Interpretation must depend on the text and the context. They are the basis of interpretation. One may well say if the text is the texture, context is what gives the colour. Neither can be ignored. Both are important. That interpretation is best which makes the textual interpretation match the contextual.
Where statutory provision is plain and unambiguous- Court shall not interpret the same in a different manner
The Court’s jurisdiction to interpret a statute can be invoked when the same is ambiguous. It is well known that in a given case the Court can iron out the fabric but it cannot change the texture of the fabric. It cannot enlarge the scope of legislation or intention when the language of the provision is plain and unambiguous. It cannot add or subtract words to a statute or read something into it which is not there. It cannot rewrite or recast legislation.
The Constitution of the United States was not ordained and established by the States, but, as the preamble declares, by “the people of the United States.” It was competent for the people to invest the general government with all the powers which they might deem proper and necessary; to extend or restrain these powers, according to their own good pleasure, and to give them a paramount and supreme authority.
The preamble has been said to be a good means to find out the intention of a statute, and, as it were, a key to the understanding of it. It usually states, or professes to state, the general object and meaning of the Legislature in passing the measure.
What authority has the Master of the Rolls for saying that the courts do look at the marginal notes?” Per Bramwell, L.J.: “What would happen if the marginal notes differed from the section, which is a possibility, as is shown in section 112 of this Act? Does the marginal note repeal the section, or does the section repeal the marginal note?”
The headings of a portion of a statute may be referred to in order to determine the sense of any doubtful expressions in sections ranged under it. (Hammersmith and City Railway Co. v. Brand, L.R. 4 H.L. 171, 203; but see—per Lord Cairns, id. p. 217. Eastern Counties Rail. Co. v. Marriage, 9 H.L. Ca. 32. Union Steamship Co. of N.Z. v. Melbourne Harbour Trust, 9 App. Ca. 365.)
“An Act.” An Act may, for the purpose of analysis and classification, be considered as consisting of the following parts:— (1) Title, (2) Preamble, (3) Words of enacting authority, (4) The Covering […]
The enacting part of an Act is not to be controlled by the title or recitals unless the enacting part is ambiguous, and then the title and recitals may be referred to for the purpose of ascertaining the intention of the legislature. (Bentley v. Rotherham Local Board
Thus when there is an ambiguity in terms of a provision, one must look at well-settled principles of construction but it is not open to first create an ambiguity which does not exist and then try to resolve the same by taking recourse to some general principle.
When a statute enacts that something shall be deemed to have been done, which in fact and truth was not done, the Court is entitled and bound to ascertain for what purposes and between what persons the statutory fiction is to be resorted to…
If a directs to do an act in certain manner, it necessarily prohibits doing of the act in any other manner.
If a statute has conferred a power to do an act and has laid down the method in which that power has to be exercised, it necessarily prohibits the doing of the […]
The proper function of a proviso is to except and to deal with a case which would otherwise fall within the general language of the main enactment and its effect is confined to that case.
When a statute is passed for the purpose of enabling something to be done, and prescribed the way in which it is to be done, it may be either an absolute enactment […]
Where the plain literal interpretation of a statutory provision produces a manifestly unjust result which could never have been intended by the Legislature, the Court might modify the language used by the […]
In interpreting a taxing statute, equitable considerations are entirely out of place. A taxing statute cannot be interpreted on any presumption or assumption. A taxing statute has to be interpreted in the light of what is clearly expressed; it cannot imply anything which is not expressed; it cannot import provisions in the statute so as to supply any deficiency.
Where words of a statute are absolutely clear and unambiguous, no interpretation other than literal rule shall apply
It is a settled principle of interpretation that the Court should neither add nor delete words from a statute. Where the words of a statute are absolutely clear and unambiguous, recourse cannot […]
In Julius v. Bishop of Oxford (1880) 5 A.C. 214 it was observed by Cairns, L.C., at pp. 222-223 that the words “it shall be lawful” conferred a faculty or power, and they did not of themselves do more than confer a faculty or power.
§ 1. The Three Factors of Judging Good judgment A man of good judgment in a given set of affairs is a man in so far educated, trained, whatever may be his […]
General principles for construction of a Will have been reiterated by supreme court in a large number of cases. It shall be sufficient to refer to a three Judge Bench judgment of […]
When language of the provision is plain and unambiguous, the question of supplying ‘casus omissus’ does not arise
Apex Court in the case of Union of India and Anr. v. Shardindu held that when language of the provision is plain and unambiguous, the question of supplying ‘casus omissus’ does not arise and the Court can interpret a law but cannot legislate. Therefore, recent trend for supplying gape in legislation is concerned, the Court will be loath in exercise of power under Article 226 of the Constitution of India