Define statuteStatuteis a law passed by the legislature of the body.
It is the edict of thelegislature.1″STATUTE”means an act of the legislature declaring, commanding, or prohibitingsomething; a particular law enacted and established by the will of thelegislative department of government; the written will of the legislature,solemnly expressed according to the forms necessary to constitute it the law ofthe state2.Mr.
Justice Cardozo has suggested that where a statute is uncertain statutoryconstruction becomes a truly judiciary function. It is the job of thelegislature to make laws and the function of the courts is to declare the law.Law making is not an exact science. The boundaries of the legislative andjudicial functions overlap, even though the branches have functions that aredistinct at their core3.Legislature, while framing laws cannot anticipate every possible legal problemthat might arise in future. Also it cannot do justice to the unique case afterthey have arisen.
INTERPRETATIONInterpretation is a word derivedfrom the Latin word “interpretari” which means to explain,expound and understand. The generalmeaning of the word interpretation is “to give meaning to” particular subjectmatter. According to Black’s law dictionary, The word”INTERPRETATION” means the art or process of discovering and expounding themeaning of a statute, will, contract, or other written document4. Accordingto Salmondwhere he has defined it as “the process by which the Courts seek toascertain the meaning of the Legislature through the medium of authoritativeforms in which it is expressed.
5″Thelegislator cannot provide specifically for all the instances within the realmof the purpose he makes the act for. This must be made good by the judge.6 Thegaps in the legislation are to be filled up by the decisions of courts7 byinterpreting them which is the duty of the judges8. Ajudge must enforce the law whatever the will of the legislature has aimed atand not according to his own whims and fancies.
At the same time he must notblindly follow the words of the legislature but try to understand the underlyingpurpose of such will of the legislature.9 Inother words the judge has to interpret a statute by showing what precisely theparliament has intended and in its connection give meaning to a disputed point ofan issue in it. Atthe same time it should be understood that the Court should not read somethingwhich is not there. There should be no interpretation of a statute on theassumption that the legislature might have left a vacuum in case of clear andunambiguous nature of its language.10 Itshould be assumed by the Courts that no mistake was made by the legislaturewhile making a statute and proceed accordingly.11 We are aware that the rules of theinterpretation are not rules of laws and are not to be followed like rulesenacted by Legislature in Interpretation Act as observed by the Hon’ble ApexCourt in Superintendent and Remembrance of Legal Affairs, West Bengal v.Corporation of Calcutta, AIR 1967 SC 99 Construction It is well-settled principle of interpretation ofStatute that construction should be meaningful so as to make the statuteworkable and not make it futile.
12 Judicis est jusdicere non dare means it is the duty of the judges or courts to declare law andnot to make.131 UOI v. Dharmendra TextileProcessors (2008) 13 SCC 369, 391; Vishnu Pratap Sugar Works Pvt Ltd v. ChiefInspector of Stamps Uttar Pradesh AIR 1968 SC 102.2 Black´s*Law*Dictionary, 4th Revised Edition , 1968, pp. 1581-1582, See alsoFederal Trust Co. v. East Hartford Fire Dist.
Conn., 283 F. 95, 98; Inre Van TasselFs Will, 119 Misc. 478, 196 N.
Y.S. 491, 494;3 Mr. Justice Frankfurter on theConstruction of Statutes4 Black’slaw dictionary by Henry Campbell Black , revised fourth edition, St.
Paul, minn. West publishing co. 1968, People v. Com’rs of Taxes, 95 N.Y. 559;Rome v. Knox, 14 How. Prac.
, N.Y., 272; Ming v. Pratt, 22 Mont. 262, 56 P. 279;Tallman v. Tallman, 3 Misc.
465, 23 N.Y.S. 734; 5 Salmond -southern jurist, byAlex Frame Victoria University Press, 1955.6 Mr. Justice Frankfurter on theConstruction of Statutes7 .
CARDOZO, THE NATURE OF THEJUDICIAL PROCESS 113 (1921); GRAY, THE NATURE AND SOURCES OF THE LAW 121,171-72 (2d ed. 1921); POUND, THE SPIRIT OF THE COMMON LAW 172 (1921). See alsoSouthern Pac. Co. v. Jensen, 244 U.
S. 205, 221 (1917) (Mr. Justice Holmes dissenting);Commissioner v. Beck’s Estate, 129 F.2d 243, 245 (2d Cir. 1942) (opinion byJudge Frank).
For recent discussion of the problem, see CAHILL, JUDICIALLEGISLATION (1952) (recognizing the existence of judicial legislation butquestioning whether it is consistent with popular government).8Sumtibai v. Paras Finance co,AIR 2007 SC 31669 2 Reproduced in DILLIARD, THESPIRIT OF LIBERTY 109 (1952).10Surendra Kumar Srivastava v State of U. P. through Secretary Education, U.
P.,Lucknow 2007(6) AWC 6229 11 Dadi Jagannadham v. JammuluRamulu and others AIR 2001 SC 269912 Sri Karamat Ullah v DistrictJudge, Kanpur and others 2000 (39) ALR 598; 2000 (3) AWC 1900; 2000 (2)RCR(Rent) 54613 Supreme Courts Advocates onRecord Association and Ors.
V. Union of India AIR 1994 SC 268