INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION
Tejas Shah
CA Finalist,
( India )
INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION
 Language and it’s limitation.
 What is Statute ? It’s Origin, Nature & Scope.
 Basic a...
(1) PREAMBLE
Dictionary meaning : Introduction or Preliminary Statement
 Preamble contains main object of the Act
 Pream...
PREAMBLE (Cont.)
Rulings:-
(1) Kesavanand Bharati v/s State of Kerala ( 1973 - SC )
Declared by majority that preamble is ...
(2) TITLE
 Short / Long Title - Purpose of title is to give a general
description about the object of the act.
Reference ...
(3) HEADING
 Heading are of two kinds (1) Heading prefixed to a section
(2) Heading prefixed to a group or set of section...
(4) MARGINAL NOTES
 Inserted at the side of sections and express the effect of
sections. Unlike in our Constitution of In...
(5) CONTEXT
 Study of surrounding provisions provide answers to an
ambiguous or equivocal or intricate word. Read entire
...
(6) PUNCTUATION AND BRACKETS
 Full-stop, comma, colon, Semi-colon, hyphen, oblique,
bracket etc.
 Before 1850 in England...
PUNCTUATION AND BRACKETS (Cont. )
Rulings:-
(1) A.K. Gopalan v/s State of Madras ( 1950 - SC )
Article 22(7) of Constituti...
(7) ILLUSTRATIONS
 Provisions are made practical through Illustrations.
 However, they are not treated as complete.
 Th...
ILLUSTRATIONS (cont.)
Rulings:-
(1) Shambhunath v/s State of Ajmer ( 1965 - SC )
Illustrations in S. 101 and 106 of
“ Indi...
(8) DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION CLAUSE
 Natural meaning of some words are extended or restricted
through definition / i...
DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION CLAUSE
Examples:-
(1) The Indian Contract Act, 1872 S. 2
For Interpretation Clauses
(2) IPC ...
(9) PROVISO
 Ordinarily for exception to main section or exemption from it,
Proviso is added in the section.
 General ru...
(10) EXCEPTION AND SAVING CLAUSES
 Exception is added to an enactment for exempting something
which would otherwise fall ...
(11) RULES
Rules are understood as showing procedure necessary for
administration and execution of main Act.
Sometimes rul...
(12) FICTIONS
Fiction is a legal assumption which , In Fact, does not exist.
Examples:- (1) Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
S. 29...
(13) EXPLANATION
 Explains meaning of a particular provision
 Doubt, Confusion, Ambiguity, vagueness etc removed
 Offer...
(14) SCHEDULE
 Schedule indicates how claims or rights under the act are
asserted or powers exercised.
 It comes at the ...
Internal aids to interpretation of law
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Internal aids to interpretation of law

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Internal aids to interpretation of law

  1. 1. INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION Tejas Shah CA Finalist, ( India )
  2. 2. INTERNAL AIDS TO INTERPRETATION  Language and it’s limitation.  What is Statute ? It’s Origin, Nature & Scope.  Basic approach (a) Read Statute as a whole and (b) If Language is plain, do not stretch / contract it.  Difficulty arises when language is not clear. Therefore comes the role of interpretation / construction and their distinction.  Broadly two interpretation aids are available:- (1) Internal aids - which are existing in the Statutes itself (2) External aids - which are found outside the Statutes.
  3. 3. (1) PREAMBLE Dictionary meaning : Introduction or Preliminary Statement  Preamble contains main object of the Act  Preamble cannot be referred, if language of the enactment is clear.  Preamble is a key to open the mind of the makers of the act and the mischief which they intended to remove.  Preamble in Constitution of India.
  4. 4. PREAMBLE (Cont.) Rulings:- (1) Kesavanand Bharati v/s State of Kerala ( 1973 - SC ) Declared by majority that preamble is part of the constitution (2) State of West Bengal v/s Anwar Ali ( 1952 - SC ) Preamble to “ West Bengal Special Courts Act, 1950 “ referred to end the dispute. (3) Kedar Nath v/s State of West Bengal ( 1953 - SC ) Identical approach as above in No. (2) –” West Bengal Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1949 “ (4) Rastriya Mill Mazdoor Sangh v/s N.T.C ( 1996 - SC ) Held, Preamble cannot be invoked when language is clear. “Textile Undertaking (Takeover of Management) Act, 1983.”
  5. 5. (2) TITLE  Short / Long Title - Purpose of title is to give a general description about the object of the act. Reference to IPC, CPC, Cr. PC, I.D. Act etc.  Title is not considered if language is clear. Rulings:- (1) Ashwini Kumar v/s Arbinda Bose ( 1952 - SC ) “Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in High Courts) Act, 1951.” It’s Long title “ An Act to authorize advocates of Supreme Court to Practice as of right in any High Court “ was referred to end the controversy. (2) Manoharlal v/s State of Punjab (1961 - SC ) “Punjab Trade Employees Act. 1940 “ - Title referred to settle the dispute.
  6. 6. (3) HEADING  Heading are of two kinds (1) Heading prefixed to a section (2) Heading prefixed to a group or set of sections.  Heading is treated as preamble to above.  Heading is not useful if language is clear.  Reference to IPC S. 299 to 348. Various heading for group of offences in various section. Rulings:- Bhinka v/s Charan Sing (1959 - SC ) “U.P. Tenancy Act, 1939” S.180 Heading of section “ Ejectment of Person occupying land without title “ was referred by court for resolving the dispute.
  7. 7. (4) MARGINAL NOTES  Inserted at the side of sections and express the effect of sections. Unlike in our Constitution of India, marginal notes in other enactments are added by drafters. Occasionally they are inaccurate. They are hence not part of the Statutes. Courts do not depend upon them now, unlike in past.  But in the case of our Constitution of India, marginal notes are added by the constituent assembly, hence they are referred in interpretation. Rulings:- (1) Charanlal Shah v/s NandKishor Bhatt ( 1973 - SC ) “Representation of People’s Act, 1951” S. 117 and S. 86 (2) Madura Coats v/s It’s Workmen ( 1977 - SC ) “Payment of Bonus Act, 1965” S. 31-A (3) S.P. Gupta v/s President of India. ( 1982 - SC )
  8. 8. (5) CONTEXT  Study of surrounding provisions provide answers to an ambiguous or equivocal or intricate word. Read entire Statute. Study the context in which word is used. Examples:- (1) S. 302 Punishment for Murder. Words like Murder, Death, Culpable Homicide u/s 6(46) , 299, 300 IPC provide answer to questions arising in the study of S. 302. (2) S. 497 IPC on Adultery. Study the Context.
  9. 9. (6) PUNCTUATION AND BRACKETS  Full-stop, comma, colon, Semi-colon, hyphen, oblique, bracket etc.  Before 1850 in England, Punctuation played no role in interpretation.  In India, Courts usually give importance to them but if thereby the meaning obtained is doubtful then the courts interpret the provisions as if no punctuation marks exist and arrive at the meaning.
  10. 10. PUNCTUATION AND BRACKETS (Cont. ) Rulings:- (1) A.K. Gopalan v/s State of Madras ( 1950 - SC ) Article 22(7) of Constitution having commas interpreted. (2) Judgment in above case overruled in Shambhunath Sarkar v/s State of West Bengal ( 1973 - SC ) (3) Ashwini Kumar v/s Arbinda Bose ( 1952 - SC ) Punctuation not followed by court. (4) Moh. Shabir v/s State of Maharashtra ( 1979 - SC ) S. 27 “Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.” (5) Strange Case of Sir Roger Casements (accused literally hanged by a comma)
  11. 11. (7) ILLUSTRATIONS  Provisions are made practical through Illustrations.  However, they are not treated as complete.  They cannot control plain meaning.  Interpretation cannot be made contrary to Illustrations.  No extended or restricted meaning can be given to provisions on the basis of illustrations.  IPC is full of illustrations.  References to S. 299, 300, 88 etc. of IPC.
  12. 12. ILLUSTRATIONS (cont.) Rulings:- (1) Shambhunath v/s State of Ajmer ( 1965 - SC ) Illustrations in S. 101 and 106 of “ Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ” referred Principle evolved on interpreting illustrations. (2) Moh. Syedol Ariffin v/s Y.O. Gark ( 1916 - PC ) Evidence Act S. 32(5) - Illustration ( L ) referred.
  13. 13. (8) DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION CLAUSE  Natural meaning of some words are extended or restricted through definition / interpretation clause in the enactment. Sometimes particular meaning is provided. It cannot be used to explain same word in other enactment unless such enactments are Pari Materia. Exceptions are :-  I.D Act s. 2(j) ‘ Industry ’ / BIR Act s.3(19) ‘ industry ‘ I.D Act s. 2(g) ‘ Employer ’ / BIR Act s.3(14) ‘ employer ‘ I.D Act s. 2(k) ‘ Ind. dispute ’ / BIR Act s.3(17) ‘ Ind. dispute‘ Above words carry different meaning in each act.  Following words indicate definition (1) ‘Means’ ........ exhaustive meaning constructed (2) ‘Means and includes’ ……” exhaustive meaning constructed “ (3) ‘Includes’ ...... enlarges ordinary meaning (4) ‘denotes’ ...... confined to the ambit of the word. (5) ‘deemed to be’ ...... creates a fiction (6) ‘that is to say’ ...... Illustrative of meaning
  14. 14. DEFINITION AND INTERPRETATION CLAUSE Examples:- (1) The Indian Contract Act, 1872 S. 2 For Interpretation Clauses (2) IPC S. 6 to 51 Most of which are definition clauses. Rulings: - (1) Pradyat Kumar v/s Chief Justice, Calcutta (1956 - SC ) Constitution Art. 229(1), 367(1) & General Clauses Act, 1897 S. 16(1) (2) State of Bombay v/s Hospital Mazdoor Sabha ( 1960 - SC ) I.D. Act S. 2(j) ‘ Industry’. (3) Ardeshir v/s Bombay State ( 1962 – SC ) Factory Act S. 2(m) & S.6 referred. (4) Delhi Judicial Service Association, Tis Hazari Court v/s State of Gujarat ( 1991 – SC ) Art. 129 of Constitution of India, referred.
  15. 15. (9) PROVISO  Ordinarily for exception to main section or exemption from it, Proviso is added in the section.  General rule on Proviso is - it Limits the ambit of the section, which it qualifies.  If proviso contradicts main enactment, then proviso prevails as it speaks the last intention of the legislature. However attempt to reconcile both should be made first. Rulings:- (1) T. Devdasan v/s Union of India (1964-SC ) Constitution of India Art 16(1) and 16(4) (2) Ishwarbhai v/s Motibhai ( 1966 - SC ) Bombay Tenancy & Agricultural Land Act,1948 S. 43(c) - Proviso Example of Proviso :- IPC S. 300 Exception - 1 & Proviso 1 to 3.
  16. 16. (10) EXCEPTION AND SAVING CLAUSES  Exception is added to an enactment for exempting something which would otherwise fall in the ambit of main provision.  Ordinarily, in conflict with operative part, operative part prevails over exception and only in rare cases exception prevails over operative part.  Difference between Proviso and Exception : Section is followed by proviso and proviso applies in certain circumstances whereas exceptions apply in all circumstances. Example of Exceptions :- (1) IPC S. 76 to 105 (2) IPC S. 300 Exception 1 to 5  Saving clauses are appended in cases of repeal and re- enactment of a Statute to ensure the continuation of past rights. Example:- (1) General Clauses Act, 1897 S. 29 (2) Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 S. 29 (1 to 4) (3) Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 S. 30.
  17. 17. (11) RULES Rules are understood as showing procedure necessary for administration and execution of main Act. Sometimes rules provide clarification for ambiguous provision of the Act. Rules are considered as part of Statutes. Examples:- (1) I.D. Act – 90 Rules (2) BIR Act – 76 Rules Rulings:- (1) TELCO v/s Gram Panchayat (1976 – SC ) Bombay Village Panchayat Act, 1933, S .89 and Rule 108. Meaning of ‘House’ (2) 1913 – Calcutta Case CPC, 1908 S. 107
  18. 18. (12) FICTIONS Fiction is a legal assumption which , In Fact, does not exist. Examples:- (1) Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 S. 29 (1)(2)(3) Rulings:- (1) State of Bombay v/s Pandurang ( 1981-BH ) S.16(1) Bombay Buildings ( Control and Eviction ) Act, 1948 & Bombay Buildings ( Control and Eviction ) Ordinance, 1948. (2) K.S Dharmanandan v/s Central Government & Others (1979 – SC ) S. 5(2)(d) and S. 6 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947
  19. 19. (13) EXPLANATION  Explains meaning of a particular provision  Doubt, Confusion, Ambiguity, vagueness etc removed  Offers additional support to the object of the provision  It cannot take away statutory right which is awarded  Court’s duty to harmonize in case of conflict between main provision and the explanation. Examples:- (1) Cr. P.C S.125(1) & (3) Explanation on ‘wife’ (2) IPC S. 299 Explanation 1 to 3
  20. 20. (14) SCHEDULE  Schedule indicates how claims or rights under the act are asserted or powers exercised.  It comes at the end of the act.  It is part of the act.  In conflicts between Schedule and the Act, Act prevails. Examples:- (1) Constitution of India. Schedule 1 to 12. (2) I.D. Act - Schedule 1 to 5. (3) BIR Act - Schedule 1 to 3. Rulings:- Alphalia Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v/s State of Maharashtra ( 1989 – SC )

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