Modern Statutory Interpretation
Author: K N Chaturvedi
Law is the essential lifeblood of a modern democracy. How it is found; what it means; how its ambiguities are resolved; why we obey it; when we should disobey it and with consequences — these are issues for citizens, not just for lawyers and judges. However, common law is judge made and the interpretation and application of law being the function of judges, it is not only citizens but some judges and lawyers who find it difficult at times to understand legislation. Understanding legislation is a two-step approach. The first step is to understand the legislative process and the second step is to understand the manner in which courts interpret and apply the provisions of the legislation to the concrete facts before them. Justice Krishna Iyer observed that one cannot, these days, approach the problem of statutory interpretation in isolation from the legislative process.
Modern Statutory Interpretation is a new book on how a law is made and interpreted in India. In post-independence period, ‘We the People’ are sovereign and Parliament derives its law-making power from the Constitution of India. Legislation is enacted through well-designed processes—its implementation is the duty of the executive and its interpretation is the task of the courts. Common law has evolved principles, rules, presumptions and maxims on statutory interpretation. The book gives detail of the legislative process and principles of statutory interpretation.
The book is divided in two parts. Part one titled Legislative Process has six chapters. Part two titled the Principles of statutory interpretation contains eleven chapters. The book essentially aligns the process of interpretation of legislation with law-making process and provides a holistic view of modern statutory interpretation in India.
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