Ex Praecedentibus et Consequentibus Optima Fit Interpretation

Ex Praecedentibus et Consequentibus Optima Fit Interpretation

Literal Meaning

The best interpretation is made from the preceding and following.[1]

Origin

For correct interpretation of the intention of the parties it is necessary to understand the context. This maxim provides that the preceding and following situations should be taken into considerations to figure out the correct intention of the parties. So that each party is treated in just manner. 

Explanation

This maxim tries to convey that the best interpretation can be made by taking the context into consideration. For example if in a certain case the court wants to figure out the intention of the parties while they were forming the contract or while they were entering into the contract. Then in such case the court should considered the whole context to figure out the intention of the parties. In order to capture the intention of the parties while forming the contract the court should take into the consideration the situation before the formation of the contract and the situation which followed after the formation of the contract. 

Indian Law Position

In most of the Indian cases, especially in the cases of contracts Ex praecedentibus et consequentibus optima fit interpretation maxim is widely used while making an interpretation of the intention of the parties to the contract.

Illustration

While making considering a case regarding breach of contract between ‘A’ and ‘B’, judge ‘XYZ’ considered the situation before and after the formation of the contract in order to interpret the intention of the parties while forming the contract.

Case Referred

M/S. Dlf Limited vs. M/S. Emirates

It was provided by the honorable High Court of Delhi that- 

“Ex praecedentibus et consequentibus optima fit interpretation The best interpretation is made from the context. Every contract is to be construed with reference to its object and the whole of its terms. The whole context must be considered to ascertain the intention of the parties. It is an accepted principle of construction that the sens; and meaning of the parties in any particular part of instrument may be collected ‘ex antecedentibus et consequentibus; every part of it may be brought into action in order to collect from the whole one uniform and consistent sense, if that is possible”. [2]

M/s. Indira Motor Service & Others. v. Panakkat Nazaruddin and Others

In this case also the preceding and following situations are considered while making an interpretation of certain clauses of the lease deed. [3]

Puran Singh Sahni v. Smt. Sundari Bhagwandas & Ors.

In the above mentioned case it was provided by the honorable Supreme Court of India that 

“While interpreting the agreement we have also to see what transpired before and after the agreement. Ex praecedentibus et consequentibus optima bit interpretation. The best interpretation is made from the context. “It is a true rule of construction that the sense and meaning of the parties in any particular part of an instrument may be collected ex antecedentibus et consequentibus; every part of it may be brought into action in order to collect from the whole one uniform and consistent sense, if that may be done.”[4]

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

[1] 7Guide to Latin International Law, OXFORD REFERENCE (17th May, 2019), https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195369380.001.0001/acref-9780195369380-e-708.

[2] M/S. Dlf Limited v. M/S. Emirate, Interlocutory Application No. 2356/2007.

[3] M/s. Indira Motor Service & Others v. Panakkat Nazaruddin & Others, Writ Petition No. 10531 of 2015.

[4] Puran Singh Sahni v. Smt. Sundari Bhagwandas & Others, 1991 SCR (1) 592.

Vishwa Patel
I am 2 nd Year B.A LL.B (Hons.) student at Gujarat National Law University. I like to explore and write on topics of Cyber Laws, Intellectual Property Laws and Competition Laws. Further, to enhance my knowledge of Law I like to participate in moot court competitions. You can reach me at: vishwapatel683@gmail.com