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INTERPRETATION-CONSRTUCTION DISTICTION (with reference to Indian context)

Aim & Objective: The aim and objective of this research paper is to analyze the distinction
between construction and interpretation of statues with an Indian perspective with reference to
Indian Statutes and Laws which have been interpreted or constructed while deciding cases by the
Indian Judiciary.
Hypothesis: This research paper of doctrinal nature focuses on distinction between interpretation
and construction in the Indian context. The purpose of the study is to analyze the distinction
between interpretation and construction through relevant statutes and case laws and arrive at
conclusion that the distinction is indispensible and fundamental.
Primary Source: Primary source of data includes:
1. The article written by Lawrence B. Solum about the distinction between
interpretation and construction.
2. Relevant case laws form Indian Judiciary as examples to support the distinction between
interpretation and construction.
i)CWT v. Hashmatunnsia Begum 1989 AIR 1024.
ii) The Keshav Mills Co. Ltd v. Commissioner Of Income-Tax 1965 AIR 1636.
iii) Sudevanand v. State Through Cbi 2012 SCC 387.
iv) Superintendent & Legal v. Corporation Of Calcutta 1967 AIR 997.
v) Tetragon Chemie (P) Ltd. And Ors. v. Cce And Ors 1999 (63) ECC 709.
Secondary Source: Secondary source of data includes :
1. various articles written on difference between semantic content and legal content.- 2.Common
English dictionary and other sources .
Literature Review :
1. The article written by Lawrence B. Solum about the distinction between
interpretation and construction, gives us a clear distinction between interpretation and
construction by providing the basic idea of defining them and later distinguishing them with
examples from the Judiciary of United States of America.

2. CWT v. Hashmatunnsia Begum 1989 AIR 1024-provides the basic idea that the words
"Interpretation" and "construction" are used interchangeably, but in reality is somewhat
different.
3. The Keshav Mills Co. Ltd v. Commissioner Of Income-Tax 1965 AIR 1636- highlights that
the process of decision making out of two reasonably possible views is difficult and delicate for
judiciary.
4. Sudevanand v. State Through Cbi 2012 SCC 387-interpretation and application of legal and
statutory provisions respectively.
5. Superintendent & Legal v. Corporation Of Calcutta 1967 AIR 997-Gives the opinion that a
rule of construction is not a 'law in force' within the meaning of Article 372.
6. Tetragon Chemie (P) Ltd. And Ors. v. Cce And Ors 1999 (63) ECC 709- assistance from the
rules are sought only in cases of doubt or where by the nature of the goods, two equally
applicable Headings are there
Research Methodology: The mode of research employed in this paper is of doctrinal in nature
which analyzes already existing secondary data(articles and case laws) as the primary source and
follows qualitative analysis to arrive at a conclusion thereby trying to prove the hypothesis.
Introduction:
the essence of law lies in the spirit, not its letter, for the letter is significant only as being the
external manifestation of the intention that underlies it Salmond
Modern law making drafted by legal experts is a similar work to that of a good piece of art and
requires dedication , but as different critiques have variable opinion on the same art subject, so
can be the case with judges while deciding cases with two different meanings and involves
inconsistencies. Since law involves Justice as the ultimate end of its enactment, it is either
constructed or interpreted in cases according to the subjective facts to give out Justice. Courts
and legal theorists use the distinction between interpretation and construction in all possible
ways of legal contexts.
The age old process of application of the enacted law has led to formulation of certain rules of
interpretation and construction1.The primary section will be dealing with some background
concepts starting with meaning, vaugenessand ambiguity, providing the basic idea that
more than one meaning is possible and that it causes confusion .The second section will provide
the usage and meaning of the two rules interpretation and construction used in the paper with
reference to case laws mainly from Indian context. The third section will give the distinction
between the two rules interpretation and construction , and will be also dealing with concept
1 Sudevanand v. State Through Cbi 2012 SCC 387

of new-originalism in the interpretation-construction distinction .The fourt section will be the


conclusion which will try to prove the hypothesis that the distinction is indispensible and
fundamental.