Literal Translation

Less importance or Insignificant.


The legal maxim is of Latin origin and derived from the Latin word “de minimis” which means less importance or insignificant. The legal maxim denotes that “ law does not concern itself with trifles”. This legal principle states that judges will not sit in a case of minor offences of law, where the effect is very minor even though it is an illegal act. The principle is followed in the Section 95 of Indian Penal Code,1860. The section states that “Nothing is an offence by reason that it causes, or that it is intended to cause, or that it is known to be likely to cause, any harm, if that harm is so slight that no person of ordinary sense and temper would complain such harm”.


“A” and “B” were working in a firm. “A” took a dozen of pens from “B” without his consent. “B” became angry and sued “A” for theft. The court held that “A” is not liable by applying the rule “de minimis non curat lex” since it will not cause great harm or any big loss as it’s a frivolous matter.

Case Law

1. Peria samiand Others V. State of Tamil Nadu (1996)

2. Oreintal Bank of Commerce V. Lata Rani (2011)

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