Literal Meaning


Explanation & Origin

Latin maxim which means willing.

In law, volens is a state of mind, referring to voluntary acceptance of a specific risk. It is usually pleaded by way of defence, and often employs the legal Latin volenti non fit injuria. The term volens itself is often used in contradistinction to the terms sciens (meaning mere knowledge of the risk, without any voluntary assumption of it).

The effect of the defence varies from country to country.

In some countries it is (or can be) a total defence to show that the claimant knew and accepted the risk of the injury in undertaking their course of conduct. In other countries it can give rise to a partial defence of contributory negligence.


If A is signing the contract was aware of and voluntarily accepted the risk of personal injury, which may then subsequently establish a successful volenti defence.

Case Reference

R.Muraleedharan Nair vs Travancore Devaswom Board [AIR 1991 Ker 25]

In this case it was held that indeed, once Exhibit P2 is accepted – and not much doubt exists on that count – to be an offshoot of a quasi-judicial adjudication of the right of a particular person, any other person, who is likely to be affected as a result of the exercise of the said quasi-judicial power, nolens volens, ought to have been heard.

Sanjeet Singh Kaila vs Union Of India And Another [2nd May 2017]

In this case it was said that the risk may arise from a defect in a machine which the servant has engaged to work of such a nature that his personal danger and consequent injury must be produced by his own act, If he clearly foresaw the likelihood of such a result, and, not withstanding, continued to work, I think that, according to the authorities, he ought to be regarded as volens. The case may be very different when there is no inherent peril in the work performed by the servant, and the risk to which he is exposed arises from a defect in the machine used in another department over which he has no control.(emphasis supplied)

Dr. Sunil Puri vs Union Of India And Another [29th October 2018]

In this case it was mentioned that  “The sense of urgency may be infused by a host of circumstances such as trafficking and unscrupulous puddling in licences, large scale misuse of imported goods, attempts to monopolise or corner the market, whole sale prevalence of improper practices among classes of importers, public sentiment etc. etc Public interest must nolens volens be the paramount consideration.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

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