INTRODUCTION: In the past, the Judges and lawyers spoke of a 'golden rule' by which statutes were to be interpreted according to grammatical and ordinary sense of the word. They took the grammatical or literal meaning unmindful of the consequences. Even if such a meaning gave rise to unjust results which legislature never intended, the grammatical meaning alone was kept to prevail. They said that it would be for the legislature to amend the Act and not for the Court to intervene by its innovation.
PRESENT DAY POSITION : During the last several years, the 'golden rule' has
been given a go bye. We now look for the 'intention' of the legislature of the 'purpose'of the statute. First, we examine the words of the statute. If the words are precise and cover the situation in hand, no need to go further. Those words are expounded in the natural and ordinary sense of the
words. But, if the words are ambiguous, uncertain or any doubt arises as to the terms employed, then the language of the legislature is given a rational meaning. Every word, every section
and every provision is then examined. The Act as a whole is examined. Necessity which gave rise to the Act is examined.. The mischiefs which the legislature intended to redress are examined. The whole situation is looked into and not just one-to-one relation. No provision out of the framework of the statute is considered. Provisions are not viewed as abstract principles separated from the motive force behind. Provisions are considered in the circumstances to which they owe their origin. Provisions are considered to ensure coherence and consistency within the law as a whole and to avoid undesirable consequences.
CONCLUSION: The maxim “ generalia specialibus non derogant “ which means wherever there are special provisions in a statute, they are to prevail over the general provisions is of great importance in understanding the technicalities in interpreting the law whether Constitutional or statutory. It is not necessary that that each and every intention of the legislature is found by specific provisions as say for example Art. 21 of the Constitution. So many rights were not specifically mentioned in Art. 21 like “ Right to Privacy”. “Right to sleep”, “ Right to education”, “ Right to livelihood “ but they have been given recognition by interpreting the words “ Right to life” by judicial interpretation. Courts have a distinct role to play whenever there is ambiguity found in the legislation. In the past Courts have played key role in judicial law making.