What is the meaning of Ab initio?


Meaning – From the beginning.

The meaning of legal maxim ‘Ab initio, is from the first act, from the beginning, or from inception.


Ab initio‘ is a Latin term meaning “from the beginning“. For example, if something is said to be void ab initio, the thing was never created or valid to begin with.

“At the outset”, referring to an inquiry or investigation. In literature, refers to a story told from the beginning rather than in medias res (from the middle). In law, refers to something being the case from the start or from the instant of the act, rather than from when the court declared it so. A judicial declaration of the invalidity of a marriage ab initio is a nullity. In science, refers to the first principles. In other contexts, often refers to beginner or training courses. Ab initio mundi means “from the beginning of the world”.

Case Law Reference related to the legal maxim ‘Ab initio’

Dilip Kumar Mukherjee Vs. Commercial Tax Officer &Ors, AIR 1965 Cal 498 : MANU/WB/0104/1965