or without consideration should to be done in a prompt manner.


Mr. A borrowed Rs. 10,00,000 from Mr. B for certain purpose. He was to return the money within a period of 5 years. However after 2 years Mr. A returned the entire money and it was helpful for Mr. B as his mother was sufeer form  desies that needed operation and the hospital had billed the amount to be Rs. 10,00,000. Thus in such scenario it can be stated that bis dat qui cito dat. 

Case Reference

In the case of Arya Bhandar Private Limited v Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited[1] the dispute was regardingan a loan amount and it was held that I would like to uphold such an argument as put forth on the side of the appellant and it is quite obvious that paying a sum of Rs. 99,52,453.07 during the year 2006 cannot be equated to the fact of deposit of the sum during the year 2013. I recollect the following maxims- (1) Bis dat qui cito dat. (He pays twice who pays promptly). (2) Qui tardius solvit minus solvit (A person who pays too late pays less that he ought)

In Crabb v Blue Star Line Ltd.[2] it was observed that Counsel for the respondent company founded his argument on the fact that the policies with which I am concerned were policies which were incidental to the acquisition of new assets, and he said that, in substance, the insurance was intended to produce the same effect as would a clause in the contract with the shipbuilders which would decrease the price of the ship in the event of the ship not being delivered by a certain date. Bis dat qui cito dat is a familiar Latin tag: and he who delivers goods punctually delivers something that is of greater value than he who delivers goods late. I think a purchaser is entitled, when he negotiates his purchase of goods or services, to say to himself and to the other party.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] Arya Bhandar Private Limited v Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, 2015 Indlaw CAL 1085. (C. O. 1064 of 2015)

[2] Crabb (H.M. Inspector of Taxes) v Blue Star Line Ltd. [1961] 1 W.L.R. 1322