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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-9 Part-4

Thus Words must be given their plain, ordinary and literal meaning. If the words are clear, they must be applied, even tough the intention of the legislator may have been different or the result is harsh or undesirable. An explanation of the rule was given in the sussex peerage case[1] The only rule for construction of Acts of Parliament is that they should be construed according to the intent of the Parliament which passed the Act. If the words of the Statute are in themselves precise and unambiguous, then no more can be necessary than to expound those words in that natural and ordinary sense. The words themselves alone do, in such a case, best declare the intetion of the law giver. This is the oldest of the rules and it is still popular today.problems with the Rule Reason for the popularity of this rule is that judges are not supposed to make law, there is always the danger that a particular interpretation may be the equivalent to making law, and therefore some judges prefer to stick to the literal rule so as to avoid this danger. However,sometimes its use may defeat the intetion od Parliament[2].

This "rule" can be divided into two principles: (a) the principle that requires that the words of a provision be interpreted in their grammatical and ordinary sense, and (b) the principle that the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words be followed unless it leads to an absurdity, repugnancy or inconsistency[3].

Under this approach, words must be given the meaning ascribed to them in ordinary parlance. They must be given the meaning they had on the day of enactment; no additions should be made to the terms of the statute, and the effects of those terms should not be attenuated[4]

The context in which the word is used - that is to say the statutory "environment" of a definition (the other provisions of the statute and related statutes) - must be taken into account. For example, if there can be two definitions of a term, the one that best suits the context should be used.

The ordinary meaning should not be followed if it leads to a patent absurdity or inconsistency.[5]

Absurdity should be understood to mean an interpretation that leads to ridiculous or futile consequences.

This sidesteps the issue of what the courts must do when the meaning is not plain and unambiguous. The literal rule is closely linked with the parol evidence rule, that excludes extrinsic evidence as to the meaning of written documents.. In such cases, "...contrary to the traditional operation of the plain meaning rule, courts are increasingly willing to consider other indicia of intent and meaning from the start rather than beginning their inquiry by considering only the language of the act." (Sutherland , Section 46.07).

On interpreting the meaning of a will that required a relative to die 'and' not have children.,Lord Wensleydale

"”It is 'the universal rule', that in construing statutes, as well as in construing all other written instruments 'the grammatical and ordinary sense of the word is 'to be adhered to, unless that would lead to some absurdity, or some repugnance or inconsistency with the rest of the instrument, in which case the grammatical and ordinary sense of the words may be modified, so as to avoid that absurdity ad inconsistency, but no further[6]'.

“The words in the enacting part of a statute must be confined to that which is the plain object and general intention of the legislature in passing the Act[7]

[1] Sussex peerage case(1844) 1 c1 &fin 85

[2] For instance, in the case of Whiteley v. chappe the court came to the reluctant conclusion that Whiteley could not be convicted of impersonating any person etitled to vote at an election, because the person he impersonated was dead, and on a literal construction of the relevant statutory provision.

[4] 582.Vachon v. CEIC, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 417.

[5] 583.R. v. Sommerville [1974] S.C.R. 387 at 395.

[6] Grey v Pearson (1857) HL


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