Repeal and re-enactment of a law

Principles for repeal and re-enactment of a law:

If the legislative intent to supersede the earlier law is the basis upon which the doctrine of implied repeal is founded could there be any incongruity in attributing to the later legislation the same intent which Section 6 presumes where the word ‘repeal’ is expressly used. So far as statutory construction is concerned, it is one of the cardinal principles of the law that there is no distinction or difference between an express provision and a provision which is necessarily implied, for it is only the form that differs in the two cases and there is no difference in intention or in substance. A repeal may be brought about by repugnant legislation, without even any reference to the Act intended to be repealed, for once legislative competence to effect a repeal is posited, it matters little whether this is done expressly or inferentially or by the enactment of repugnant legislation. If such is the basis upon which repeals and implied repeals are brought about it appears to us to be both logical as well as in accordance with the principles upon which the rule as to implied repeal rests to attribute to that legislature which effects a repeal by necessary implication the same intention as that which would attend the case of an express repeal. Where an intention to effect a repeal is attributed to a legislature then the same would, in our opinion, attract the incident of the saving found in Section 6 for the rules of construction embodied in the General Clauses Act are, so to speak, the basic assumptions on which statutes are drafted. Continue reading “Repeal and re-enactment of a law”

Determination of Turnover of Business:

Interpretation of Section 6­B(1) by the Karnataka Sales Tax Act, 1957:

This Court also noticed the economic superiority principle for the purpose of levy of turnover tax while holding that the interpretation of statute would not depend upon contingency. It is trite law which the Court would ordinary take recourse to golden rule of strict interpretation while interpreting taxing statutes. In construing penal statutes and taxation statutes, the Court has to apply strict rule of interpretation.

Continue reading “Determination of Turnover of Business:”

Interpretation of Price Adjustment aka Price Escalation/Variation Clause

Judicial Review of Arbitration Award:

The main reason because of which the NHAI lost in those proceedings was that two possible interpretations could be given to the clause in question and, therefore, the recourse taken by the Arbitral Tribunal by adopting one particular interpretation was not required to be interfered with. SLP against that was dismissed. In a situation like this, this Court would not have undertaken further exercise in the matter. However, another Arbitral Tribunal in the case of M/s. Ssangyong Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. has accepted the other view, which goes in favour of the NHAI. It leads to an anomalous situation. The NHAI has entered into multiple contracts with different parties containing the same clauses of price variation. Once we find that Arbitral Tribunals are taking different views, and the view taken in favour of the NHAI is also one of the possible interpretations, the effect thereof would be to uphold both kinds of awards even when they are conflicting in nature in respect of the same contractual provision. It may not be appropriate to countenance such a situation which needs to be remedied. Therefore, under this peculiar situation, we deem it proper to go into the exercise of interpreting the said clause so that there is a uniformity in the approach of the Arbitral Tribunals dealing with this particular dispute and a sense of certainty is attached in the outcomes. Continue reading “Interpretation of Price Adjustment aka Price Escalation/Variation Clause”

Eviction under Delhi Rent Act.

Delhi Rent Act to prevail upon NDMC Act.

Effect of arrears of House tax:

The question is whether non-payment of property tax recoverable from the tenant as rent can be a ground for his eviction/ejectment from the premises. The Rent Act is beneficial and also restrictive in nature. It is primarily an Act to provide for the control of rents and evictions. It is settled that while interpreting the provisions of this Act, the Courts are under a legal compulsion to harmoniously read the provisions of the Act so as to balance the rights of the landlord and the obligations of the tenant towards each other, keeping in mind that one of the objects of the legislature while enacting the Rent Act was to curb the tendency of the greedy landlords to throw out the tenants paying lower rent and to rent out the premises at the market rate.

Delhi Rent Act:

Continue reading “Eviction under Delhi Rent Act.”

Defence of dispute in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

Existence of  dispute

Necessity of Court or Arbitration Proceedings in defence:

Relevant provisions of the Code insofar as operational creditors and their corporate debtors are concerned.

“3. Definitions. In this Code, unless the context otherwise requires,— xxx xxx xxx (12) “default” means non-payment of debt when whole or any part or instalment of the amount of debt has become due and payable and is not repaid by the debtor or the corporate debtor, as the case may be;

5. Definitions. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,— (6) “dispute” includes a suit or arbitration proceedings relating to—

(a) the existence of the amount of debt;

(b) the quality of goods or service; or

(c) the breach of a representation or warranty; xxx xxx xxx (20) “operational creditor” means a person to whom an operational debt is owed and includes any person to whom such debt has been legally assigned or transferred;

Continue reading “Defence of dispute in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016”

What is a colourable legislation?

Doctrine of colourable legislation

The doctrine of colourable legislation does not involve any question of bona fides or mala fides on the part of the legislature. The whole doctrine resolves itself into the question of competency of a particular legislature to enact a particular law. If the legislature is competent to pass a particular law, the motives which impelled it to act are really irrelevant. On the other hand, if the legislature lacks competency, the question of motive does not arise at all. Whether a statute is constitutional or not is thus always a question of power. Continue reading “What is a colourable legislation?”

Principles of Interpretation: An Ebook.

Interpretation boom cover

Principles of interpretation: An ebook

Principles of interpretation is an ebook, written for beginners and expert alike for those interested in law. Reading laws i.e. bare legislation itself can be tedious. In law an ‘and’ is not always an ‘and’ but can be an ‘or’. ‘Shall’ can be read as ‘may be’ or ‘vice versa or a ‘must be’, depending upon the context. There are many other problems as to how to read a particular text. Reading any text can bring about two meanings, a narrow meaning or a liberal meaning. How to decide when to give liberal meaning and when to give narrow meaning. All such principles are discussed in the ebook.

The book cites precedents and mostly, live source of the judgement relied upon. A must for a beginner, a practising lawyer and a student alike.

About Principles of Interpretation:

Principles of interpretation are often not the law but they have force of law. Reading and understanding a legal document requires understanding the principles with which to read the document. An easy example is what if a particular passage is susceptible to two meanings or what if there is no punctuation or if punctuation is there and it changes the meaning. It is said that there is no greater irony than to read anything literally and thus misreading it completely.
This book deals with most of the established principles of interpretation of laws and other legal documents including popular maxims in India, as accepted by the Courts with reference to reported cases and its citations.

Principles of Interpretation is available on Google Play Books

Click on the picture to read a free sample of Google Play Books

Interpretation boom cover

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What is the meaning of word “production” and “manufacture”?

Extraction if amounts to manufacture or production?

Does extraction and processing of iron ore  amount  manufacture or production of any article or thing?

Production means amongst other things that which is produced; a thing that results from any action, process or effort, a product; a product of human activity or effort”. From the wide definition of the word “production”, it has to follow that mining activity for the purpose of production of mineral ores would come within the arnbit of the word “production” since ore is “a thing”, which is the result of human activity or effort.

In CIT v. N. C. Budharaja and Co. (1993) 204 ITR 412 (SC): AIR 1993 SC 2529: 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 280 it was held that the word ,production” is much wider than the word “manufacture”. It was said (page 423) :

“The word production has a wider connotation than the word manufacture. While every manufacture can be characterized as production, every production need not amount to manufacture …. Continue reading “What is the meaning of word “production” and “manufacture”?”

Legislative intent is presumed to be reasonable.

Principles of Interpretation

Presumption is that legislature acts by reason and justice.

It is proper to assume that the lawmakers who are the representatives of the people enact laws which the society considers as honest, fair and equitable. The object of every legislation is to advance public welfare. In other words as observed by Crawford in his book on Statutory Constructions the entire legislative process is influenced by considerations of justice and reason. Justice and reason constitute the great general legislative intent in every piece of legislation. Consequently where the suggested construction operates harshly, ridiculously or in any other manner contrary to prevailing conceptions of justice and reason, in most instances, it would seem that the apparent or suggested meaning of the statute, was not the one intended by the law-makers. In the absence of some other indication that the harsh or ridiculous effect was actually intended by the legislature, there is little reason to believe that it represents the legislative intent.

“We are unable to persuade ourselves to believe that the legislature intended to ignore the rights of persons having legal title to possession and wanted to make a gift of any building to a trespasser howsoever recent the trespass might have been if only he happened to be in physical possession of the building on the date of vesting. We are also unable to discern any legislative policy in support of that construction.”

Bhudan Singh vs Nabi Bux, AIR 1970 SC 1880, (1969) 2 SCC 481, 1970 2 SCR 10

Inherent powers of the courts to do justice

All courts exist to do justice

All courts, whether civil or criminal possess, in the absence of any express provision, as inherent in their constitution, all such powers as are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in course of administration of justice on the principle “quando lex aliquid alicui concedit, concedere videtur et id sine quo res ipsae esse non potest” (when the law gives a person anything it gives him that without which it cannot exist). Continue reading “Inherent powers of the courts to do justice”