Category Archives: Interpretation of Statutes

Introduction, Meaning and Nature of Interpretation

Introduction, Meaning and Nature of Interpretation | Overview Introduction Meaning and Definition of Interpretation Interpretation of Statutes is required for two basic reasons Some Important Points to be taken care of in the context of interpreting Statutes Scope and Nature of Interpretation Introduction Enacted laws, especially the modern acts and rules, are drafted by legal experts and it… Read More »

Rules of Interpretation

Rules of Interpretation | Overview Rule of Literal Interpretation The Mischief Rule Golden Rule of Interpretation Rule of Harmonious Construction There are certain general principles of interpretation which have been applied by Courts from time to time. Primary Rules of Interpretation are discussed hereunder. I. Rule of Literal Interpretation In construing Statutes the cardinal rule is to construe… Read More »

Principles of Constitutional Interpretation

Principles of Constitutional Interpretation | Overview Introduction Interpretation of the preamble of the Constitution General rules of interpretation of the Constitution Principles of Constitutional Interpretation Principle of Colourable Legislation Principle of pith and substance Principle of eclipse Principle of Severability Principle of Territorial Nexus Principle of Implied powers Conclusion Principles of Constitutional Interpretation Introduction The letters of the… Read More »


[Laws enacted by the legislatures are interpreted by the judiciary. Their are internal aids to construction as well as external aids.] Introduction Laws enacted by the legislatures are interpreted by the judiciary. Enacted laws, specially the modern Acts and Rules, are drafted by legal experts and it could be expected that the language will leave little room for… Read More »


Introduction When internal aids are not adequate, court has to take recourse to External aids. External Aids may be parliamentary material, historical background, reports of a committee or a commission, official statement, dictionary meanings, foreign decisions, etc. In Prabhakar Rao and others v. State of A.P. and others[1],  O. Chennappa, Reddy J. has observed : Where internal aids are not forthcoming, we can always… Read More »


Introduction The interpretation of laws is confined to courts of law. In course of time, courts have evolved a large and elaborate body of rules to guide them in construing or interpreting laws. Most of them have been collected in books on interpretation of statutes and the draftsman would be well advised to keep these in mind in… Read More »


Introduction Statutes are either prospective or both prospective and retrospective from the point of its applicability i.e. the period of legal effect of statutes. All statutes in general have only prospective effect. It means applicability to future transactions. But certain statutes have to be sometimes both prospective and retrospective. “Retrospective” means the statute would apply and affect past… Read More »

Important Maxims related to Interpretation of Statutes

Important Maxims related to Interpretation of Statutes | Overview Ejusdem Generis Noscitur a Socis Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat Contemporanea Exposito Est Fortissima In Lege Reddendo Singula Singulis Expresssio Unius Est Exclusio Alterius 1. Ejusdem Generis According to the Black’s Law Dictionary (8th edition, 2004) the principle of Ejusdem Generis is where general words follow an enumeration of… Read More »