Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur

Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur

Literal Meaning

An individual who does not prevent something which he/she could of prevented, is taken to have done that thing.

Explanation & Origin

Origin – The maxim has a Latin origin.

Explanation – The maxim “Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur” establishes the take on law for the person who does not prevent the happening of an offence which he or she could have prevented. The law, in such a case, assumes that the offence was also committed by the person who was in a position to prevent such happening of the offence.


A Lessee is liable for all the waste done on the land in lease by whomsoever it may be committed, for it is presumed by law that the lessee may withstand it through the maxim- Qui non obstat obstare paoest facere videtur.

Case References

In the case of Altersol v. Stevens[1], it was held that if there are two joint tenants for life or for years, and one of them commits waste, this is deemed to be waste by both, as to the place wasted. However, treble damages will be recovered against the person who actually committed the waste.

In the case of Amarbir Singh v The State of Punjab[2], the court stated the maxims “Qui non obstat quod obstare potest facere videtur” (he who does not prevent what he can, seems to commit the thing) and “Qui non prohibit quod prohibere potest assentire videtur” (he who does not forbid what he can forbid, seems to assent), apply to the acts of the commission and further said that the Commission was certainly in a position to prevent most of the events which have occurred in the present case and have tarnished the image of the Commission. 

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


[1] 1 Jaunt.196

[2] CWP No.8421 of 2002