Cadit Quaestio – Legal Maxim

Literal Meaning

The matter admits of no further argument.

Explanation

The term Cadit quaestio is used to refer to a situation where a legal dispute has been settled. It describes a situation where a matter that has been adjudicated and thus there is no need for any further argument on that same matter. Once the question has been answered by the competent authority it cannot be argued again. The maxim states that no argument about the same topic can be admitted. It bars the scope of production of new evidence or any other arguments. Alternate explanations of the origin include an abbreviation for “cadit quaestio”, indicating that the issue is “no longer in question” and an abbreviation for “correct as quoted”, which serves as a useful mnemonic. It is a mark for internal use only, intended for removal prior to publishing. It should be distinguished from the unrelated mark used in published pieces to indicate that a quote has been transcribed verbatim, without correcting perceived errors in the original source.

Origin

Cadit Quaestio is a Latin term which translates into argument collapses. This means that no further argument or discussion in needed on that particular subject matter. It is referred to a situation where the question falls and it is stopped there itself.  The word “cadit” means to fall and “quaestio” means question. Thus Cadit quaestio describes that any dispute which was going on is no longer an issue that needs to be solved.

Illustration

For example if in a previous case it was decided that A is the legitimate daughter of B then while in the case of distribution of B’s assets after his death it cannot be contested that A is not his legitimate child. 

Case Reference

In the case of Shri Hari Mittal v Shri B.MSikka[1]  it was held that “a residential building let out for non-residential purposes by the landlord without obtaining the written permission of the Rent Controller in terms of Section 11 of the Act, would continue to be a residential building and the landlord would be entitled to seek ejectment of the tenant on the ground of his bona- fide personal requirement”. It was, thus, argued that in view of the later correct enunciation of law by a larger Bench of this Court, it is cadit quaestio and admits no further argument that the previous judgment dated 2nd May, 1979 (Annexure P-1) does not constitute res-judicata.

In the case of Foss v. Harbottle[2], as the court observed that the proper plaintiff in an action in respect of a wrong alleged to be done to a company or association of persons is prima facie the company or the association of persons itself. Secondly, where the alleged wrong is a transaction which might be made binding on the company or association and on all its members by a simple majority of the members, no individual member of the company is allowed to maintain an action in respect of that matter for the simple reason that, if a mere majority of the members of the company or association is in favour of what has been done, then cadit quaestio. No wrong had been done to the company or association and there is nothing in respect of which anyone can sue. If, on the other hand, a simple majority of members of the company or association is against what has been done, then there is no valid reason why the company or association itself should not sue. In my judgment, it is implicit in the rule that the matter relied on as constituting the cause of action should be a cause of action properly belonging to the general body of corporators or members of the company or association as opposed to a cause of action which some individual member can assert in his own right.”

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference:

[1] Shri Hari Mittal v Shri B.MSikka 1986 (1) PLR 1

[2] Foss v. Harbottle, [1843] 2 Hare 461

Previous articleBis Dat Qui Cito Dat – Legal Maxim
Next articleAssignatus Utitur Jure Auctoris – Legal Maxim
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.