Expressum facit cessare tacitum-Expression precludes implication

A5X8HE Open Dictionary

Expressum facit cessare tacitum – Express mention of one thing implies the exclusion of other.  This doctrine has been applied by this Court in various cases to enunciate the principle that expression precludes implication. Union of India v. Tulsiram Patel, AIR 1985 SC 1416. It is always safer to apply plain and primary rule of construction. The first and primary rule of construction is that intention of the legislature is to be found in the words used by the legislature itself. The true or legal meaning of an enactment is derived by construing the meaning of the word in the light of the discernible purpose or object which comprehends the mischief and its remedy to which an enactment is directed. (State of Himachal Pradesh v. Kailash Chand Mahajan, AIR 1992 SC 1277 and Padma Sundara Rao v. State of T.N., AIR 2002 SC 1334).

It is always important for the Court to keep in mind the purpose which lies behind the statute while interpreting the statutory provisions. This was stated by this Court in Padma Sundara Rao’s case (supra) as under:-

11. … The first and primary rule of construction is that the intention of the legislation must be found in the words used by the legislature itself. The question is not what may be supposed and has been intended but what has been said. “Statutes should be construed, not as theorems of Euclid”, Judge Learned Hand said, “but words must be construed with some imagination of the purposes which lie behind them”. (See Lenigh Valley Coal Co. v. Yensavage 218 FR 547. The view was reiterated in Union of India v. Filip Tiago De Gama of Vedem Vasco De Gama AIR 1990 SC 981.

The maxim, expressum facit cessare tacitum (when there is express mention of certain things, then anything not mentioned is excluded) applies to the case. As pointed out by this Court in B. Shankara Rao Badami v. State of Mysore (1969) 3 SCR 112 : (AIR 1969 SC 453 at P. 459). This well-known maxim is a principle of logic and common sense and not merely a technical rule of construction.


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