Category: Statutory Interpretation

How to interpret a taxing statute

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.

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It shall be lawful – means

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.

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

The duty to act Judicially may be inferred from the provisions of the statute

It is clear therefore that S. 56 (2) deals with cases where there is a doubt in the mind of the collector in regard to an instrument which comes up before him under the above provisions of the Act as to the construction of the instrument and the provisions of the Act applicable to it. Such doubt itself shows that the point raised for the Collector’s decision is a difficult point of law and from the very nature of the duty to be performed in such circumstances it appears clear that the Chief Controlling Revenue-authority has to decide the matter Judicially and would thus be a quasi-Judicial tribunal.

Or – The meaning of

In order to steer clear of the above interpretation of Section 11 (2) learned counsel for the employees put forward the argument that the word ‘or’ occurring in the section should not […]