Fortior est custodia legis quam hominis

Fortior est custodia legis quam hominis

Literal Meaning

The custody of the law is stronger than that of man.

Explanation & Origin

Origin- Fortior est custodial egis quam hominis is latin term used in the legal language. The term means that the custody of law is stronger than any man.

Explanation- To explain this term it’s very easy, The custody of law is stronger than any man, the term mean the no man can be compared to law as laws are the rules and regulation of the  society and it helps in the functioning of the legislature and other government body.


The custody in a police station is given by law.

Case Reference

In the case of Jan Chaukidar (Peoples Watch) … vs Union Of India (Uoi) And Ors[1] Counsel for parties were heard, none of them submitted any indepth analysis of how the law lies in dealing with the subject matter of the debate before the Court. The issue clearly is whether the law has sufficiently provided for keeping the criminals out of elections, or has it yet to take care of such a situation by amendment or otherwise. Those appearing for Union of India or State of Bihar or the Election Commission of India, did not come out with any serious argument, beyond a half-hearted submission that criminality should be kept out of elections. Those appearing for interested parties seemed to suggest that offenders of law in lawful police custody or otherwise could be candidates and voters both. The interpreted submission were soaked with vested interest. The State of Bihar even shirked providing all the details of information which is readily available with the State’s Home Department. What was left with the Registrar General, High Court, after orders were reserved in this matter, in the late afternoon yesterday after filing was closed, was not a responsible report on whether criminals or persons in the lawful custody of the police have entered the arena of elections. Notice was issued to the Advocate General of the State of Bihar in one of the cases, as this is a matter of public importance which affects Parliamentary democracy. The Advocate General kept away from the Court. The only new aspect is that this established, healthy principle is being ignored. What is new is that in these parts a sort of immunity has descended, in despair, a “chalta hai” attitude to suffer the situation. Everyone talks about the criminalisation of politics, the media flash pictures of absconders voting and campaigning, of persons in lawful custody of the police standing for election, and no one seems ready to step in and stop it. The State Government of Bihar, has placed on record it’s acceptance that absconders have participated in elections to vote, could they even be electors? The State Government accepts that persons in lawful custody of the police are electors. They say they were only disqualified as voters. Could they be candidates? the “crime” election has crept into elections in violation of and against the spirit of the Constitution, Article 326. In the case of those who are in the lawful custody of the police who were encouraged in their electioneering, allowed to hold darbars when deprived of their liberty, it can be said the election process has been polluted and seen fear, terror and favour. Such persons were disenfranchised and thus could not be candidates. 

In the case of  Kanta Prashad vs Delhi Administration[2] The sentences of imprisonment were directed to run concurrently. Their appeals to the Punjab High Court were dismissed and the present appeals are by special leave. The case of the prosecution, as stated in the charge, was that the appellants had conspired at Delhi with Ram Saran Das, the approver, M. P. Khare, Nand Parkash Kapur and Murari between the 6th and 16th of November, 1955, to bring about the escape from lawful custody of M. P. Khare, an undertrial prisoner, and that they had also agreed to accept Rs. 1,000 each and other pecuniary advantages as illegal gratification for rendering the escape of M. P. Khare from lawful custody and that in pursuance of the said conspiracy they had abetted the escape of M. P. Khare and that they had accepted the illegal gratification from Nand Parkash Kapur. It is clear from the findings of the courts below that M.P. Khare escaped from lawful custody and the appellants had enabled him to do so and that they had received money as illegal gratification for the part they had played in enabling M.P. Khare to escape from lawful custody. The learned Advocate for the appellants had submitted five points for our consideration in support of his contention that the conviction of the appellants must be set aside (1) the pardon tendered to the approver Ram Saran Das by the District Magistrate of Delhi under s. 337 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was without jurisdiction and authority. Consequently, the evidence of the approver was not admis- sible (2) on the case of the prosecution, the offence of conspiracy to commit an offence under s. 224 of the Indian Penal Code had not been committed but that offence, if at all, was one under s. 222 of the Indian Penal Code. As an offence under s. 222 of the Indian Penal Code is a non- cognizable offence no conviction under s. 120B of the Indian Penal Code could be had in the absence of a sanction under s. 196A of the Code of Criminal Procedure 

In the case of D. Bhuvan Mohan Patnaik & Ors vs State Of Andhra Pradesh & Ors [3] There is thus no possibility that the petitioners will come into contact with the, electrical device in the normal pursuit of their daily chores. There is also no possibility that any other person in the discharge of his lawful functions or pursuits will come into contact with the, same. Whatever be the nature and extent of the petitioners’ fundamental right to life and personal liberty, they have no fundamental freedom to escape from lawful custody. ‘Therefore, they cannot complain of the installation of the live-wire mechanism with which they are likely to come into contact only if they attempt to escape from the, prison. Carrying the petitioners’ contention to its logical conclusion, they would also be entitled to demand that the height of the compound wall be reduced from 13 feet to say 4 or 5 feet as a fall from a height of 13 feet is likely to endanger their lives. If a person in lawful custody escapes or is rescued, the person from whose custody be escaped or was rescued may immediately pursue and arrest him in any place in India.” Apart from this, the installation of the high-voltage wire does not offend against the command of section 46(3) even on the assumption that the sub-section covers the rearrest of a prisoner who has escaped from lawful custody. The installation of the system does not by itself cause the death of the prisoner. It is a preventive measure intended to act as a deterrent and can cause death only if a prisoner courts death by scaling the wall while attempting to escape from lawful custody. In that sense, even a high wall without the electrical device would be open to the exception that a prisoner falling from a height, while attempting to escape by scaling the wall, may meet with his death. Section 46(3) is, therefore, not contravened and the grievance that the mechanism involves a total negation of the safeguards afforded by Criminal law is without any substance.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1]  2004 (2) BLJR 988, 2004 (3) JCR 284 Pat

[2] 1958 AIR 350, 1958 SCR 1218

[3]  1974 AIR 2092, 1975 SCR (2) 24

Team @Law Times Journal
Hello. We are team members of Law Times Journal. Editorial members at Law Times Journal is a team of writers led by Vedanta Yadav. Want to become a writer at Law Times Journal? Send your current work/resume with title "Resume-Editor" at