Prima facie

Prima facie means On the face of it. And the origin of this maxim is from Latin.

Explanation

This maxim 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 defense that is sufficiently established by a party’s evidence to justify a verdict in his or her favor, provided such evidence is not rebutted by the other party.

Illustration

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 laws

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

In this case, the 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 that 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.

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 rooftop 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.

Author: Shubham siwach

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