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Note on Purposive Rule

 Note on Purposive Rule

Introduction

Purposive construction is a statutory and constitutional interpretation technique in which common law courts read an enactment (that is, a statute or a clause of a constitution) in light of the reason for which it was enacted. The historical source of purposive interpretation is the mischief rule which was established in Heydon's Case. Purposeful interpretation was established as a replacement for the mischief rule, the plain meaning rule, and the golden rule in order to determine instances. Courts utilize deliberate interpretation when they incorporate extraneous materials from the pre-enactment period of legislation, such as early draughts, committee reports, and so on. In the purposive interpretation, the exclusionary rule is disregarded.

Purposivism's critics argue that it ignores the legislature's and the court's separation of powers. The legislative is responsible for enacting legislation, while the judiciary is responsible for interpreting it. Purposive interpretation offers courts a lot of power since it permits them to look at additional materials to help them understand the law beyond the terms of the statute.

Aids to Interpretation

In most circumstances, primacy must be applied as a basic rule of statutory interpretation. If the words are clear and unambiguous, no extra ways of interpretation are required. If the terms in the statute are vague and ambiguous, internal aid might be sought for interpretation. This means that the statute should be read from beginning to end; anything that is obscure in one place may be clarified in another.

Internal aids include the following:

· Context

· Title

° Long Title

° Short Title

· Preamble

· Headings

· Proviso

· Definition/interpretation Clause

· Conjunctive and Disjunctive Words

· Punctuation

External aids include the following:
· Historical Settings
· Text Books and Dictionaries
· Government Publications
· Bill
· Committee Report
· Debate and Proceedings of the Legislature
· History of Legislation
· Judicial Interpretation of Words

Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes:

When the language of a statute, in its ordinary meaning and grammatical construction, leads to a clear contradiction of the enactment's apparent purpose, or to some inconvenience, absurdity, hardship, or injustice that could hardly have been intended, a construction can be applied to it that changes the meaning of the words and even the structure of the sentence. This can be accomplished by breaking grammatical rules, giving unusual meaning to specific words, or completely rejecting them on the grounds that the legislature could not possibly have intended what its words mean, and that the changes made are merely careless language corrections that truly give the true meaning. A statute's fundamental objective and meaning shall not be rendered null by the drafter's lack of talent or grasp of the law, unless in the case of necessity or the absolute intractability of the language utilized.

The Supreme Court authorised and implemented the procedure in Tirath Singh v. Bachittar Singh. 

Shamrao V. Parulekar v. District Magistrate, Thana

The Supreme Court reiterated Maxwell's premise:

"Even if the same words used in the same section, and even the same sentence, must be taken differently, the reading that would undermine the Act's aims must be rejected." Indeed, the law requires courts to adjust the grammatical and customary interpretation of terms in order to avoid absurdity and inconsistency."

Molar Mal v. Kay Iron Works (P) Ltd.

While the court in Molar Mal v. Kay Iron Works (P) Ltd. maintained that courts must follow the rule of literal construction, which requires the court to take words as they were used by the Legislature and give them the natural meaning, it did so with one exception. The following observations were made by the Court:

"That exception applies when literal interpretation of the legislation's language results in absurdity or inconsistency, or when it can be demonstrated that the legal context in which the terms are used, or reading the act as a whole, demands a different meaning."

Mangin v. Inland Revenue Commission, the Privy Council ruled:

It is reasonable to believe that the objective of creating a statute, whether to determine the legislature's will or to prevent injustice or absurdity, was not to cause injustice or absurdity. If a literal interpretation leads to this result and the language allows for a different interpretation, that interpretation should be utilized.

Conclusion

The way statutes are interpreted has changed significantly. The change from literal to intentional approaches has had a tremendous impact on our legal system. So much so that the powers of the legislative and judicial branches are starting to conflict. Parliament has adopted laws that instruct the judicial branch on how to interpret legislation, and the judicial branch can read words into legislation to promote what they believe is the legislature's apparent objective, even though they are not bound by the statute's explicit terms. According to the purposive approach to statutory interpretation, "what is at issue is the separation of powers and respect by the judicial branch of government for the powers of the legislative branch." While the intentional method has some advantages, it is clear that implementing it raises significant obstacles and concerns.


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