Question: Explain the legal word Ultra vires. Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [Explain the legal word Ultra vires.] Answer Ultra-vires Ultra vires is a legal term of Latin origin. In Latin, the maxim literally means, ‘beyond the powers’. Ultra-vires is a legal term that refers to a violation of a statute’s boundaries. The term refers to… Read More »

Question: Explain the legal word Ultra vires. Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [Explain the legal word Ultra vires.] Answer Ultra-vires Ultra vires is a legal term of Latin origin. In Latin, the maxim literally means, ‘beyond the powers’. Ultra-vires is a legal term that refers to a violation of a statute’s boundaries. The term refers to activities made by government entities or businesses that go beyond the authority granted to them by laws or corporate mandates. A constitution...

Question: Explain the legal word Ultra vires.

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [Explain the legal word Ultra vires.]

Answer

Ultra-vires

Ultra vires is a legal term of Latin origin. In Latin, the maxim literally means, ‘beyond the powers’. Ultra-vires is a legal term that refers to a violation of a statute’s boundaries.

The term refers to activities made by government entities or businesses that go beyond the authority granted to them by laws or corporate mandates. A constitution is referred to as the scope of authority in legal terms when referring to the activities of government bodies (e.g., legislatures).

The Madras High Court defined ultra vires as where a particular practice or authority surpasses lawful power, encroaches some legal prohibition, is either inept or mala fide, or, becoming honestly quasi-judicial, violates some justiciable norm, it may be quashed; and not otherwise.

In Anand Prakash and Anr. v. Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies [AIR 1968 All 22], holding that “the word ‘extra vires’ simply means “beyond powers” or “lack of power.” The word “ultra vires” refers to something other than “illegality.”

In the broadest meaning, everything that is not permitted by law is illegal; yet, in its narrower definition, “illegal” refers to the feature that renders the act itself unlawful. It refers to a person’s ability or power to perform that action. Conduct may be unlawful because it is banned by law, or it may be criminal for other reasons such as fraud, undue influence, or being contrary to public policy.”

Generally, it only applies to activities carried out beyond the scope of the doer’s legal authority. Intra vires, which means ‘inside the powers,’ is the polar opposite of ultra vires. It indicates that if someone has legal permission to do something and acts within a certain authority, they are operating intra vires.


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Updated On 2022-04-16T11:49:34+05:30
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