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The most comprehensive coverage on the construction of Statutes. It includes parts of statutes,Extrinsic-Aids,Intrinsic aids, Reading down, Amendments,Repeals,codifications,Quasi-Judicial agencies,Non-obstante clause,Mandatory/Declatory provisions,Tax ,Beneficial, Criminal,Fiscal Statute's Interpretation and sub-ordinate legislations.Besides it contains the Rules of Interpretation and the Role of Judiciary.Citations are in abundance.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chapter-8 Part-12

Intentions of Legislation as contained in enactment are basic guide to the Statute

The legislature may reveal its intentions directly, for example by explaining them in a preamble or a purpose statement. Some would argue that Ministerial statements addressed to the legislature during the passage of a bill also provide direct evidence of legislative intent. Generally speaking, however, legislative intent is discovered indirectly through inference: having regard to, a person who said in context when speaking to audience must have meant something else. To draw inferences of this sort, even competent speakers must rely on a wide range of contextual factors, both textual and extra-textual. There has to be expertise in interpreting the ordinary language. ‘Intentionalism’ treats legislation as if it were an ordinary speech act, that is, an act of communication occurring at a particular place and time in which a speaker attempts to evoke particular meanings in the mind of an audience. The judges have the prerogative of such kind of interpretation. This doctrine is needed to establish the legislature's connection to the context in which judicial interpretation occurs. A court can infer the meaning that was actually intended by the legislature only if its inferences are grounded in assumptions, values and conventions that were actually shared by the legislature at the time of enactment.

By presuming the legislature intended to comply with whatever policies, values and conventions are relied on by courts from time to time, this connection is assured. Finally, it is easy to see why an intentionalist draws a sharp distinction between correcting or reading down a text so that it conforms to the actual intention of the legislature and reading in or filling gaps so as to supplement or change that intention. Legislative intent is a fact waiting to be discovered; and the job of the court is to discover only. Any assumption made incorrectly can harm the public. Courts have to extra vigilant in the matter of interpretation. No language can transport the feelings as the words are poor vehicles of thoughts. The words are them selves like ‘atoms’ which have ‘protons’ , ‘neutrons’ and ‘electrons’. The difficulty arises when we have to analyze the word in its context as well. We do not know as to when the reference would be made to ‘proton’ or ‘electron’. It is the prerogative of the interpreter. The other way of looking at atom is to look it as a part of molecule. In any case the plain meaning theorists will have to rely on the interpretation made. Judges do not make law; they only apply it. Being impartial and unbiased, they use their legal interpretation skills to discover and give effect to the intention of the legislature. They have neither the need nor the mandate to engage in political choice as their job is restricted. In these kind of interpretation there has to be synchronism in the wave lengths of the drafters who put the intention of the legislature in black and white in the form of an enactment. Drafting is an art and interpreting is like decoding the same. In the process of interpretation the judges are not supposed to alter the text or add words or consider some as surplusages. It is very well settled proposition that every word of the statute has a meaning. It has to be properly read into the context in which it is used in a particular statute. It is also well established that every enactment is for the benefit of public. It is the macroscopic picture of any statute. The scope and the object of the statute may, therefore, be different. The title to the statute may not be a guide in the matter of interpretation.

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