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Commentary
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INTRODUCTION
0.1 Indian legal system
0.2 Interpretation of Constitution
0.3 Interpretation and socio-economic changes
0.4 Development of administrative and public laws - New dimensions
0.4-1 Rule of law - Absence of arbitrary power
0.4-2 Natural justice
0.4-3 Equality provisions, new dimensions - Article 14
0.4-4 Fairness and reasonableness of procedure - Article 21
0.4-5 The doctrine of ‘State’ - Article 12 - New dimensions
0.5 Development of human rights and public interest litigation
0.6 Criminal law and new concepts
0.7 Tax Laws - New dimensions
0.8 Division of the powers amongst the three wings of Government
STATUTORY LAW
1.1 Supremacy of Parliament
1.2 Power of Legislature is subject to constitutional limits
1.3 Taxation is prerogative of Legislature
1.4 Subordinate legislation - Necessity
1.4-1 Valid delegation of legislative power - Tests
1.4-2 Subordinate legislation - Guidelines
1.4-3 Subordinate legislation - Legislative control
1.5 Subordinate legislation - Extent and limits of delegation
1.6 Subordinate legislation - Powers of rule-making authorities
1.7 Rules have effect as if enacted in the Act
1.8 Rules are mandatory
1.9 Rules - Interpretation
1.10 Referential legislation - Convenient legislative device
1.11 Referential legislation - Kinds of
1.12 Referential legislation - Effect of repeal, modification or amendment of
1.13 Rag-Bag legislation - Legislative competence
JUDGE-MADE LAW
2.1 Legislature - Delegation of responsibility to courts to make law through interpretative process
2.1-1 Judges not only declare but also make laws
2.1-2 Supreme Court and High Courts decisions - As important as statutes
2.2 Interpretation is fundamental - Role of a judge
2.3 Judicial interpretation to adapt law to suit the needs of society
2.4 Doctrine of precedent
2.4-1 Ratio Decidendi
2.4-2 Obiter Dicta
2.4-3 Judicial Dicta
2.5 Precedent - Provides a guide as to future course of law
2.5-1 Precedents binding - Reasons
2.5-2 Precedents keep the law predictable
2.6 Precedent - Supreme Court decisions are binding
2.7 Precedent - Decisions of the High Court binding on authorities functioning within its territorial jurisdiction
2.7-1 Precedent - Decision of the Income-tax Tribunal binding
2.7-2 Precedent - Doctrine of merger
2.8 Precedent - Dissenting Judgment - Guides the future laws
2.9 Precedent - An erroneous decision as binding as correct decision
2.10 Precedent - Spirit of the case makes the law and not the letter of precedent, which is binding
2.11 Precedent - Decision given in appeal or in a writ binding
2.12 Precedent - Opinion of Supreme Court in advisory capacity binding
2.13 Precedent - Decision of the larger bench binding on the smaller bench
2.14 Precedent - Overruling by a larger bench does not affect its binding effect in a particular case
2.14A Precedent - Retrospective or prospective application (over-ruling) - Two views (Blackstonian and Cardozo views)
2.14B Precedent - Role of judge not merely to interpret but to lay new norms
2.15 Precedent - Overruling decisions retrospective and binding as if the law from inception
2.15A Precedent - Prospective overruling
2.16 Precedent - Conflict between two judgments of Supreme Court, judgment later in time not binding if earlier better in law
2.17 Precedent - Decision given in per incuriam not binding
2.18 Precedent - Followed not mechanically
2.18-1 Decisions not read as Euclid’s theorems
2.18-2 Precedent - Ceases to be law - Changed circumstances or law
2.19 Precedent - An erroneous decision relating to jurisdiction not binding
2.20 Precedent - Judgment given in the context of particular proved or assumed facts cannot be taken exposition of law
2.20-1 Every observation not to be followed
2.21 Precedent - Sub silentio
2.22 Precedent - Need for circumscription
2.22-1 Precedents cannot limit legal compulsions
2.22-2 Precedent cannot limit changed perception
2.22-3 Precedent - Judicial conscience persuades change
2.23 Circumstances under which the Supreme Court reviews its earlier decision
2.23-1 Criterion for overruling
2.23-2 Overruling - Change in contextual values
2.23-3 Overruling - Compelling and substantial reasons
2.23-4 Overruling earlier decision - Guidelines
2.24 Stare decisis - Long standing precedents
2.24-1 Stare decisis - Not inflexible as to preclude departure
2.25 Stare decisis - Power to review should be exercised sparingly
2.25-1 Stare decisis - Taxing statutes
2.25-2 Judgment not signed - Modified sparingly
2.25-3 Judgment modified - To remedy an injustice
2.25-4 Judicial fallibility
2.25-5 Law never reaches consistency
2.26 Appeal by special leave - Scope of Article 136 of the Constitution
2.26-1 Special leave petition - Scope
2.27 Special leave petition - Interference with finding of facts
2.28 Special leave petition - Limitation in the exercise of discretionary power
2.29 Special leave petition - Refusal to interfere because of many reasons including heavy work backlog
2.30 Special leave petition - Effect of non-granting
2.30-1 Indian Oil Corporation case
2.31 Special leave petition - Refusal does not mean approval of High Court decision
2.31-1 Special leave petition - Dismissal in limine does not furnish ratio decidendi
2.31-2 Special leave petition - Refusal and doctrine of merger
2.32 Foreign decisions are not binding
2.33 Res judicata is a part of rule or justice, equity and good conscience
2.33-1 Res judicata - General principles
2.33-1A Res judicata - Judgments invalidating action on the basis of law which is validated subsequently
2-33-1B Res judicata - Dismissal of special leave petition
2.33-2 Res judicata - Essentials
2.33-3 Judgment in rem binding in subsequent proceedings
2.33-4 Judgment without jurisdiction, or obtained by fraud or collusion not binding
2.34 Doctrine of autrefois acquit
2.35 Res judicata - Issue estoppel and criminal proceedings
2.36 Res judicata, autrefois acquit and issue estoppel - Distinction
2.37 Res judicata - Decision on question of fact is not binding in subsequent year
2.37-1 Res judicata - Revenue authorities bound by earlier decision, if facts are same
2.38 Decision binding if the point is the same
2.39 A different finding cannot be reached in subsequent year in the absence of fresh material
2.40 Section 147 of Income-tax Act and conditions for reopening thereunder support doctrine of res judicata
CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY
3.1 All laws flow from Constitution
3.2 Constitutionality of provisions - Principles of interpretation
3.2-1 Constitution - Interpretation
3.2-2 Interpretation of tax entries - “Aspect doctrine”
3.3 Constitutionality - Maintenance and reading down an enactment
3.3-1 Sanyasi Rao case
3.3-2 Statute - Construction to maintain constitutionality
3.3-3 Constitutionality - Presumptions
3.3-4 Constitutionality - Judged from the generality of the provisions of an Act
3.4 Constitutionality - Subordinate legislations
3.4A Constitutionality - Policy decisions of the Government
3.4B Constitutionality - Power and competence of Legislature
3.5 Article 14 of Constitution - Discrimination and arbitrariness
3.5-1 Discrimination under article 14 - Discrimination does not forbid reasonable classification - Principles
3.5-2 Discrimination and tax laws
3.5-3 Specific instances of discrimination
3.5-4 Arbitrariness under article 14
3.6 Right to freedom
3.6-1 Article 19(1)(g) - Restriction on freedom to carry on trade
3.6-2 Taxing statute per se does not violate article 19(1)(g)
3.6-3 Taxing statute is not violative of article 19(1)(g) even if it imposes heavy burden
3.6-4 Constitutional validity of the Gujarat Tax Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses) Act, 1977 and other similar Acts - Not violative of article 19(1)(g)
3.6-5 Expenditure Tax Act, 1987 - Does not violate article 19(1)(g)
3.6-6 Constitutional validity of compulsory audit - Article 19(1)(g)
3.6-7 Retroactivity of Validating Act is not violative of article 19(1)(g)
3.6-8 Levy of service tax on Chartered Accountants does not violate article 19(1)(g)
3.7 Article 301 - Freedom to carry on trade, commerce and intercourse
3.8 Article 20 and constitutional validity of criminal prosecution and levy of penalty for the same offence
3.8-1 Criminal law under Income-tax Law - Constitutional aspect
3.9 Legislative competence to enact laws - Articles 245 and 246 of the Constitution
3.9A Power of legislation and list of legislation
3.9B Power of Parliament to enact laws - Limitations
3.9C Constitutionality of a provision - Judicial review
3.9C-1 Legislative competence - Pith and substance of a statute
3.9C-2 Colourable Legislation - Constitutionality
3.9C-3 Competence of Parliament to impose taxes
3.9C-4 Taxes on income - Meaning of
3.9C-5 Word “income” is of elastic import
3.9C-6 Uncertainty in defining components of levy of tax is fatal to its validity
3.9C-7 Legislative competence determined on the nature of levy, and not on its measure
3.9C-8 Character of the legislation and not its ultimate economic results to be considered for determining legislative competence
3.9C-9 Parliament’s competence to make laws to operate extra-territorially
3.9C-10 Legislative competence to enact Income-tax Act
3.9C-11 Legislative competence to tax capital gains as income
3.9C-12 Power to legislate includes power to enact provision to prevant avoidance of tax
3.9C-13 Legislative competence to enact legislation intended to achieve the collection of taxes
3.10 Specific instances
3.10-1 Constitutional validity - Clubbing provisions - Section 64(1)
3.10-2 Constitutional validity of deemed dividend - Section 2(22)
3.10-3 Constitutional validity of section 44AC and section 206C
3.10-4 Taxes collected without authority of law unconstitutional
3.10-5 Taxes collected without authority of law being un-constitutional have to be refunded
ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION
4.1 Jurisdiction - Power of court to hear and determine a cause
4.1-1 Jurisdiction - Meaning and scope
4.1-2 Jurisdiction - Court, power to hear and determine a cause
4.1-3 Jurisdiction - Cognisance of conferment
4.1-4 Jurisdiction - Administrative authority
4.1-5 Jurisdiction - Laying contents and limit of power of the authority
4.1-6 Jurisdiction - Determinable at the commencement of inquiry
4.1-7 Jurisdiction - Not lost by change in value of subject-matter
4.1-8 Jurisdiction - Existence or extent, subject to judicial review
4.2 Jurisdiction flows from law
4.3 Jurisdiction - Implies power of doing all acts, measures necessary for its execution
4.4 Power to hold inquiry and to hear parties requires recording of evidence of parties
4.4-1 Power to hold enquiry is quasi-judicial function
4.5 Error within jurisdiction and jurisdictional error - ‘Lack’ or ‘Excess’ of jurisdiction, distinction between
4.5-1 Superior Courts presumed to act within jurisdiction
4.6 Equitable jurisdiction
4.7 Lack of jurisdiction
4.7-1 Jurisdiction - Objection at the initial stage
4.7-2 Lack of jurisdiction - Objection as to the validity of the order
4.7-3 Lack of jurisdiction - Exception when objection cannot be raised
4.7-4 A case of irregularity when an authority has got territorial jurisdiction
4.7-5 Lack of jurisdiction - Tribunal is not properly constituted
4.7-6 Lack of jurisdiction - Want of essential preliminaries - Jurisdictional error
4.7-7 Lack of jurisdiction - One hears and other decides
4.8 Error within the jurisdiction also jurisdictional error - Circumstances
4.9 Wrong orders with jurisdiction are operative
4.9-1 Wrong orders of the Court with competent jurisdiction have to be obeyed unless discharged - Issacs v. Robertson case
4.10 Orders passed without jurisdiction - Whether a nullity or irregularity or illegality
4.10-1 Jurisdiction can neither be waived or created by consent
4.10-2 Jurisdiction - Defect not cured by consent
4.10-3 Jurisdictional facts, absence vitiates the proceedings
4.10-4 Nullity - Flagrant violation of natural justice
4.10-5 Order in violation of rules may be invalid, but operative
4.11 When statute requires something done in a particular manner, if not done, the order is nullity
4.12 Failure to follow mandatory procedure in regard to assessment results in a nullity
4.13 Order passed in contravention of mandatory order is a nullity
4.14 Absence of recording reasons required mandatorily render order nullity
4.15 Non-compliance of conditions in search and seizure is a nullity
4.15-1 Existence of and not sufficiency of belief
4.15-2 Reason to believe
4.16 Absence of reasons for reassessment proceedings is nullity
4.16-1 Reasons to believe expresses the idea of objectivity
4.17 Non-recording of reason results in nullity
4.17-1 Belief recorded in a bona fide manner
4.18 Violation of natural justice results in nullity
4.19 An order once null and void cannot be remade
4.20 Nature of jurisdiction
4.20-1 Executive or legislative act, function or power
4.21 Administrative functions of the tax authorities
4.21-1 Function of all authorities under the Income-tax Act, is to quantify the precise amount of tax liability
4.21-2 Investigating and statutory jurisdiction of tax authorities
4.21-3 Authorities under the Act or the High Court cannot enquire into the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Act
4.21-4 Whether tax authorities bear the character of a court
4.21-5 Revenue officer is an instrumentality of State and not a court
4.21-6 Settlement Commission is a Tribunal not a court
4.22 Legislative functions of executive
EXERCISE OF JURISDICTION
5.1 Rule of law - Administration of law with judicial mind
5.2 Discretion and types of discretionary powers
5.2A Judicial, quasi-judicial, administrative decisions
5.3 Discretion - Administrative
5.3-1 Principles for exercise of discretionary power
5.3-2 Discretion failure and excess exercise of discretion
5.3-3 Discretion by high functionaries
5.4 Discretion - Judicial
5.4A Discretionary powers not immune from judicial review
5.4A-1 Padfield’s case
5.4A-2 Judicial control - Three grounds
5.4A-3 Court is concerned with the legality of procedure and not validity of order
5.4A-4 Validity of the executive order - Government action presumed reasonable
5.4A-5 Court is to see whether the executive has acted constitutionally and lawfully
5.4A-6 Circumstances must exist for the formulation of opinion
5.5 Discretionary powers under the Indian Income-tax Act
5.5-1 Discretionary powers in assessment proceedings
5.5-2 Discretionary powers in appeals and revisions
5.5-3 Discretionary powers in respect of penalties
5.5-4 Discretionary powers in respect of extension of time-limit
5.5-5 Discretionary powers in respect of condonation of delay
5.5-6 Discretionary power in respect of reduction or waiver of penalties and interest
5.6 Natural justice - Concept and meaning
5.6A Natural justice and legal justice
5.6A-1 Rules of natural justice are not the statutory rules
5.6A-2 Natural justice, judicial fairness in decision making
5.7 Rules of natural justice - Interpretation and scope
5.7-1 Rules of natural justice are flexible and adaptable
5.8 Audi alteram partem - Hear the other side
5.8-1 Olga-Tellis’ case
5.8-2 Personal hearing is implicit unless the Act expressly excludes
5.8-3 Audi alteram partem - Non-compliance and degree of compliance
5.8-4 Opportunity for hearing even when something is obvious - “Useless formality theory”
5.8-5 Reasonable notice
5.8-6 Fair consideration of the explanation
5.8-7 Personal (oral) hearing
5.8-8 Failure of natural justice at the first stage cannot be cured at the appellate stage
5.8-9 Natural justice and legitimate expectation
5.9 Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa
5.9-1 Doctrine of necessity
5.10 Recording of reasons
5.10-1 Recording of reasons may not be pretence
5.10-2 Reasons to be communicated
5.10-3 Necessity of disclosure of reasons and natural justice
5.10-4 Recording reasons ensures fairness
5.10-5 Absence of reasons violates article 14 of the Constitution
5.10-6 Without assigning reason
5.11 Natural justice - Article 14 of Constitution
5.11-1 Arbitrariness means discrimination violative of article 14
5.11-2 Official arbitrariness is subversive of doctrine of equality
5.11-3 Arbitrariness and equality are sworn enemies
5.12 Natural justice as applied by Indian Courts
5.13 Natural justice as applied by administrative authorities
5.14 Natural justice as applied by Income-tax Authorities
5.14-1 Audi alteram partem
5.14-2 Recording of reasons for decision
5.14-3 To act fairly and reasonably on evidence
5.14-4 Natural justice violation - Summing up
5.15 Consequences for violating principles of natural justice
5.15-1 R.B. Shreeram case
5.15-2 Natural justice followed even in the absence of express provisions
5.16 Promissory Estoppel - Equitable Doctrine
5.16A Estoppel - Meaning and scope
5.16B Promissory estoppel - Authority is bound by the promise
5.16C Promissory estoppel - Not only a defence but also a cause of action
5.16C-1 Limitations of the doctrine of promissory estoppel
5.16C-2 Promissory estoppel - Subject to certain qualifications
5.16C-3 Promissory estoppel - Administrative estoppel in public law
5.16C-4 Promissory estoppel and public policy
5.17 Promissory estoppel - Historical development in India
5.17-1 Detriment need not be proved, it is sufficient if the promisee has relied upon the assurance given to him
5.17-2 Whether and to what extent Government is bound by promissory estoppel
5.18 Promissory estoppel and taxation laws
5.18-1 Check on arbitrary exercise of discretionary powers
5.18-2 Board’s circulars
5.18-3 Public notification whether acts as promissory estoppel
5.18-4 Promise given by the Central Government under excise law
5.18-5 Agreed assessments/disclosure made on some assurance by the department
5.18-6 Promissory estoppel and power of the Assessing Officer, other than the assessment
5.18-7 Assessee is also bound by promissory estoppel
5.18A Promissory estoppel and service law
5.19 Judicial review - Scope
5.19-1 Judicial review directed against the decision-making process
5.19-2 Judicial review - Grounds upon which the administrative action is subject to control
5.19-3 Judicial review - Scope not only limited to excess or abuse but also failure to exercise power
5.19-4 Judicial review - Limitations
5-19-5 Executive powers - Conditioned by Constitution and law
5.20 Concept of arbitrariness and reasonableness - Law does not bring in indiscrimination
5.20-1 Judicial review if the guidelines are arbitrary or are worked out in arbitrary fashion
5.20-2 Reasonableness is a constitutional requirement
5.20-3 Bias of an executive authority - Must be rested on reasonable grounds
5.21 “According to Law”
5.21-1 Lack or excess of jurisdiction
5.21-2 Courts do not countenance arbitrary power and unfettered discretion
5.21-3 Inferences, conjecture and suspicion
5.21-4 Conditions precedent for the exercise of power must be satisfied
5.21-5 Failure to exercise discretion - Authority cannot refrain
5.21-6 Failure to apply mind or to consider relevant matter or evidence
5.21-7 “Illegality”, “irrationality” and “procedural impropriety” in the exercise of power
5.21-8 Violation of principle of natural justice at par with total lack of jurisdiction
5.22 Burden of proof and discharge
5.22A Burden of proof on pleading and burden of adducing evidence
5.22B A fact is proved when its existence is believed by the Court
5.22C Evaluation of evidence
5.22D Proof are statements of rebuttable presumption
5.22D-1 Presumption of fact or law
5.22D-2 Presumption of facts or natural presumption
5.22D-3 Presumption of law or artificial presumption
5.22D-4 Presumption, a rule of evidence
5.22D-5 Burden of proof in civil cases - Preponderance of probabilities
5.22D-6 Burden of proof in criminal cases - Beyond reasonable doubt
5.22D-7 Doctrine of mens rea
5.23 Writs
5.23A Writs - Kinds of
5.23B Writs of mandamus
5.23C Mandamus - Limitations
5.23D Writ of prohibition
5.23E Writ of certiorari
5.23F Power of High Court under writ jurisdiction
5.23F-1 Writ jurisdiction is supervisory
5.23F-2 Enforcement of contractual rights - Not covered
5.23F-3 Writ not a substitute - For regular trial
5.23F-4 Writ - Not to inquire and adjudicate but to command and execute
5.23F-5 Writ - Circumstances for admission
5.23F-6 Writ - Review of orders
5.24 Inherent powers - Inherent powers of High Court
5.24-1 Statute can bar jurisdiction of Civil Court
5.24-2 Even an erroneous order of assessment is entitled to protection against institution of a civil suit
5.24-3 Jurisdiction of civil courts cannot be excluded in cases where provisions of the Act and principles of judicial procedure are not complied with
5.24-4 Prosecution of case
5.25 Appeals - Meaning and scope
5.25A Appeal and suit - Distinction
5.25B Appeal under fiscal laws
5.25B-1 Right of appeal
5.25B-2 Appeal and revision
5.25B-3 Powers of the Assessing Officer in the case of remand
5.25B-4 Scope and powers of the first appellate authority
5.25B-5 Scope and powers of Tribunal
5.25B-6 Finding vitiated if perverse
5.26 Reference to the High Court
5.26-1 High Court while hearing a reference does not exercise any appellate or revisional or supervisory jurisdiction
5.26A Appeal to the High Court
5.27 Appeal to Supreme Court - Article 136
5.27-1 Special leave petition - Dismissal of - Does not affirm decision of the High Court
5.28 Appeal and doctrine of merger
5.28A Doctrine of merger - Taxing statutes
5.28A-1 Doctrine of merger is not a doctrine of rigid and universal application
5.28A-2 Order of inferior authority is not merged in that of superior on points not considered by it
5.28A-3 Whether order merges wholly or partially has to be decided with reference to appellate jurisdiction
5.28A-4 Order of lower authority is not merged in the order dismissing petition for condonation of delay
5.28A-5 Principles of doctrine of merger, summing up
5.28A-6 The order of the High Court does not merge with the order of the Supreme Court rejecting Special Leave Petition
5.29 Revision
5.29A Revision and appeal - Distinction
5.29A-1 Supervisory jurisdiction under the Income-tax Act
5.29A-2 Essential features for Commissioner’s intervention
5.29A-3 ‘Any proceeding’
5.29A-4 Order
5.29A-5 Erroneous order
5.29A-6 Prejudicial to the interest of revenue
5.29A-7 Revision under section 264
5.29A-8 Commissioner’s powers are quasi-judicial
5.29A-9 Order prejudicial to the assessee
5.29A-10 Revisional power is power of superintendence
5.30 Review
5.30-1 Procedural review - Ex debito justitiae
5.30-2 Ex debito justitiae and article 137 of the Constitution
5.30-3 Ex debito justitiae and article 226
5.30-4 High Court has no power of review under a referential jurisdiction under the Income-tax Act
5.30-5 Recall of the earlier order by the High Court or Tribunal
5.30-6 Review of criminal cases
5.30-7 Powers of Tribunal to review
5.30-8 Procedural inhibitions should not debar review
5.30-9 Review on merit
5.30-10 Review is a strict legal remedy and not a equitable proceeding
5.30-10A Scope of rectificatory powers
5.30-11 “Mistake apparent from the record”
5.30-12 Rectificatory jurisdiction does not empower authorities to review and revise their orders
5.30-13 Mistake, defect or omission does not render the assessment invalid
5.30-14 Decision of the Supreme Court is retrospective and renders contrary view erroneous as if mistake apparent from record
5.30-15 Authorities are bound to pass orders to rectify mistake if it is apparent from record
5.31 Delegated legislation
5.31A Legislature cannot delegate its power to make laws
5.31B Conditional Legislation
5.31B-1 Scope and extent of subordinate legislation
5.31B-2 Rules are parts of the Act
5.31B-3 Power to grant exemption
5.31B-4 Power to fix rates and base of tax
5.31B-5 Power to fix prices of a commodity
5.31B-6 Power to issue instruction binding upon the executive
5.31B-7 Benevolent circulars are administrative relief
5.31B-8 Power to issue guidelines
5.31B-9 Power to issue policy
5.31B-10 Power to issue notification
5.31B-11 Power to issue regulations
5.31B-12 Power to pass orders for removing difficulties
5.31B-13 Power to remove difficulties does not confer power to frame rules
5.31B-14 Rules, circulars, notifications, instructions or any subordinate legislation of any kind should be published in Official Gazette
INTERPRETATIVE PRINCIPLES – STATUTES
6.1 General observations
6.1-1 Interpretation - Meaning and three rules for interpretation
6.1-2 Rules of construction are not the rules of law
6.2 Ascertainment of legislative intention - Sources
6.2A Scope and effect of the statute - Rules of construction
6.2B Internal and external aids of construction
6.2B-1 Ex visceribus actus - Within the four corners of the statute
6.2B-2 Understanding of real meaning
6.2B-3 Statute should be read as a whole even when language is clear and explicit
6.2B-4 Textual interpretation should match the contextual
6.2B-5 Statute be read as a whole - In case of conflict
6.2B-5A Summing up - Rules of interpretation (construction) of statute
6.2B-6 Contextual interpretation of words
6.2B-7 Sententia legis, i.e., the intention of the legislative statute is repository of legislative will
6.2B-8 Casus omissus
6.2B-9 Purposive interpretation
6.2B-10 Purposive interpretation to resolve ambiguity - Parliament never intends to enact ambiguity
6.2B-11 Purposive interpretation - Essence
6.2B-12 Purposive approach means purposive construction of statute
6.2B-13 Purposive interpretation - Undue importance is not given
6.2B-14 Purposive interpretation - Not applied when the Act has been amended from time to time
6.2B-15 Purposive interpretation and tax laws
6.2B-16 Tax laws - Purposive approach application
6.2B-17 Interpretation of ongoing Act
6.3 Literal rule
6.3-1 Rule of construction
6.3-1A Literal interpretation - Not to be followed slavishly as to stultify the manifest purpose
6.3-2 Terms and expressions - Rules of interpretation - Literal interpretation
6.3-3 Distributive construction (Plurals are broken into component singulars)
6.4 Golden Rule - Literal meaning modified
6.4-1 Words presumed to be correctly and exactly used and interpreted contextually
6.4A Violence to the language used
6.4B Omissions and gaps supplied
6.4C Meaning of the word may be extended
6.4D Arm Chair Rule - Judges stepping into shoes of legislatures
6.4E Judicial legislation
6.4E-1 Court’s competence in supplying omissions
6.5 Mischief Rule - Heydon’s case
6.5-1 Ironing out the creases
6.5-2 Literal interpretation is not always only interpretation, contextual interpretation is important
6.5-3 Noscitur a sociis - Meaning of doubtful word may be ascertained by reference to word associated with it
6.5-4 Ejusdem generis
6.6 General observations
6.6-1 Interpretation of provisions - Principle
6.7 Taxing statutes - Strict interpretation
6.7-1 Taxing statutes - Doctrine of equity
6.7-2 Taxing provision - Construction in favour of the subject in case of ambiguity
6.7A Tax Avoidance - Strict interpretation
6.7A-1 Penal provisions - Strict interpretation
6.7A-2 Limitation provisions - Strict interpretation
6.7A-3 Exception clause - Strict interpretation
6.7A-4 Form or substance of a transaction - Strict interpretation
6.7A-5 Avoidance is regarded as evasion of taxes
6.8 Liberal interpretation
6.8A Liberal construction - To make a provision effective and operative
6.8B Liberal construction - Welfare legislation
6.8C Liberal interpretation - Beneficial provisions
6.8D Liberal construction - Exemption provisions
6.8D-1 Liberal versus literal construction
6.9 What are called internal aids
6.10 Preamble
6.10-1 Preamble - Key to the understanding of a statute
6.10-2 Preamble - Disregarded where the language is clear
6.10-3 Preamble - Application, two class of cases
6.10-4 Preamble followed by a long title
6.11 Marginal notes not referred for construction
6.11A Marginal notes - Legislative and not editorial exercise indicating drift of the section
6.11A-1 Heading is a clue to understanding section
6.12 Definition
6.12A Definition - Types
6.12B Definition - Function
6.12C Definition clause - Ordinary meaning not taken away
6.12D Definition clause - Interpretation
6.12D-1 Referential definition
6.12D-2 Referential provision - Interpretation
6.12D-3 Definition clause - Some qualifying expressions
6.13 Interpretation - Sections and sub-sections
6.13-1 Proviso - Function
6.13-2 Explanation - Function
6.13-3 Exception
6.13-4 Schedule
6.13-5 Punctuation
6.13-6 Comma
6.13-7 Semi-colon
6.13-8 Colon and dash
6.13-9 Full stop
6.13-10 Parentheses
6.14 Rules of Language
6.14-1 ‘May’ and ‘shall’ directory or mandatory
6.14-2 Legal fiction
6.14-3 Retrospective operation
6.14A Procedural provision - Liberal interpretation
6.14A-1 Procedural law - Aid to justice
6.15 Scheme of the Act
6.15-1 Imposition of tax
6.15-2 Income - Meaning of
6.15-3 Total income
6.15-4 Receipt of income
6.15-5 Classification of income under various heads
6.15-5A Salary
6.15-5B Income from house property
6.15-5C Profits and gains of business or profession
6.15-5D Capital gains
6.15-5E Income from other sources
6.15-6 Machinery provision - To give effect to the purpose of the statute
6.15-6A Object and purpose of assessment procedure
6.15-6B Condonation of delay under the general law
6.15-6C Action barred by limitation cannot be revived
6.16 External aids - Meaning
6.17 External aids - Dictionary meaning
6.17-1 Dictionary meaning - Overriding reasons to justify departure
6.17-2 Dictionary meaning - Sometimes diffused
6.18 External aid - Reference to other acts
6.18-1 External aids - References to statutes pari materia
6.18-2 Incorporation/reference of other Acts in the statute
6.18-3 External aid - Reference to General Clauses Act
6.18-4 External aid - Reference to complementary statutes
6.19 Words in popular sense
6.19-1 Words having scientific or technical meaning and also having an ordinary meaning
6.19-2 General words
6.19-3 Words used in the schedule, notification for exemption
6.19-4 ‘Expression’, meaning of - What is legal and not what is right
6.19-5 External aids - Process of legislation
6.19-6 External aids - Subsequent legislation
6.20 External aids - History of legislation
6.20-1 External aids - Objects and reasons
6.21 External aids - Speech of the Minister
6.22 External aids - Parliamentary material
6.23 External aids - Law Commission Report
6.24 External aids - Contemporanea expositio (the administrative construction)
INTERPRETATIVE PRINCIPLES – JUDGMENTS
7.1 Judgment of a court bears the character of law
7.1-1 Judgment - Meaning and scope
7.1-2 Judgment, decree, order - Distinction
7.1-3 Judicial findings
7.1-4 Judgments - Interpreted not as statutes
7.1-5 Judgment - Read as a whole - Picking a word or sentence is not permissible
7.1-6 Judgment - An authority what it decides
7.1-7 Judgment - Intention of a Judge not expressed in the operative part - Irrelevant
7.1-8 Judgment - Consent of parties
7.2 Interpretation of non-speaking order dismissing Special Leave Petition
7.3 Interlocutory order
7.4 Courts’ power to modify or alter a judgment not signed, though pronounced
7.5 Order - Effective when issued
7.6 Validity of an order - Judged from the reasons mentioned therein
INTERPRETATIVE PRINCIPLES – DOCUMENTS
8.1 Interpretation of a writing - Principles
8.2 Document - Meaning and scope
8.2-1 Construction of a document - Intention of the document
8.2-2 Construed as a whole and nomenclature not relevant
8.2-3 Subsequent act not relevant
8.2-4 Repugnancy - How interpreted
8.2-5 Document of family partition or arrangement
8.2-6 Document - Interpretation under tax laws - Legal aspect not necessary
8.2-7 Non-registration of a document - Effect of
8.2-8 Document takes effect from the time of execution after registration
8.2-9 Execution of document and executed document
8.2-10 Execution not confined to documents executed between parties
8.2-11 Documents do not lie
8.2-12 Document - Genuineness
8.3 Instrument - Meaning and scope
8.3A Instrument - Interpretation
8.3B Relative words refer to the next antecedent
8.3B-1 Instrument relating to shares in a tenant-co-operative society
8.4 Deed - Meaning and scope
8.4A Deed construction
8.4A-1 Deed of relinquishment, gifts and partition
8.4A-2 Release deed
8.4A-3 Deed of gift or will
8.4A-4 Deed of settlement and will
8.4A-5 Deed of partnership
8.4A-6 Deed - Power of attorney
8.4A-7 Deed of lease or licence
8.4A-8 Trust deeds
8.5 Will - Meaning and scope
8.5-1 Interpretation of a will
8.5-2 Deed of will or trust, whether legacy to an individual or to a class
8.5-3 Will proved like any other document
INTERPRETATIVE PRINCIPLES – AGREEMENTS
9.1 Agreement or contract - Meaning and scope
9.1-1 Agreements and contract - Distinguished
9.1-2 ‘Transaction’ or ‘arrangement’ is an agreement
9.1-3 Contract - Offer, acceptance and consideration
9.1-4 Contract legally enforceable
9.1-5 Contract - Freedom is not absolute
9.1-6 Contract - Unfair and unreasonable or unconscionable
9.1-7 Ingredients of a valid contract
9.1-8 Contract - Free consent
9.1-9 Contract - Lawful consideration and object
9.1-10 Void agreements
9.1-11 Contingent contracts
9.1-12 Performance of the contract
9.1-13 Breach of contract
9.1-14 Exculpation of a promiser
9.1-15 Construction of contract
9.1-16 Doctrine of frustration
9.1-17 Contract - Implied terms
9.1-18 Contract - Exclusion clause
9.2 Interpretation of Contracts - Rules of
9.2-1 Contracts Interpretation - Substance rather than form
9.2-2 Interpretation of Contract - Ascertainment of intention of parties
9.3 Amendment of agreement
9.4 Parol Evidence Rule
9.4-1 Written agreement cannot be modified by parol agreement
9.4-2 Parol rule and interpretation to the ambiguous words
9.4-3 Parol rule and parol collateral contract
9.4-4 Parol rule and integration of all contemporaneous oral and prior agreements in the written agreement
9.4-5 Parol Evidence Rule - Exceptions
9.5 Implication of terms not external to the contract
9.5-1 Express and implied terms
9.6 Primacy of express term is lost in case of ambiguity
9.7 Interpretation on the basis of intention of the parties
9.8 Interpretation on the basis of circumstance