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1. Same word same 6. Mandatory and
meaning Directory Provisions
2. Use of different 7. Conjunctive and
words disjunctive words ‘or’
3. Rule of Last and ‘and’
Antecedent 8. Construction of
4. Non obstante clause general words
5. Legal Fiction
1.) Same Word Same Meaning
Presumption is
In different they are used in
parts of the the same
words used same statute meaning


Bhogilal Chunnilal Pandya v. State
of Bombay, AIR 1959 SC 356

Word to be construed ‘statement’ u/s 157, IEA

Can notes of a
The question was conversation
Amount to statement??

Statement is not defined in the Dictionary meaning Also, the word’s usage in
Act has to be seen other parts of the IEA
Contention of the Appellant
The word ‘statement’ required communication to the other

It did not include any writing or memorandum for one’s own


Therefore, notes prepared by the Solicitor does not amount to

‘statement’ and is not admissible as evidence
Contentions of the Respondent

‘Statement’: Primary Meaning- something that is

Primary Meaning
The word ‘Statement’ in other
sections of Indian Evidence Act
The varying
meanings of the
word ‘statements’

Statements made by
persons could be used
even though not

Ss.18-21 Ss. 18-20

Statements statements are
made ‘by’… admissions
The image that draws up before
the court
Illustration (b) of s.21

• A, the Captain of a ship, is tried for casting her

away. Evidence is given to show that the ship was
taken out of her proper course. A produces a book
kept by him in the ordinary course of his business,
showing observations alleged to have been taken by
him from day to day, and indicating that the ship
was not taken out of her proper course. A may prove
these statements, because they would be admissible
between third parties, if he were dead, under section
32, clause (2).
The Court Concluded

Notes prepared by the P.W. recording the
conversation that took place between him
1.) and other witnesses, was a statement which
could be used for corroboration u/s.157.

Wanchoo J: “Words are generally used
in the same sense throughout in a
2.) statute, unless there is something
repugnant in the context.”
Maharaj Singh v. State of U.P. & Ors
AIR 1976 SC 2602
S.4 of the U.P. ●
The right, title and interest of all
Zamindari the intermediaries in every estate
Abolition & including haats, bazaars and melas
Land Reforms stood terminated and ‘vested’
absolutely in the State.
Act, 1950

The State is authorized to
declare that haats, bazaars and
S. 117(1) melas which had vested in the
State shall ‘vest’ in the Gaon
The order of governance

‘title’ in the state

State is authorized
‘vested’ interest

To vest in the Gaon Sabha

The Court Concluded

The ●
The defendant was a zamindar & had
been conducting a cattle fair on the estate
in dispute.
Dispute ●
The State initiated an action of ejectment.

The ●
Vesting in the state was absolute, the
vesting in the sabha was limited to
Supreme possession & management subject to
Court divestiture by Government.
2. Use of Different Words
in relation to the different words
same subject used in the same
matter if statute

presumption is

that they are not

used in the same
But just like the other rules…

this too is subordinate to

context as a less careful
draftsman may use
different words to convey
the same meaning.
Some examples….
Rules made under the
T.A. Krishnaswamy v. State of Madras
Drugs Act, 1940
AIR 1966 SC 1022

Test Analysis
CIT v. East
Explanation West
to Sec.23A of Import & Export Pvt. Ltd.
the Income Tax Act, 1922
AIR 1989 SC 836

‘at the end of the previous ‘in the course of such

year’ previous year’
One more….
Labour Commissioner, MP v. Burhanpur
Tapti Mills Ltd.
AIR 1964 SC 1687

‘rendered illegal’ ‘held illegal’

Member, Board of Revenue
v. Arthur Paul Benthall
AIR 1956 SC 35
The respondent was the
Fact: 1

MD of several companies.

He applied to the Collector of Calcutta u/s.31

Fact: 2 of the Stamp Act, 1899 for adjudication of

duty payable on a power of attorney which
he proposed to execute.

By that power, he empowered X and Y ‘jointly and

Fact: 3 severally’ to act for him in his individual capacity

and also as executor, administrator, trustee,
managing agent, liquidator and all other capacities.
The question before the Court

• Whether the stamp duty was

payable on the power of attorney
“for as many respective capacities
as the principal executes the
Relevant provisions

Any instrument comprising or relating to several

distinct matters shall be chargeable with the
aggregate amount of the duties with which separate
instruments, each comprising or relating to one of
such matters, would be chargeable under the Act.

Subject to the provisions of the last preceding section,

an instrument so framed as to come within two or
more of the descriptions in Schedule I, shall, where
the duties chargeable there under are different, be
chargeable only with the highest of such duties.
The words…that caused confusion!!

Sec. 5

‘distinct matters’
Analysis of the Court
Sec. 5 applies to more than one
When 2 words of different
import used in two consecutive
provisions, it cannot be
maintained that they are used in
the same sense.
Analysis of the Court

One person

in different

each executes a
unconnected power in respect
with the other of both of them

the instrument
Decision of the Court
The Rule is subordinate to context

• In case of a long statute,

especially a consolidated statute,
such presumptions cannot be
given much weight to, since there
are chances of incongruous
provisions being lumped together.
Kanhayalal Vishindas Gidwani v. Arun
Dattatreya Mehta & Ors. AIR 2000 SC 3681
Pet. challenges as the nomination
paper of the Resp.
the election of filed was invalid in
the Resp. law

as it was not
‘subscribed’ by the
proposers as per S.20

This was so because the

proposers did not
they had signed
consciously propose the only a blank
nomination of the
respondent form.
- Proposer to a candidate in an
The relevant provision of the
Representation of People’s Act,

Sec. 33(1) Presentation of nomination paper and
requirements for a valid nomination.- (1) ….each
candidate shall, either in person or by his proposer, deliver
to the returning officer, a nomination paper completed in
the prescribed form and ‘signed’ by the candidate and by
an elector of the constituency as proposer
• Provided that a candidate not set up by a recognized
political party, shall not be deemed to be duly nominated
for election from a constituency unless the nomination
paper is ‘subscribed’ by ten proposers being electors of the
Therefore…the section required
Nomination Paper of a Party Candidate

‘Signed’ by a Proposer

Nomination Paper of a candidate not

belonging to a recognized political party

‘Subscribed’ by 10 proposers
The opinion of the Court
The opinion of the Court
• The Legislature has used the word
subscribed both in regard to the candidate
as well as proposers and seconders.

• Thus, the expression ‘subscribed’ in the

proviso cannot be read differently from
the expression ‘sign’ used in S.33
What is last antecedent?

• A qualifying phrase ought to be referred to

the next antecedent which will make sense
and to which the context appears properly to
relate it.

• The rule is subordinate to context.

Ashwini Kumar Ghose v.
Arabinda Bose AIR 1952 SC 369
• Sec.2 of the Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in High
Courts) Act 1951 stated:
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Indian Bar
Councils Act 1926, or ‘in any other law’ regulating the
conditions subject to which a person not entered in the roll
of advocates of a high court may be permitted to practice
in that high court, every Advocate of the Supreme Court
shall be entitled as of right to practice in any high court
whether or not he is an advocate of that high court.
The Supreme Court Noted
• Having regard to the words ‘anything
contained’ and the preposition ‘in’ used after
disjunctive ‘or’, the qualifying clause cannot
reach back to the words ‘Bar Council Act’.

• The adjectival clause ‘regulating the

conditions’, qualified the word ‘law’ and not
the words ‘Bar Council Act’.
Irra Waddy Flotilla Company v.
Bhagwan Das (1891) ILR 18 Cal. 620
• S.1 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872:
• ‘Nothing herein contained shall effect the
provisions of any statute, Act or
Regulation, not hereby expressly repealed,
nor any usage or custom of trade, nor any
incident of any contract not inconsistent
with the provisions of this Act.’
The construction by the court

• The words ‘not inconsistent with the provisions of

this Act’ are not to be connected with the clause
‘nor to any usage or custom of trade.’

• The rules of grammar, seem to require that the

application of those words should be confined to
the subject that immediately precedes them.
Hiten P. Dalal v. Bratindra Nath
Banerjee AIR 2001 SC 3897
Appellant found guilty u/s 138 N.I. Act 1881

He was tried u/the Special Court (Trial of Offences relating to

Transactions in Securities) Act, 1992.

Sentenced to 1 year imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh

Sec.3 (2)
• The Custodian may, on being satisfied on
information received that any person has been
involved in any offence relating to transactions
in securities after the 1st day of April, 1991 and
on and before the 6th June, 1992 , notify the
name of such person in the Official Gazette.
The main features of S.3(2)
 Such offence must relate to transactions in
 Such offence should be alleged to have
committed ‘between 1.4.1991 and on or before

• The question is does the period specified

qualify the word offence or the word
The Opinion of the Court

The basic If it is offence, the jurisdiction of the Special

Court would be limited to offences committed

within the period specified whenever the
reasoning transactions may have taken place.

The correct The period qualifies the word

transactions, and that this was clear

proposition from the language of the statute.
The Decision
• If the period were to qualify the word
offence the section would have read “any
offence after the 1st day of April and on or
before 6th June 1992.”

The law relates to transactions in

securities and the offence should also be
related to such transactions.
This rule too is subordinate
to context
R.M.D.Chamarbaugwala Case
AIR 1957 SC 699
• Sec.2(d) of the Bombay Lotteries and Prize
Competitions Control and Tax Act, 1948 reads:
‘Prize Competition includes: (1) Crossword Prize
Competition, (2) Missing Word Prize
Competition, (3) Picture Prize Competition, (4)
Number Prize Competition, or (5) any other
Prize Competition, for which solution is or is not
prepared beforehand by the promoters or for
which the solution is determined by lot or chance.
The Analysis of the Court

For which the

Qualifying clause solution was
Apply to all
in the 5th item construed 5 items.

When the language of No need to give weight No need to read

the enactment is clear & to any extraneous any limitation
unambiguous consideration which is not there.