Mala grammatica non vitiat chartam

Mala grammatica non vitiat chartam

Literal Meaning

Bad grammar does not vitiate a deed.


Bad grammar does not vitiate a deed. But in the exposition of instruments, bad grammar, as far as it can be done, is to be avoided. In other words this maxim states that the grammatical construction is not always in judgement of law, to be followed; and neither false English nor bad Latin will make void a deed, when the meaning of the party is apparent.




If there is any error in will or deed and that error is language based the deed or will not be vitiated. It will be a valid one.

Case References

A vassou v. Arulmurugan 2010 SCC Online Mad 3975

In this case the trial court blithe disregard of the maxim, mala grammatica non vitiat chartam; sed in expositione instrumentorum mala grammatica quoad fieri possit evitanda est-Bad grammar does not vitiate a deed; but in the construction of instruments, bad grammar, as far as possible, is to be avoided, decided the additional issue.

Ross v. Verner, 6 Miss. 304 (MS 1840)

In this case the language is substantially the same ,but the order of the words is inverted; they are, they are slaves in question ” shall be set free and sent to the state of Indiana or Liberia”, the intent in both cases was the same,and the words almost identical though put together in slightly order. The correct rule in construing wills is that the intent shall prevail not over only the irregular grammatical structure of the sentences, but even over the expressed words used where they would wholly frustrate the design of the testator. Bad grammar will not vitiate a deed, much less a will, mala grammatica non vitiat chartam.

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje