Fictio cedit veritati; fictio juris non est, ubi veritas

Fictio cedit veritati; fictio juris non est, ubi veritas

Literal Meaning

Fiction yields to truth. Where truth is, fiction of law does not exist.

Explanation & Origin

Origin- Fictio cedit verititati, fictio juris non est, ubi veritas is latin phrase which translates to fiction yields to truth, where truth is, fiction of law does not exist. The term is used in various legal cases.

Explanation- The phrase fiction yields to truth means that when there is truth a thing fiction has to not be believed. Also the second part of the sentence mean that when the truth is known then the fiction of law can’t exist, as there is no need to assume anything everything is truth to known.


If the facts of case are true then there is no need of fiction of law to exist.

Case Reference

In the case of  Jai Kishan Srivastava vs Income-Tax Officer, Kanpur[1] Then comes the direction that the provisions of the Act shall, so far as may be, apply accordingly as if the notice were a notice issued under Subsection (2) of section 22 of the Act. This section thus contains a fiction of law which has been introduced for the purpose of making the procedure laid down in Section 23 of the Act applicable to the proceedings for assessment, re-assessment or re-computation taken by the Income-tax Officer in pursuance of a notice issued under Section 34(1)(a). The fiction of law is introduced by using the words “as if the notice were a notice issued under that sub- section.” Clearly, the effect of this fiction of law is that, even though a notice under Section 34(1)(a) is different from a notice under Sub-section (2) of Section 22 of the Act, the Income-tax Officer, in taking proceedings for assessment, re-assessment or recomputation, has to comply with the provisions of the Act which apply when he takes proceedings for assessment in pursuance of a notice under Sub-section (2) of Section 22 of the Act. The further submission of learned counsel was that in Section 34(IA) no such fiction of law has been introduced by the Legislature. In this provision of law, the circumstances under which a notice can be issued, are slightly different and limited; but, when a notice has been served in accordance with that provision of law, the power granted to the Income-tax Officer is to proceed to assess or re-assess the income, profits or gains of the assessee for the years in question. 

In the case of Excess Profits Tax … vs Unknown [2] The fact that a fiction of law was introduced has great significance. It appears to us that, even without this fiction of law, the relief envisaged by 5. 7 could have been granted by laying down that, whenever there is a deficiency in a subsequent chargeable accounting period, the excess profits tax which had been determined as payable in respect of the earlier chargeable accounting period shall be determined by carrying back that deficiency and by reducing thereupon the amount of excess profits tax determined as payable. The position would have been different if the expression “deemed to be reduced” had not been used in this section and it had been laid down that the profits of the previous years and the excess profits tax chargeable for the previous years shall be reduced. When such a fiction of law is introduced by the Legislature, full effect to that fiction of law has to be given as held by the Supreme Court. When a statute enacts that something shall be deemed to have been done, which in fact and truth was not done, the Court is entitled and bound to ascertain for what purposes and between what persons the statutory fiction is to be resorted to and full effect must be given to the statutory fiction and should be carried to its logical conclusion.

In the case of Haji Lal Mohammad Biri Works, … vs The Sales-Tax Officer,[3] Further this provision of law does not take any notice of the fact as to what power was purported to be exercised for the purpose of issuing those notifications. What Section 3 of this 1958 Act does is merely to recognise the existence of those notifications and then to lay down a fiction of law that those notifications are to be deemed to have been issued in exercise of the power which existed in the State Government. As a result of this fiction of law introduced by the U. P. Legislature, the second requirement for validating the notifications of 31-3-1956, laid down by the Full Bench of this Court is fully satisfied. Consequently, following the decision of the Full Bench, with which we may say with respect we fully agree, it has to be held that the effect of the U. P. Sales-tax (Validation) Act, 1958, is that all the requirements for holding the notifications of 31-3-1956, valid have come into existence and those notifications are, therefore, valid.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] AIR 1960 All 19

[2] AIR 1960 All 413

[3] AIR 1959 All 208

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