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DAMODARAM SANJIVAYYA NATIONAL

LAW UNIVERSITY,
VISAKHAPATNAM, A.P., INDIA

PROJECT TITLE
External aid to interpretation: - an analysis of judicial decision
SUBJECT
Interpretation of Statute
NAME OF THE FACULTY
R Bharath Kumar

Name- Akhil Krishnan


Roll Number: -2013012

Table of Cases
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1. Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works Ltd. V. Chief Inspector of Stamp, UP, AIR 1968 SC 102
2. R. v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, (1994) 1 All ER 457
3. Manoharlal v. State of Punjab, AIR 1961 SC 418:
4. R. v. bates and Russell, (1952) 2 All ER 842
5. Keshavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC1461
6.

Minerva Mills v. UOI, AIR 1980 SC 1789 2

7. Indira Sawhney v. Union of India AIR 1993 SC 477


8. Harsharan Verma v. Tribhuvan Narain Singh AIR 1971 SC 1331
9. Bengal Immunity Co. v. State of Bihar AIR 1955 SC 661
10. State v. J.S. Chawdhry AIR 1996 SC 1491
11. Hanumant v. State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1952 SC 343
12. State of Maharashtra v. Dr. Prafulla Desai AIR 2003 SC 2053
13. State of Punjab v. Okara Grain Buyers syndicate Ltd., Okara AIR 1964 SC 669.
14. State of Madras v. A. Vaidyanath Aiyer AIR 1958 SC 61
15. General Electric Company v. Renusagar Power Company (1987)4 SCC 137.
16. M.V.Elisabeth v. Harwan Investment and Trading Pvt. Ltd. AIR 1993 SC 1014.
17. State of West Bengal v. Subodh Gopal Bose, AIR 1954 SC 92.
18. Mohammad Sydeol v. Yeah Oai Gark, 43 IA 256

Abbreviations
AIR- All India Reporter
All ER- All English Reporter
UOI- Union of India
SC- Supreme Court
SCR- Supreme Court Reporter

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Table of Contents:

Objective
Research Methodology
Hypothesis
Chapterisation
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Parliamentary History
Chapter 3: Historical Facts and Surrounding Circumstances
Chapter 4: Reference to other statute
Chapter 5: Use of Foreign Decision
Chapter 6: Indian Case Laws
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Bibliography

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Objective
The main objective concerned about this project is to study about aids of interpretation i.e.
external and internal with relevant case law and I also have to study about the power and
procedure and act for aid interpretation.

Research Methodology
This project is totally a doctrinal research methodology i.e. material is taken from many sources
like books, journal and another means of sources. Many cases are collected from the online
journal and the judgments are from the sites of many concerning courts.

Hypothesis
The aid of interpretation basically means The action of explaining the meaning of something and
mainly it consist of two type, external and internal types of aid to interpretation.

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Chapter 1
Introduction
A statute is an edict of the Legislature 1 and the conventional way of interpreting and construing a
statute is to seek the intention of its maker. A statute is to be construed according to the intent of
them that make it and the duty of judicature is to act upon the true intention of the legislaturethe mens or sentential legis2
There are two types of aids to interpretation- The internal and the external aids. The following are
considered internal aids to interpretation-

Long Title- it is now settled that Long Title of an Act is a part of the Act and is admissible as an
aid to its construction.3 The title although part of the Act is in itself not an enacting provision and
though useful in case of ambiguity of the enacting provision, is ineffective to control their clear
meaning.4 5 6

Preamble- the preamble of a statute like the long title is a part of the Act and is an admissible aid
to construction. Although not an enacting part, the preamble is expected to express the scope,
object and purpose of the Act more comprehensively than the long title.

.H

Preamble of the Constitution- the majority judgments in Keshavananda Bharti and Minerva Mills
relied upon the Preamble in reaching the conclusion that the power of amendment conferred by
Art 368 was limited and did not enable parliament to alter the basic structure of the Constitution.

Headings- the view is now settled that the Headings or Titles prefixed to Sections

External aids to interpretation of statutes include Parliamentary History, Historical Facts and Surrounding
Circumstances, Later Scientific Inventions, Reference to Other Statutes (pari materia) & Use of Foreign
Decisions. Each of the above mentioned constituents of external aids to construction have been dealt
1Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works Ltd. V. Chief Inspector of Stamp, UP, AIR 1968 SC 102
2Supra note 1.
3R. v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, (1994) 1 All ER 457
4Manoharlal v. State of Punjab, AIR 1961 SC 418: R. v. bates and Russell, (1952) 2 All ER 842
5Keshavananda Bharti v. State of Kerala, AIR 1973 SC1461
6Minerva Mills v. UOI, AIR 1980 SC 1789 2

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briefly in the due course.

Chapter 2
Parliamentary History
The ingredients of Parliamentary History are the bill in its original form or the amendments
considered during its progress in the Legislature, Speech of the minister who introduced the bill
in the Parliament which is also referred to as Statements of Objects and Reasons, Reports of
Parliamentary debates and resolutions passed by either House of the Parliament and the Reports
submitted different Parliamentary Committees.
According to the traditional English view the Parliamentary History of a statute was not
considered as an aid to construction. The Supreme Court of India in the beginning enunciated the
rule of exclusion of Parliamentary History in the way it was traditionally enunciated by the
English Courts but on many an occasion, the court used this aid in resolving questions of
construction.7
In Indira Sawhney v. Union of India 8 while interpreting Article 16(4) of the Constitution the
Supreme Court referred to Dr. Ambedkars speech in the Constituent Assembly as the expression
backward class of citizens is not defined. The court held that reference to Parliamentary debate
is permissible to ascertain the context, background and objective of the legislatures but at the
same time such references could not be taken as conclusive or binding on the courts. Thus in the
Mandal Reservation Case, the Supreme Court resorted to Parliamentary History as an aid to
interpretation.
In the Ashwini Kumars Case9(1952), the then Chief Justice of India Patanjali Shastri quoted that
the Statement of Objects and Reasons should not be used as an aid to interpretation because in
7 Singh G.P., Principles of Statutory Interpretation, 221 (Wadhwa and Company, Nagpur, Tenth Edition, 2006)
8 AIR 1993 SC 477.
9 AIR 1952 SC 369.

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his opinion the Statement of Objects and Reasons is presented in the Parliament when a bill is
being introduced during the course of the processing of the bill.
In Harsharan Verma v. Tribhuvan Narain Singh10, the appointment of Tribhuvan Narayan Singh
as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was challenged as at the time of his appointment he was
neither a member of Vidhan Sabha nor a member of Vidhan Parishad. While interpreting Article
164(4) of the Constitution, the Supreme Court held that it did not require that a Minister should
be a Member of the Legislature at the time of his being chosen as such, the Supreme Court
referred to an amendment which was rejected by the Constituent Assembly requiring that a
Minister at the time of his being chosen should be a member of the Legislature.

Chapter 3
Historical Facts and Surrounding Circumstances
Historical facts are very essential to understand the subject matter of the statute or to have regard to the
surrounding circumstances which existed at the time of passing of the statute. The rule of admissibility of
this external aid is especially useful in mischief rule. The rule that was laid down in the Heydons
Case11(1584), has now attained the status of a classic. The mischief rule enables the consideration of four
matters in construing an act:

What was the law before the making of the Act?

What was the mischief for which the law did not provide?

What was the remedy provided by the Act?

What was the reason of the remedy?

This rule was applied in Bengal Immunity Co. v. State of Bihar 12in the construction of Article 286 of the
Constitution in which the Supreme Court held that a state has the legislative competence to impose sales
tax only if all the ingredients of a sale have a territorial nexus. Thus on the same transaction sales tax
cannot be imposed by several states. Since the function of the court is to find the meaning of the
10 AIR 1971 SC 1331
11 Case available on www.westlaw.com last accessed on 1st October, 2015
12 AIR 1955 SC 661

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ambiguous words in a statute, a reference to the historical facts and surrounding circumstances that led to
the enactment assist the courts in efficient administration of speedy justice. The rule permits recourse to
historical works, engravings, pictures and documents where it is important to ascertain ancient facts of a
public nature. Historical evolution of a provision in the statute is also Sometimes a useful guide to its
construction.
The laws made in the past are applied in the present contemporary society in the light of changed social,
political, legal and economic circumstances taking into consideration the advancement in science and
technology. Statutes must be interpreted in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution of India even
though the statutes were passed before independence of India or before the commencement of our
Constitution.
The case State v. J.S. Chawdhry13 relates to Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which only
mentions about handwriting experts and not typewriting experts for the reason that typewriters were
invented much later than 1872.In the instant case the state wanted to use the opinion of a typewriting
expert as evidence in a murder case. The Supreme Court then overruled its decision in the case Hanumant
v. State of Madhya Pradesh14 which held that the opinion of the typewriting expert was inadmissible as
evidence in the court of law.
State of Maharashtra v. Dr. Prafulla Desai 15 case relates to Section 388 of the Indian Penal Code which
deals with gross medical negligence resulting in the death of the patient. The prosecution wanted to
produce the statements of a New York Doctor Dr.Greenberg as evidence. The problem arose when
Dr.Greenberg refused to appear in the Indian Court to record his statements. There is no such provision
which can compel a witness residing outside the domestic territory of India to come to an Indian court as
a witness. Thus in such circumstances video conferencing became the only viable option. But the accused
opposed video conferencing under Section 273 of Criminal Procedure Code which clearly says that
evidence can be recorded only in the presence of the accused. The Supreme Court interpreted presence
not merely as physical presence but as a situation in which the accused can see, hear and question the
witnesses.

Chapter 4
Reference to other statute

13 AIR 1996 SC 1491


14 AIR 1952 SC 343
15 AIR 2003 SC 2053

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Statutes must be read as a whole in order to understand the words in their context. Problem arises
when a statute is not complete in itself i.e. the words used in the statute are not explained clearly.
Extension of this rule of context permits reference to other statutes in pari materia i.e. statutes
dealing with the same subject matter or forming part of the same system. The meaning of the
phrase pari materia was explained in an American Case, United Society v. Eagle Bank (1829) in
the following words: Statutes are in pari materia which relate to the same person or thing, or to
the same class of persons or things. The word par must not be confounded with the word similes.
It is used in opposition to it- intimating not likeness merely but identity. It is a phrase applicable
to public statutes or general laws made at different times and in reference to the same subject.16
In the case, State of Punjab v. Okara Grain Buyers syndicate Ltd., Okara 17, the Supreme Court
held that when two pieces of legislation are of differing scopes, it cannot be said that they are in
pari materia. However it is not necessary that the entire subject matter in the statutes should be
identical before any provision in one may be held to be in pari materia with some provision in
the other.18
In the case State of Madras v. A. Vaidyanath Aiyer 19, the respondent, an income tax officer was
accused of accepting bribe. The Trial Court convicted him and awarded a rigorous imprisonment
of six months. When an appeal was made in the High Court, the High Court set him free on the
ground of a possibility that he might have borrowed the money and not accepted it as bribe. The
Supreme Court held the accused guilty and made an observation that the judgement of the High
court was extremely preserve.

Chapter 5
Use of Foreign Decision

16 Singh G.P., Principles of Statutory Interpretation, 275(Wadhwa and Company, Nagpur, Tenth Edition, 2006)
17 AIR 1964 SC 669.
18 Supra 16 at 13
19 AIR 1958 SC 61

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Reference to decisions of the English Courts was a common practice in the administration of
justice in pre independent India. The reason behind this was that the Modern Indian Legal
System owes its origin to the English Common Law System. But after the commencement of the
Constitution of India as a result of the incorporation of the Fundamental Rights, the Supreme
Court of India gave more access to American precedents.
It cannot, however, be doubted that knowledge of English law and precedents when the language
of an Indian Act was not clear or express, has often been of valuable assistance. Speaking about
Indian Codes Shri M.C.Setalvad has stated: Where the language of the code was clear and
applicable, no question of relying on English Authority would arise. But very often the general
rule in the Indian Code was based on an English Principle and in such cases the Indian Courts
frequently sought the assistance of English Decisions to support the conclusions they reached.
They could not otherwise for not only the general rules contained in the codes but some of the
illustrations given to clarify the general rules were based on English decisions.20
In the case General Electric Company v. Renusagar Power Company21, the Supreme Court of
India held that when guidance is available from Indian decisions, reference to foreign decisions
may become unnecessary.
Different circumstances may also result in non-acceptance of English precedents by the Indian
Courts. In the case M.V.Elisabeth v. Harwan Investment and Trading Pvt. Ltd.22, the Supreme
Court differed from English decisions and interpreted the words damage caused by a ship in
Section 443 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 as not limited to a physical damage caused by a
ship by reason of its coming into contact with something; it intended to include damage to the
cargo carried in a ship. The Supreme Court in this case differed in its opinion because in India
there is no other Act covering claim of damages for damage to the cargo carried in a ship but in
England this subject is covered expressly by a different Act.

20 Setalvad M.C., The Common Law in India , 61 as cited in Singh G.P., Principles of Statutory Interpretations,
327(Wadhwa and Company, Nagpur, Tenth Edition, 2006)
21 (1987)4 SCC 137.
22 AIR 1993 SC 1014.

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Chapter 6
Indian Case Laws
State of Maharashtra v. Dr. Prafulla Desai, AIR 2003 SC 2053
Fact
The complainant's wife was suffering from terminal cancer. It is the case of the prosecution that
the complainant's wife was examined by Dr. Ernest Greenberg of Sloan Kettering Memorial
Hospital, New York, USA, who opined that she was inoperable and should be treated only with
medication. Thereafter the complainant and his wife consulted the Respondent, who is a
consulting surgeon practising for the last 40 years.
Issue Raised
whether evidence can be led by way of video-conferencing on the provisions of the Criminal
Procedure Code and the Indian Evidence Act
Reasoning Involved
Considering the question on the basis of Criminal Procedure Code, we are of the view that the
High Court has failed to read Section 273 properly. One does not have to consider dictionary
meanings when a plain reading of the provision brings out what was intended. Section 273 reads
as follows:
"Section 273: Evidence to be taken in presence of accused. Except as otherwise expressly
provided, all evidence taken in the course of the trial or other proceeding shall be taken in the
presence of the accused, or, when his personal attendance is dispensed with, in the presence of
his pleader.
Conclusion
Section 273 and 388 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with gross medical negligence
resulting in the death of the patient. The prosecution wanted to produce the statements of a New
York Doctor Dr.Greenberg as evidence. The problem arose when Dr.Greenberg refused to appear
in the Indian Court to record his statements. There is no such provision which can compel a
witness residing outside the domestic territory of India to come to an Indian court as a witness.
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Harsharan Verma v. Tribhuvan Narain Singh, AIR 1971 SC 1331.


Facts
The appellant contends that this clause only applies when a Minister, who is a Member of the
Legislature of the State, loses his seat and the idea behind cl. (4) of Art. 164 is to give him a
period of six months to get himself. reelected. The learned Counsel for the respondent, Mr.
Singhvi, contends that the scope of cl. (4) cannot be whittled down in this manner as there is no
warrant in the language of the article. He further says that even in England a person can be a
Minister without being a Member of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. He further
points out that a number of constitutions contain similar provisions
Issue Raised
The question has arisen in connection with the appointment on October, 18, 1970, of Shri
Tribhuvan Narain Singh as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He was not a member of either
House of Legislature of the State of Uttar Pradesh at the time of his appointment.
Reasoning Involved
Such officers shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor-General. They shall be
members of the Executive Council and shall be the King's ministers of State for the Union. After
the first general election of members of the House of Assembly, as hereinafter provide, no
minister shall hold office for a longer period than three months unless he is or becomes a
member of either House of Parliament.
Conclusion
The appointment of Tribhuvan Narayan Singh as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh was
challenged as at the time of his appointment he was neither a member of Vidhan Sabha nor a
member of Vidhan Parishad. While interpreting Article 164(4) of the Constitution, the Supreme
Court held that it did not require that a Minister should be a Member of the Legislature at the
time of his being chosen as such, the Supreme Court referred to an amendment which was
rejected by the Constituent Assembly requiring that a Minister at the time of his being chosen
should be a member of the Legislature.
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State of West Bengal v. Subodh Gopal Bose, AIR 1954 SC 92.


Facts
The respondent purchased the entire Touzi No. 341 of the 24-Parganas Collectorate at a revenue
sale. As such purchaser, the respondent acquired under section 37 of the Bengal Revenue Sales
Act, 1859 the right "to avoid and annul all under-tenures and forthwith to eject all under
tenants"-with certain exceptions which are not material here. In exercise of that right the
respondent gave notices of ejectment and brought a suit in 1946 to evict certain under-tenants,
including the second respondent herein, and to recover possession of. the lands. The suit was.
decreed against the second respondent who preferred an appeal to the District Judge, 24Parganas, contending that his undertenure came within one of the exceptions referred to in
section 37. When the appeal was pending, the Bill, which was later passed as the West Bengal
Revenue Sales Act, 1950, (was introduced in the West Bengal 'Legislative Assembly on March
23, 1950.
Issue Raised
whether such deprivation was authorised under clause (1)or clause (2). In either case his property
would be gone and he would suffer loss. It would matter little to him what happened to the
property after he was deprived of it--whether it was used for a public purpose or was simply
destroyed without any public purpose being served.
Reasoning Involved
In that case, he would be participating in that benefit as a member of the public. But that
consolation would be denied to him by deprivation under clause (1), which makes his 0loss all
the more grievous. But, according to Das J.s. reading of that clause, the Constitution-makers
have provided for no indemnification of the expropriated owner because, it is said, deprivation
under clause (1) is an exercise of "police power." This, to my mind, is fallacious.You first
construe the clause as conferring upon the State acting through its Legislature unfettered power
to deprive owners of their property in all other cases except the two mentioned m clause (2), and
then seek to justify such sweeping and arbitrary power by calling it "police power." According to
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Das J. clause (1) was designed to confer "police power" on the State to deprive persons of their
property by means other than acquisition or taking possession of such property.
Conclusion
To the view that the fundamental right declared in article 19(1) (f) has no reference to concrete
property rights but refers only to the natural rights and freedoms inherent in the status 'of a
citizen. Even so, with respect, I fail to see how the restrictions on the exercise of those fights
referred to in article 19(5) can be otherwise than with reference to concrete property rights. To
me, it appears, that article 19(1) (f), while probably meant to relate to the natural rights of the
citizen, comprehends within its scope also concrete property rights.

Indira Sawhney v. Union of India, AIR 1993 SC 477.


Facts
The Constituent Assembly, though elected on the basis of a limited franchise, was yet
representative of all sections of society. Above all, it was composed of men of vision, conscious
of the historic but difficult task of carving an egalitarian society from out of a bewildering mass
of religions, communities, castes, races, languages, beliefs and practices. They knew their
country well. They understood their society perfectly.
Issue Raised
Challenge first the merit of the system itself before we come and question on the merit, whether
on merit to reject this individual or that. And we want to change the structure basically,
consiciously, with open eyes. And I know when changing the structures comes, there will be
resistance What appellant want to convey is that treating unequals as equals is the greatest
injustice and, correction of this injustice is very important and that is what I want to convey.
Reasoning Involved
Recommendations of the Second Backward Classes Commission (Mandal Report) - Reservation
for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes in services under the Government of India. In a
multiple undulating society like ours, early achievement of the objective of social justice as
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enshrined in the Constitution is a must. The Second Backward Classes Commission called the
Mandal Commission was established by the then Government with this purpose in view, which
submitted its report to the Government of India. Government have carefully considered the
report and the recommendations of the Commission in the present context regarding the benefits
to be extended to the socially and educationally backward classes as opined by the Commission
and are of the clear view that at the outset certain weightage has to be provided to such classes in
the services of the Union and their Public Undertaking

Conclusion
Interpreting Article 16(4) of the Constitution the Supreme Court referred to Dr. Ambedkars
speech in the Constituent Assembly as the expression backward class of citizens is not defined.
The court held that reference to Parliamentary debate is permissible to ascertain the context,
background and objective of the legislatures but at the same time such references could not be
taken as conclusive or binding on the courts. Thus in the Mandal Reservation Case, the Supreme
Court resorted to Parliamentary History as an aid to interpretation.

Bengal Immunity CO. Ltd. V. State of Bihar, AIR 1955 SC 661 3


Facts
The appellantcompany, having its registered office in Calcutta and its factory and laboratory in
the District of 24-Parganas in West Bengal, carried on the business

of

manufacturing

and

selling sera, vaccines, biological products and medicines. It was registered as a dealer under the
Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act: Its products having extensive sales throughout India and abroad
were despatched from Calcutta against orders accepted by the appellant company in Calcutta. It
had no agent or manager in Bihar nor any office or laboratory in that State. A notice under
section 13(5) of the Bihar Sales Tax Act, 194,7 was issued by the Bihar Sales Tax authorities
calling upon the appellant company to apply for registration and to submit returns showing its
turn over for a period
Issue Raised
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whether a juristic person like a company is a citizen as defined in Part II of the Constitution and
as such entitled to the benefits of Article 19. Nor is it necessary to consider whether there has
been any infraction of the right to equal protection of the laws guaranteed by article 14 in that
being a juristic person it cannot claim any of the rights under article 19 which only citizens can
do this type of activity.
Reasoning Involved
The Act does not constitute an infringement of the fundamental right to property under that
article. It is, however, clear from article 265 that no tax can be levied or collected except by
authority of law which must mean a good and valid law. The contention of the appellant
company is that the Act which authorises the assessment, levying and collection of sales tax on
inter-State trade contravenes and constitutes an infringement of article 286 and is, therefore, ultra
vires, void-and unenforceable. If, therefore, this contention be well founded, the remedy by way
of a writ must, on principle and authority, be available to the party aggrieved.
Conclusion
The construction of Article 286 of the Constitution in which the Supreme Court held that a state
has the legislative competence to impose sales tax only if all the ingredients of a sale have a
territorial nexus. Thus on the same transaction sales tax cannot be imposed by several
states.Since the function of the court is to find the meaning of the ambiguous words in a statute, a
reference to the historical facts and surrounding circumstances that led to the enactment assist the
courts in efficient administration of speedy justice. The rule permits recourse to historical works,
engravings, pictures and documents where it is important to ascertain ancient facts of a public
nature. Historical evolution of a provision in the statute is also Sometimes a useful guide to its
construction.

Manoharlal v. State of Punjab, AIR 1961 SC 418


Facts
The appellant who was a shopkeeper was convicted for the second time by the Additional
District Magistrate for contravening the provisions of s. 7(1) of the Punjab Trade Employees Act,
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1940, under which he was required to keep his shop closed on the day which he had himself
chosen as a "closeday ". He raised the plea that the Act did not apply to his shop as he did not
employ any stranger but that himself alone worked in it and that the application of section 7(1) to
his shop would be violative of his fundamental rights under Arts. 14, 19(1)(f) and (g) of the
Constitution and also that the restriction imposed was not reasonable within Art.19(6) as it was
not in the interest of the general.
Issue Raised
Whether in this case the appellant right is violates or not?

Reasoning Involved
the court reasoning is simple that the law is passed for betterment of public health so that trade
employees must take rest so there is not violation of any right.
Conclusion
Court also suggest by external aid of interpretation that the title although part of the Act is in
itself not an enacting provision and though useful in case of ambiguity of the enacting provision,
is ineffective to control their clear meaning.

Mohammad Sydeol v. Yeah Oai Gark, 43 IA 256


Facts
The appellant's father died, the appellant being his second son. On October 16, 1912, December
13, 1912 and January 17, 1913, respectively, he executed in favour of the respondent three
mortgages over his one-twelfth share of his late father's property. The amounts in the mortgages
were 6000 dollars, 8000 dollars and 10,000 dollars. Interest was stipulated for at 15 per cent. per
annum for the first six months and thereafter at 18 per cent. The respondent swears that at the
date of the transaction he "suspected he (appellant) was under age." "I thought," he says, "his
mother would prove his age or, perhaps, his brother. I was in doubt even after the Doctor's
certificate was produced. It may be wrong. There was still his mother or brother. He wanted the
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loan, so I did not go to see his mother or brother." Later in his evidence he stated: "I lent because
of the high interest, 15 per cent., which was arranged between us". The Doctor's certificate was
obtained for the following reason.
The respondent swears: "I asked him" (the appellant) "if he were of age." He said, " Yes." I asked
him for proof of majority. He said he would bring a Doctor's certificate. This so-called certificate
was: " This is to certify that in my opinion M.S. Ariffin is of the age of twenty-one years." Dr.
Bright, on examination, says that he formed the opinion that the appellant was twenty-one
judging by his teeth, his appearance and his voice. In their Lordships' view such a certificate is
worthless. It is in truth not a certificate, but only an assertion of opinion. A formality of making a
declaration before a Magistrate was also gone through, but the declaration was merely this: "By
the certificate of Dr. W.H.M. Bright, hereto annexed and marked A, I believe I am over twentyone years of age." Such a declaration, in their Lordships' opinion, is of no greater value than the
certificate itself. Proof on the subject is not advanced by such documents.
When evidence in the case came to be taken, the appellant's elder brother, one Che Arffin, proved
an entry relating to the appellant's birth in a book containing a record of births, deaths and
marriages in his family, kept by his late father. Entries were contained in the book of the births of
three members of family and the entry regarding the appellant was this: "A boy by Fatima, alias
Pusi, on Thursday, 27th Rabi Lawal, 1313, exactly at 4 p.m. on September 17th, 1895; name,
Syedol Arfffin."
Issue Raised
The sole question in the case is whether this entry is admis-sible in evidence. It was not
contended before their Lordships that it was not in the handwriting of the father or a genuine
document. Both of the Courts below have, however, held that the entry was not admissible and
this being so, they also held that the defence of infancy has not been made out.
Reasoning Involved
There is no question that the entry was made by one having special means of knowledge and no
suggestion that it was made before any question or dispute between the parties. If in itself
admissible, it would go to show that at the time of transactions in question the appellant was only
seventeen or eighteen years of age. The law of Straits Settlements on the point of admissibility of
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such a document in evidence depends upon the construction to be given to the language of
Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act (I of 1872).
Section 32 provides that "statements written or verbal of relevant facts made by a person who is
dead are themselves relevant facts in the following cases when the statement relates to the
existence of any relationship by blood, marriage, or adoption between persons as to whose
relation by blood, marriage, or adoption the person making the statement had special means of
knowledge and the statement was made before the question in dispute was raised."

Conclusion
no special or exceptional case of construction arises. The section admits a statement which "
relates to the existence of any relationship," when under all other conditions as to knowledge,
time when made, &c.-all of which conditions it is agreed are fulfilled. The illustration puts the
question thus "What is the date of the birth of A ? " And " A letter from A's deceased father to a
friend announcing the birth of A on a given day is a relevant fact." Their Lordships agree with
the judgments in the Indian Courts above cited, that there is no repugnance between a statement
which relates to the existence of a relationship and the illustration by a statement as to when A
was born, that is to say, when the relationship began.

Hanumant v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1952 SC 343.


Facts
On a complaint filed by the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Anti-Corruption Department,
Nagpur, the appellant was tried in the court of Shri B. K. Chaudhri, Special Magistrate, Nagpur,
for the offence of conspiracy to secure the contract of Seoni Distillery from April, 1947, to
March 1951 by forging the tender, and for commission of the offences of forgery of the tender
and of another document,. The learned Special Magistrate convicted both the appellants on all
the three charges. He sentenced R. S. Patel to rigorous imprisonment for one year under each
charge and to pay fines of Rs. 2,000, Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,000, under the first, second and third
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charges respectively. The appellant Nargundkar was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six
months under each charge and to pay fines of Rs. 2,000, Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,000, under the first,
second and third charges respectively. Each of the appellants appealed against their respective
convictions and sentences to the Court of the Sessions Judge, Nagpur.
Issue Raised
The witness admittedly became a party to the preparation of a forged document. Whether he was
telling the truth, or he was telling a lie, as appears likely from his cross-examination, he is in
either event, not a person on whom any reliance could be placed.

Reasoning Involved
The court of first instance and the court of appeal arrive at concurrent findings of fact after
believing the evidence of a witness, this court as the final court does not disturb such findings,
save in most exceptional cases. But where a finding of fact is arrived at on the testimony of a
witness of the character of Gadgil and the courts below depart from the rule of prudence that
such testimony should not bee accepted unless it is corroborated by some other evidence on the
record, a finding of that character in the circumstances of a particular case may well be reviewed
even on special leave if the other circumstances in the case require it, and substantial and grave
injustice has resulted. After fully examining the material on the record we have reached the
conclusion that the courts below were in error in accepting the uncorroborated testimony of
Gadgil to find the fact that he handed over the tenders to Nargundkar on the 9th November,
1946. The witness was not allowed to have in a free atmosphere and was kept under police
surveillance during the whole of the period of investigation and the trial and was rewarded with
payment of his full salary after he had given evidence to the satisfaction of the prosecution.
Conclusion
The SC held that the opinion of the typewriting expert was inadmissible as evidence in the court
of law.

State v. S. J..Chawdhry, AIR 1996 SC 1491


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Facts
The Present criminal appeal came up for hearing before a Division Bench comprising of two
learned Judges of this Court. The correctness of the observations in Hanumant's case by a Bench
of three learned Judges on this point was doubted and reconsideration thereof was sought on
behalf of the appellant. Accordingly, by order dated March 22, 1990 the Division Bench took the
view that this important question of law involved in this appeal should be considered and
decided by a larger Bench. This question of law is the only point involved for decision in this
appeal and the decision thereon would dispose of the appeal.
Issue Raised
whether the disputed typewriting was done on the same typewriter is based on a science study of
the two typewritings with reference to the peculiarities therein; and the opinion formed by an
expert is based on recognized principles resulting the scientific study. The opinion so formed by
a person having the requisite special skill in the subject is, therefore, the opinion of an expert in
that branch of the science.
Reasoning Involved
There cannot be any doubt that the opinion of an expert in typewriting about the questioned
typed document being typed on a particular typewriter is based on a scientific study of the
typewriting is based on a scientific study of the typewriting with reference to the significant
peculiar features of a particular typewriter and the ultimate opinion of the expert is based on
scientific grounds. The opinion of a typewriter expert is an opinion of a person especially skilled
in that branch of the science with reference to which the Court has to form an opinion on the
point involved for decision in the case. In our opinion, on a plain constructing of Section 45
giving to the word 'science' used therein its natural meaning, this conclusion is inevitable; and for
supporting that conclusion, it is not necessary to rely on the further reason that the word
'handwriting' in Section 45 would also include typewriting.
Conclusion
This case relates to Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 which only mentions about
handwriting experts and not typewriting experts for the reason that typewriters were invented
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much later than 1872.In the instant case the state wanted to use the opinion of a typewriting
expert as evidence in a murder case.

State of Madras v. A.Vaidyanath Aiyer,AIR 1958 SC 61


Facts
The respondent, Vaidyanatha Aiyer, was at all material times the Income-tax Officer of
Coimbatore and it is not disputed that he was there in the beginning of June 1951. According to
the prosecution the respondent in the end of September 1951 demanded from K.S. Narayana Iyer
(hereinafter referred to as the complainant) who is a proprietor of a "Coffee Hotel" called Nehru
cafe in Coimba- tore with another similar hotel at Bhavanisagar a bribe of Rs. 1,000.
The complainant had been assessed to income-tax all along since 1942. During the course of
assessment for the year 1950-51 it was discovered that he had failed to pay advance income-tax.
A notice was therefore issued to him on March
Issue Raised
Question is whether the complainant was told as to what had happened or had any knowledge of
this. He states that he had none and there is nothing to indicate that he bad.
Reasoning Involved
The respondent has then stated that the complainant was known to him since 1942 when he, the
respondent, was the Head Clerk of the Appellate Assistant Commissioner of Income tax and that
is the reason why towards the end of August or the beginning of September when he casually
met the complaint. ant on the road, he told him that he was in financial difficulties and the
complainant offered him a loan of Rs. 1,000 to be returned in easy instalments and that he did
not know at that time that the complainant was an assessee before him. This statement of the
respondent has -been accepted by the High Court without considering the following important
facts. Notice was issued to the complainant and he filed his return.
Conclusion

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an income tax officer was accused of accepting bribe. The Trial Court convicted him and
awarded a rigorous imprisonment of six months. When an appeal was made in the High Court,
the High Court set him free on the ground of a possibility that he might have borrowed the
money and not accepted it as bribe. The Supreme Court held the accused guilty and made an
observation that the judgement of the High courtwas extremely preserve.

Chapter 7
Conclusion
The chief source of law is legislation, though there are other sources of law such as precedents
and customs. Every source of law finds its expression in a language. Often the language has a
puzzling effect, i.e., it masks and distorts. Often it is found that the language of a statute is not
clear. The words used in the statute too at times seem to be ambiguous. Sometimes it is not
possible to assign the dictionary meaning to certain words used in legislation. Meaning which is
to be assigned to certain words in a legislation. Even the dictionary does not give the clear-cut
meaning of a word. This is so because the dictionary gives many alternative meanings applicable
in different contexts and for different purposes so that no clear field for the application of a word
is easily identified. So long as expansion of meaning takes place uniformly, the law will develop
along healthy lines. But if one judge takes the narrow view and the other the broad view, the law
will mean different things for different persons and soon there will be confusion. Hence, it is
necessary that there should be some rules of interpretation to ensure just and uniform decisions.

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Chapter 8
Bibliography
Book referred: 1. Bindra, N.S., ed. by Justice K. Shanmukham, Interpretation of Statutes (8th ed. 1997)
(The Law Book Company, Allahabad).
2. Chakravarti, K.P., The Constitution of India, Analysis and Interpretation (1980)
(Allahabad Law Agency, Allahabad)
3. Tandon, M.P., Interpretation of Statutes (8th ed. 1998) (Allahabad Law Agency,
Faridabad, Haryana).
4. Maxwell, ed. by Roy Wilson and Brian Galpin, The Interpretation of Statutes (11th ed.
1962) (Sweet & Maxwell, London)

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