Apex Court in Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works Pvt. Ltd. v. Chief Inspector of Stamp, U.P. AIR 1968 SC 102, a Statute is an edict of the legislature and has to be construed according to “the intent of those that make it”.
If a statutory provision is open to more than one interpretation, the Court has to choose that interpretation which represents the true intention of the legislature. It is to be presumed that in enacting a post constitutional law the legislative intent could not have been to violate any fundamental right.
In ascertaining the intention of the legislature the Court is to examine two aspects, the meaning of the words and phrases used in the statute and the purpose and object or the reason and spirit pervading through the statute.
Legislative intention, that is the true legal meaning of an enactment, is deduced by considering the meaning of the words used in the enactment, in the light of any discernible purposes or object of the enactment. When any question arises as to the meaning of any provision in a statute, it is proper to read that provision in the context of the intention of the legislature. The intention of the Legislature must be found by reading the statute as a whole.
A statute or any statutory provision must be construed and interpreted in a manner that makes the statute effective and operative on the principle expressed in the maxim ut res magis valeat quam pereat and/or in other words, the principle that courts while pronouncing on the constitutionality of a statute starts with the presumption in favour of constitutionality and prefer a construction which keeps the statute within the competence of the legislature.
Thus when a statute is vague, the Court will give such an interpretation that keeps the statute in conformity with the fundamental rights. Similarly, if a statute is capable of two interpretations one of which violates the fundamental rights and the other of which protects the fundamental rights the court would opt for the latter.
When a statutory provision is clear and there is no ambiguity, this Court cannot alter that provision by its interpretation. To do so, would be to legislate, which this Court is not competent to do. If a provision is free from ambiguity or vagueness, and is clear, but violative of a fundamental right, the Court will have to strike the same down. Any omission in a statute cannot be filled in by Court as to do that would amount to the legislation and not construction. The Court cannot fill in casus omissus and language permitting Court should avoid creating casus omissus where there is none. In the interpretation of statute the Courts must always presume that legislature inserted every part thereof for a purpose and the legislative intention is that every part of the statute should have effect.