Rule Of Reasonable Construction Is Based On Which Maxim?

Rule Of Reasonable Construction Is Based On Which Maxim
Rule of Reasonable Construction – Legal Maxim: Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pareat which means it is better to give effect to a thing than to declare it void. Every law is drafted with a purpose in mind, but if the literal meaning of the law defeats the purpose of the statute, the law should be understood keeping in mind the intention with which it was drafted.

What is the rule of reasonable construction?

Rule of Reasonable Construction Every statute has a purpose, an objective. If the literal meaning collides with the reason of enactment of the statute then the intention of the lawshould be taken up so that the actual meaning of the statute can beproperly understood.

What is the cardinal rule of construction?

(1) Rule of Literal Construction: – It is the cardinal rule of construction that words, sentences and phrases of a statute should be read in their ordinary, natural and grammatical meaning so that they may have effect in their widest amplitude. At the same time, the elementary rule of construction has to be borne in mind that words and phrases of technical nature are ‘prima facie’ used in their technical meaning, if they have any, and otherwise in their ordinary popular meaning.

  • When the language of the statute is plain and unambiguous and admits of only one meaning, no question of construction of a statute arises, for the Act speaks for itself.
  • The meaning must be collected from the expressed intention of the legislature (State of U.P.v.
  • Vijay Anand, AIR 1963 SC 946).
  • A word which has a definite and clear meaning should be interpreted with that meaning only, irrespective of its consequences.

Sometimes, occasions may arise when a choice has to be made between two interpretations – one narrower and the other wider or bolder. In such a situation, if the narrower interpretation would fail to achieve the manifest purpose of the legislation, one should rather adopt the wider one.

For example, when we talk of disclosure of the nature of concern or interest, financial or otherwise’ of a director or the manager of a company in the subject- matter of a proposed motion (as referred to in section 102 of the Companies Act, 2013), we have to interpret in its broader sense that any concern or interest containing any information and facts that may enable members to understand the meaning, scope and implications of the items of business and to take decision thereon.

Whatever, What is required is a full and frank disclosure without reservation or suppression, as, for instance where a son or daughter or father or mother or brother or sister is concerned in any contract or matter, the shareholders ought fairly to be informed of it and the material facts disclosed to them.

  1. Here a restricted narrow interpretation would defeat the very purpose of the disclosure.
  2. Further, the phrase and sentences are to be construed according to the rules of grammar.
  3. This was emphasized in no uncertain terms by the Supreme Court in the case of S.S.
  4. Railway Company vs.
  5. Workers Union (AIR 1969 S.C.

at 518) when it is stated that the courts should give a literal meaning to the language used by the legislature unless the language is ambiguous or its literal sense gives rise to any anomaly or results in something which may defeat the purpose of the Act.

  • It is the duty of the court to give effect to the intent of the legislature and in doing so, its first reference is to the literal meaning of the words employed.
  • Where the language is plain and admits of only one meaning, there is no room for interpretation and only that meaning is to be enforced even though it is absurd or mischievous, the maxim being ‘absoluta sententia expositore non indiget’ (which means a simple preposition needs no expositor i.e., when you have plain words capable of only one interpretation, no explanation to them is required).
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Similarly, when a matter which should have been, but has not been, provided for in a statute cannot be supplied by courts as to do so would amount to legislation and would not be construction. For example: Section 71 of the U.P. District Boards Act, 1922 provided that a Board may dismiss its secretary by special resolution which in certain cases required sanction of the Local Government.

Section 90 of the same Act conferred a power to suspend the secretary pending, inter alia, the orders of any authority whose sanction was necessary for his dismissal. Section 71 of the Act was amended in 1931 and it then provided that a resolution of dismissal was not to take effect till the expiry of the period of appeal or till the decision of the appeal, if it was so presented.

However Section 90 of the Act was not correspondingly amended. The Supreme Court observed that it was unfortunate that when the legislature came to amend the old Section 71 of the Act it forgot to amend Section 90 in conformity with the amendment of Section 71.

The Court, however emphasized that while no doubt it is the duty of the Court to try and harmonise the various provisions of an Act passed by the legislature, it is certainly not the duty of the court to stretch the word used by the legislature to fill in gaps or omissions in the provisions of an Act.

However, sometimes the courts may look at the setting or the context in which the words are used and the circumstances in which the law has come to be passed to decide whether there is something implicit behind the words actually used which would control the literal meaning of the words used.

If there are two possible constructions of a clause, one a mere mechanical and literal construction based on the rules of grammar and the other which emerges from the setting in which the clause appears and the circumstances in which it came to be enacted and also from the words used therein, the courts may prefer the second construction which, though may not be literal, may be a better one.

(Arora vs. State of U.P., AIR 1964 S.C.1230 at 1236-37). Words used in the popular sense: It dealing with mattes regarding the general public, statute are presumed to use words in their popular sense. But to deal with particular business or transaction, words are presumed to be used with the particular meaning in which they are used and understood in the particular business.

  • However, words in statutes are generally construed in their popular meaning and not in their technical meaning.
  • It is the general rule that omissions are not likely to be inferred.
  • From this it brings another rule that nothing is to be added to or taken away from a statute unless there are some adequate grounds to justify the inference that the legislature intended something which it omitted to express.

“It is a wrong thing to add into an Act of Parliament words which are not there and, in the absence of clear necessity, it is a wrong thing to do.” If a case has not been provided for in a statute. It is not to be dealt with merely because there seems to be no good reason why it should have been omitted, and the omission appears to be consequentially unintentional.

Reasonable corrections are not to over-ride plain terms of a statute. A construction that will render ineffective any part of the language of a statute will normally be rejected. For example, if an Act plainly gave a right of appeal from one Court of Quarter Sessions to another, it was held that such a provision though extraordinary and perhaps an oversight could not be eliminated.

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This Rule of literal interpretation can be read and understood under the following headings:

When is the concept of construction used in law?

Construction –

  1. In law, interpretation refers to exposing the true sense of the provisions of the statutes and to understand the exact meaning of the words used in any text.
  2. Interpretation refers to the linguistic meaning of the legal text.
  3. In the case where the simple meaning of the text is to be adopted then the concept of interpretation is being referred to.
  1. Construction, on the other hand, refers to drawing conclusions from the written texts which are beyond the outright expression of the legal text.
  2. The purpose of construction is to determine the legal effect of words and the written text of the statute.
  3. In the case where the literal meaning of the legal text results in ambiguity then the concept of construction is adopted.

Codified statutory law can be categorized as follows-

What is the rule of harmonious construction of the Constitution?

Harmonious Construction – According to this rule of interpretation, when two or more provisions of the same statute are repugnant to each other, then in such a situation the court, if possible, will try to construe the provisions in such a manner as to give effect to both the provisions by maintaining harmony between the two.

  • The question that the two provisions of the same statute are overlapping or mutually exclusive may be difficult to determine.
  • The legislature clarifies its intention through the words used in the provision of the statute.
  • So, here the basic principle of harmonious construction is that the legislature could not have tried to contradict itself.

In the cases of interpretation of the Constitution, the rule of harmonious construction is applied many times. It can be assumed that if the legislature has intended to give something by one, it would not intend to take it away with the other hand as both the provisions have been framed by the legislature and absorbed the equal force of law.

One provision of the same act cannot make the other provision useless. Thus, in no circumstances, the legislature can be expected to contradict itself. Cases – Ishwari Khaitan Sugar Mills v. State of Uttar Pradesh, in this case, the State Government proposed to acquire sugar industries under U.P Sugar Undertakings (Acquisition) Act, 1971.

This was challenged on the ground that these sugar industries were declared to be a controlled one by the union under Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951. And accordingly, the state did not have the power of acquisition of requisition of property which was under the control of the union.

  • The Supreme Court held that the power of acquisition was not occupied by Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.
  • The state had a separate power under Entry 42 List III.M.S.M Sharma v.
  • Rishna Sinha, AIR 1959 SC 395.
  • Facts of the case are as follows- Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution provides for freedom of speech and expression.

Article 194(3) provides to the Parliament for punishing for its contempt and it is known as the Parliamentary Privilege. In this case, an editor of a newspaper published the word -for- word record of the proceedings of the Parliament including those portions which were expunged from the record.

He was called for the breach of parliamentary privilege. He contended that he had a fundamental right to speech and expression. It was held by the court that article 19(1)(a) itself talks about reasonable freedom and therefore freedom of speech and expression shall pertain only to those portions which have not been expunged on the record but not beyond that.

Every nation has its own judicial system, the purpose of which to grant justice to all. The court aims to interpret the law in such a manner that every citizen is ensured justice to all. To ensure justice to all the concept of canons of interpretation was expounded.

These are the rules which are evolved for determining the real intention of the legislature. It is not necessary that the words used in a statute are always clear, explicit and unambiguous and thus, in such cases it is very essential for courts to determine a clear and explicit meaning of the words or phrases used by the legislature and at the same time remove all the doubts if any.

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Hence, all the rules mentioned in the article are important for providing justice.

What is the rule of reasonable construction?

Rule of Reasonable Construction Every statute has a purpose, an objective. If the literal meaning collides with the reason of enactment of the statute then the intention of the lawshould be taken up so that the actual meaning of the statute can beproperly understood.

What is the object of the rules of construction?

Introduction – The interpretation of laws is confined to courts of law. In course of time, courts have evolved a large and elaborate body of rules to guide them in construing or interpreting laws. Most of them have been collected in books on the interpretation of statutes and the draftsman would be well advised to keep these in mind in drafting Acts.

What is the general rule for the construction of penal laws?

5. Strict Construction of Penal Statutes – The general rule for the construction of a penal statute is that it would be strictly interpreted, that is, if two possible and reasonable constructions can be put upon a penal provision, the Court must lean towards that construction which exempts the subject from penalty rather than the one which imposes a penalty.

A penal statute has to be construed narrowly in favour of the person proceeded against. This rule implies a preference for the liberty of the subject, in case of ambiguity in the language of the provision. The courts invariably follow the principle of strict construction in penal statutes. In constructing a penal Act, if a reasonable interpretation in a particular case can avoid the penalty the Court adopts that construction.

Contributed by – Shradha Arora, CNLU Patna Sussex Peerage Case 11 Clark and Finnelly 85, 8 ER 1034 at 1844

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What is the 4th rule of beneficial construction?

4. Rule of Beneficial Construction – Beneficent construction involves giving the widest meaning possible to the statutes. When there are two or more possible ways of interpreting a section or a word, the meaning which gives relief and protects the benefits which are purported to be given by the legislation should be chosen.

  • A beneficial statute has to be construed in its correct perspective so as to fructify the legislative intent.
  • Although beneficial legislation does receive liberal interpretation, the courts try to remain within the scheme and not extend the benefit to those not covered by the scheme.
  • It is also true that once the provision envisages the conferment of benefit limited in point of time and subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, their non-compliance will have the effect of nullifying the benefit.

There should be due stress and emphasis to Directive Principles of State Policy and any international convention on the subject. There is no set principle of construction that beneficial legislation should always be retrospectively operated although such legislation is either expressly or by necessary intendment not made retrospective.

  1. Further, the rule of interpretation can only be resorted to without doing any violence to the language of the statute.
  2. In case of any exception when the implementation of the beneficent act is restricted the Court would construe it narrowly so as not to unduly expand the area or scope of the exception.

The liberal construction can only flow from the language of the act and there cannot be placing of unnatural interpretation on the words contained in the enactment. Also, beneficial construction does not permit the rising of any presumption that protection of widest amplitude must be deemed to have been conferred on those for whose benefit the legislation may have been enacted,