Prima facie

Prima facie

Literal Meaning

On the face of it.


Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning “sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved or rebutted. A prima facie case is the establishment of a legally required rebuttable presumption.  A prima facie case is a cause of action or defence that is sufficiently established by a party’s evidence to justify a verdict in his or her favour, provided such evidence is not rebutted by the other party.




When a wife walks in on her husband with another woman; at first glance, it looks as if he is guilty of something just because of the circumstances.

Case References

Kehar singh v. State (Delhi Admn.), AIR 1988 S.C. 1883

In this case the fact that the two accused, one of them who actually caused death, were seen together before the event isolating themselves on a roof top and making every possible effort to conceal their conversation from their family members, was held to be enough prima facie proof of conspiracy so as to punish one for the action of the other.

Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 2005 S.C. 716

In this case confessional statements of a person implicating himself along with the others in conspiracy were held to be not sufficient prima facie evidence of conspiracy.

Martin Burn Ltd v. R.N Banerjee, 1958 SCR 514

In this case court held that a prima facie case does not mean a case proved to the hilt but a case which can be said to be established if the evidence which is led in support of the same were believed. While determining whether a prima facie case had been made out the relevant consideration is whether on the evidence led it was possible to arrive at the conclusion in question and not whether that was the only conclusion which could be arrived at on that evidence. It may be that the Tribunal considering this question may itself have arrived at a different conclusion. It has, however, not to substitute its own judgment for the judgment in question.

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Shivani Rani
I am Shivani Rani from Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh pursuing BALLB(Hons.). Criminal law and personal laws of country attracts me the most. I like to read books mostly based on fictin and also like to watch suspense & thriller movies as well as crime thriller web series, in free time. I love to take part in moot court competitions as well as research study work. I am enthusiastic about exploring new places and listening music. I am kind of ambivert person i.e., not so introvert and not so extrovert.