Exceptio probat regulam

Literal Translation

Exception that proves the rule.


- It is also used to give grounds for something that seems to contradict a rule. - In other words, this maxim states an exception to the regular or general rule which is to be followed. Exception alone is not taken unto the consideration; it is always an assumption that there exists a general rule. - It means that if there is an exception that can be applied to a specific case, it proves that a general rule exists.


(i) If you spot a notice that says no parking is allowed on odd days on right side it means you can park your vehicle on even days on left side. (ii) Bank is used to be closed on 2nd and 4th of Saturday, it means it will be open in remaining days other than the Sunday. (iii) In the present situation of pandemic i.e. covid -19, the general rule was if the person have its shop number plate in odd number than they can open there shop on odd days only and vice –versa. (iv) The same goes for the sign that says closed on Monday and Sunday it means the shop will be open on all other days. (v) Thus, from above illustration we can assume that if there is an exception that can be applied to a specific case, it proves that the general rule always exists.

Case Law

- Bhavani Ammavs Madhavi Amma & Another[1]

- In the case on hand  the honorable High Court of Kerala used  “Exceptioprobat regulam de rebus non exceptis. (An exception proves the rule concerning things not excepted.) Section 39, when it says that until partition no member of the tarwad(a joint family consisting of males and female who have all descended in the family line from a common ancestress) shall be deemed to have any heritable interest in tarwad property, has to be understood to say that what a member gets in partition of the tarwad is heritable property in his or her hands.”

[1]HC of Kerala 26 July 1963