The task of interpretation of a statutory enactment is not a mechanical task. It is more than a mere reading of mathematical formulae because few words possess the precision of mathematical symbols. It is an attempt to discover the intent of the Legislature from the language used by it and it must always be remembered that language is at best an imperfect instrument for the expression of human thought and, as pointed out by Lord Denning, it would be idle to expect every statutory provision to be “drafted with divine prescience and perfect clarity”.
It is a sound rule of construction of a statute firmly established in England as far back as 1584 when Heydon’s case was decided that: “.......for the sure and true interpretation of all statutes in general ....four things are to be discerned and considered: (1) what was the common law before the making of the Act, (2) what was the mischief and defect for which the common law did not provide, (3) what remedy the Parliament hath resolved and appointed to cure the disease of the Commonwealth and (4) the true reason of the remedy; and then the office of all the judges is always to make such construction as shall suppress the mischief, and advance the remedy”. This rule being a rule of construction has been repeatedly applied in India in interpreting statutory provisions.
In this book, apart from the meaning and definition of the interpretation, we have broadly covered the topics like General Principles of Interpretation, Golden Rule of Interpretation, Aids to Interpretation, Presumptions, Conflict between parent legislation and subordinate legislation and Methods of interpreting substantive and procedural laws etc., This book provides a short cut to the students of the 5 year law degree course to enable them to get a broad understanding of the topics that would be covered under the revised syllabus with effect from the academic year 2009-2010.
We owe our gratitude to Mr D. Durga Prasad, LL.B, FCS, for his personal attention, inputs and technical support. Our thanks are also due to Mr. M. Venkateswarlu for his wholehearted and efficient secretarial support in bringing out this book.