Thus, where a certain translation of texts of Hindu Law has been accepted and acted upon by courts of law as corrected on which question of title to property has been decided, the principle of stare decisis would apply to prevent reopening of the whole question involved on the ground that such translation is wrong.
The principle of stare decisis is applicable only where the effect of departing from an established rule of decision will be to unsettle transactions which have been previously supposed to be finally settled.
(b) Obiter Dicta:
The only judicial principles which are authoritative are these which are relevant in their subject-matter and limited in their scope with regard to facts of a particular case. The ratio decidendi of a decision, which contains the principle of a law formulated by a judge, has the force of law as regards the world at large.
It has to be distinguished from obiter dicta which are not essential for the decision of the ease and may even be answers to hypothetical questions and as such have not the force of law. The obiter dicta, i.e., things said by the way, are of merely persuasive efficacy. The observations of a judge of great eminence must carry weight particularly if the observations are in keeping with the provisions of an enactment.
(c) Radio Decidendi:
The ratio decidendi of a decision contains the principle of law formulated by a judge. It is the conclusion reached by the judges on the basis of the material facts and on the exclusion of the immaterial ones.
The ratio decidendi has the force of law as regards the world at large, but as Professor Good hart points out we cannot always accept the actual formulation of a principle by a court since the principle may be laid down in either too broad or too narrow a fashion.
To discover whether the ratio is binding in a subsequent case we must see if the material facts are identical. If they are not then the first decision is not binding on the court that deals ‘with the second.