What is the General Clause Act, 1897 ? Notes for CA Inter

Posted on May 14th, 2021
General Clause Act 1897
General Clause Act, 1897

What is the General Clause Act, 1897 ? Notes for CA Inter


Introduction to the General Clause Act, 1897

The General Clause Act, 1897 is that sort of act which lay down the essential principle on how the law should be interpreted. It’s also referred to as the interpretation act. The clause provides legal terms, methodologies, and expressions that help to get rid of repetition and also provides a typical set of principles which is employed in legislation. It provides rules on interpretation and expression to define things more clearly.

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What’s the General Rule of Construction?

As clear from the name, it defines how legal documents are often interpreted especially contracts and statutes. Most states in India treat the principles as mere customs not having the Force of law. Construction of documents is usually done on unambiguous legal documents and when the dispute is of legal significance. We will examine the legal terms, the circumstances round the case, provisions, law, and verbal agreements. If there’s the technical and exact meaning of word available for any ambiguous word is given, we should always use only that word no other similar meaning are going to be used. A near similar or equitable word permits a term to be reasonably and fairly evaluated so on be similar with the thing and purpose that the document is meant. This doesn’t mean that the words are going to be used out of their natural sense of meaning. We either see an intention of document or in any case document is unambiguous a daily pattern of the choice concerning the appliance of a provision of statute or how the text is going to be applied in several cases.


What are the terms of Construction?

Ejusdem Generic: – If the document is unambiguous, then interpretation should be done against interest one that wishes the clause to be interpreted.

The definition of unambiguous law may be a question of law and decided by the province of law and may be determined the sensible knowledge.


Explain kinds of Rule of Construction.

    • 1. The literal rule of construction: – the meaning of words or construction of words should be done because it was gone by authorities. If the planet is already ambiguous and clearly defined there’s no need for interpretation.
    • 2. Purposive rule of interpretation: – we should always see what common law was before making the act. What mischief was corrected by the law? For what purpose law was established and what was the truth reason of remedy?
    • 3. Harmonious construction: – meaning of an act should be constructed harmonious with other articles. A provision of the constitution must be construed and thought of as a neighborhood of the law and it shouldn’t be conflicted with other Articles and which conform with the Constitution’s general scheme.
    • 4. Rule of beneficial construction: – when there’s quite two interpretations of the law, one should prefer which give law and protect the advantage of given legislation. Legislative intent should be focused. Benefits of interpretation should tend to those that are included therein scheme and not extended to others.
    • 5. Strict construction of penal statutes: – there’s two possibility of interpretation, the one who attracts penalty and one who doesn’t. The court should more incline to ones who didn’t attract a penalty.


What is the importance of the overall Clause Act 1897?

importance of the overall Clause Act 1897

The purpose of the overall Clauses Act is to put in one single statute different provisions as regards the interpretation of words and legal principles which might otherwise need to be specified separately in many various Acts and Regulations.

GENERAL CLAUSES ACT, 1977. for which, anything is to be done under the Act or Regulation, then that power could also be exercised at any time after the passing of the Act or Regulation; but rules, bye-laws or orders so made or issued shall not become till the commencement of the Act or Regulation.


Explain the applicability of the overall Clauses Act, 1897 for the interpretation of the Constitution.

The relevant extract is as under: “367(1) unless the context otherwise requires, the overall Clauses Act, 1897, shall, subject to any adaptations and modifications which will be made therein under Article 372,

69.2 Thus, the overall Clause Act applies just for the interpretation of the constitution. the overall Clauses Act defines various terms in section 3. These definitions will apply for the interpretation when these words are employed within the Constitution. aside from the definition, Section 16 (power to appoint to incorporate the power to suspend or dismiss), Section 21 (Power to issue to incorporate the power to feature to, amend, vary or rescind Notification, Orders, Rules or Bye-laws), etc. which are general rules of construction and which are otherwise in unison with the common law can also apply for the interpretation of the Constitution.

Further, Section 6 applies only to the repeal of an enactment. Enactment is defined under Section 3(19) of the overall Clauses Act to incorporate regulation or any provision contained in any Act or regulation. However, Constitution isn’t an enactment. The Constitution is supreme and is, in fact, the inspiration of all the enactment. This has been observed by the Law Commission in its 60th Report on the overall Clauses Act, 1897 within the context of Section 8 (construction of references of repealed enactment).

“1.30.Effect of section 8 on Article 367. – Will section 8 of the overall Clauses Act, which provides that when an enactment is repealed and re-enacted, references to the old enactment are going to be construed as references thereto, re-enacted one, make any difference? We don’t think so. It should be noted that the words “unless the context otherwise requires” (in Article 367) mean that the overall Clauses Act, section 8, is to be excluded. Even by its terms, section 8 of the overall Clauses Act won’t apply to the Constitution, because the expression “enactment” (which occurs in section 8) wouldn’t absorb the Constitution, which isn’t an “enactment”. The Constitution is supreme and is, in fact, the inspiration of all enactments.”

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