What Does Obiter Mean?


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Lakshmipriya Nair Profile
Obiter is a legal term. It refers to a remark or observation made by a judge which is included as the court's opinion but is not considered as the court's decision. It is also known as the Obiter Dictum. They may be correct statements of law but wouldn't be included in the subject of judicial decision unlike rationes decidendi. Therefore they are not binding but can be very persuasive as in some jurisdictions like England and Wales.

In India, the Supreme Court gives binding force to many of its obiter dicta. Obiter dicta and its passages are often quoted by judges while announcing a sentence or giving judgement which is later on used as a reference while dealing with a similar situation.

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