Oct 20, 2020


In Latin, the doctrine "obiter dictum" means "by the way". This doctrine is derived from English Law, where a judgement consists of two elements, i.e. ratio decidendi & obiter dictum. For judicial precedent, obiter dicta are persuasive while ratio decidendi is binding. The term obiter dictum is used to refer to any opinion or any non- necessary remark made by a judge. Obiter dicta means any incidental remark, opinion by a judge, observation etc. or any supplementary opinion of a judge which is not essential for the actual decision. 


Vrinda purchased an XYZ washer and a dryer set; she got disappointed when the washing machine stopped working after one month of its purchase. She has a one year warranty on manufacturer defects, she claims to repair her washing machine. The XYZ Company denied the claim with a message that she has accepted the company's terms & conditions for warranty and so she is not eligible. Vrinda fills a suit against the company to be held responsible for fulfilling the warranty.

The Court decision rendered in favour of Vrinda. The Court said that this is a case of defective appliances & its warrants. The Court analogy is obiter dicta, not crucial to the Court’s ruling.