Ratio decidendi literally means reason for decision. It is a principle or proposition of law based on the material facts of the case.
• It disposes of the case before the court.
• It is the binding element in a decision or precedent.
• It consists of a group of fact situations with those of the instant case as minimum.
Obiter dictaliterally means „by the way‟: These are by the way statements of law or fact made by judge in the course of judgment.
They do not dispose of the case before the court and have no binding force. These statements strengthen or reinforce the decision of the court.
They may be relied upon by advocates in subsequent cases as persuasive authority.