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External Aids of Interpretation. 

External Aids of Interpretation. 

External Aids of Interpretation. 

Using external aids for interpreting statutes plays a crucial role in legal analysis. These aids provide valuable insights and guidance to understand the meaning and intent behind legislative 

when external aid is used for interpretation ? :  where internal aid fails, help can be taken from external aids to ascertain the intention of the legislature as generally they talk about the history of an enactment and reasons for its introduction. In B. PrabhakarRao v. State of Andhra Pradesh AIR 1986 SC 210 it was observed that external aid comes into play only when the internal aid fails but not otherwise. It is for the purpose of justice that external aids should be used. Legislative history, committee reports, parliamentary debates etc may be considered for the same.

What are External Aids to the Interpretation of Statutes?

External aids to interpreting statutes are sources of information and guidance utilized by courts and legal professionals to understand the meaning and intent behind a particular statute. These aids are external to the statute’s text and provide supplementary context for its interpretation. 

External aids provide valuable assistance in the interpretation of statutes. They help resolve uncertainties and fill gaps in the statutory text. The legislative history, including committee reports, parliamentary debates and statements made by lawmakers during the drafting process, is a commonly used external aid. It provides insights into the statute’s objectives, purpose and context, assisting in determining the lawmakers’ intent.

Case law is another important external aid. Judicial decisions on related statutes or similar legal issues can help understand the interpretation given by courts in previous cases. These precedents serve as a guide for future interpretations and contribute to the development of legal principles.

Other external aids include dictionaries, legal treatises and scholarly articles. Dictionaries help ascertain the ordinary meaning of words used in a statute. Legal treatises and scholarly articles provide academic analysis and expert opinions on statutory interpretation, aiding in understanding complex legal concepts. 

Parliamentary History/ legislative history.

Parliamentary history is another external aid to the interpretation of statutes and comprises the original form of statutes presented before the legislature’s enactment. The minister responsible for introducing the bill would have justified its enactment, known as the Statements of Objects and Reasons, which hold significant importance. Additionally, Parliamentary History encompasses records of debates held in Parliament, committee reports, resolutions passed by both houses and any amendments made to the bill.

Previously, Parliamentary History did not serve as a tool for interpreting statutes. This perspective originated from the traditional English legal system and was followed by the Supreme Court of India. However, subsequent court cases led to a change in this view, including Parliamentary History as an external aid to interpretation.

Express Newspapers Pvt. Ltd. v. Union of India AIR 1958 SC 578

In this case it was observed that Parliament history may be considered for the purpose of interpretation in cases where the meaning of a provision is not clear.

It contains the following things-


They are generally not considered as useful tool to interpretation. Courts refrain from using the reports for interpretation. However in some cases where ambiguity arises in a provision then the court can refer to these reports Such as report of law Commission, report of select Committee, which are formed by committees which advise the legislature at the passing of an act. They can help in determining the intention of the legislature.

  1. Sekar v. Geetha AIR 2009 SC 2649

In this case the court observed that the reports such as of Law Commission of India can be considered for interpretation if a provision is ambiguous.

Parliamentary Debates

These include the debates that take place in the legislature while passing of the act. In case of ambiguity these can be used by the courts for interpretation to determine the reasons for which the act was passed and the mischief which the legislature wanted to cure.

S.R. Chaudhuri v. State of Punjab and Ors . Appeal (civil) 244/1997

In this case the debates of the Constituent Assembly were taken into consideration for the determination of provisions. It was stated that through it the intention of the legislature can be ascertained.


This contains the stage of debate before passing of the act by the minister. However this is not considered as a reliable form of interpretation because the bill goes through a lot of amendments once it goes through both the houses in parliament and neither it shows the will of majority. So only some help can be taken from it.

Statements of object & reason 

This is not considered as a reliable source to interpretation. It tells us about the reasons and intention for bringing the bill into the legislature. However after the bill has been introduced it still has to be passed by both the houses due to which there is always a chance that the bill gets changed along with its intention at a certain point of time. Bill goes through many processes before it gets passed, so the intention at the start for introducing the bill cannot be relied upon. It also does not show the will of the majority.

Thus, if the meaning of a provision is clear then it has no role to play but if it is a case where the meaning is ambiguous then only some help can be taken from  the Statement of object and reason so as to ascertain the intention of the legislature.

State of West Bengal v. Union of India AIR 1963 SC 124

In this it was observed that when the bill is brought in the Parliament it consists of some statement of objects and reasons which can be used to understand the background of the Act and can only be used in a limited sense. It cannot be relied upon as an aid to interpretation and it doesn’t tell legislative intention.

In the Ashwini Kumar v. Arabinda Bose  (1952)(SC) case, Chief Justice Patanjali Shastri expressed that the Statements of Objects and Reasons should not be considered an external aid to interpretation. This was because these statements are presented during the bill’s processing, and the bill may undergo several changes during that period, making the statements subject to amendments. this  case was related to Practice of Advocate of Supreme court in the Calcutta or Bombay High Court Section  2 of the Supreme Court Advocates (Practice in  High Courts)  Act, 1951 even but  Calcutta High Court may have made in the past purporting to exclude any advocate from practicing   the Original  Side or from appearing and pleading unless he is instructed by an attorney cannot affect such right. A writ before the Supreme court after rejecting Writ by Calcutta high court. 

However, in the case of State of West Bengal v. Subodh Gopal Bose (1954)(SC) , Justice S. R. The Hon’ble Court reiterated its earlier view in the Awinini Kumar case that  Statements of Objects and Reasons Can’t be used as an aid to interpretation, but held that Same Could be used for limited purpose of knowing about the prevailing socio-political and economic context of the introduced bill

In the case of Indira Sawhney v. Union of India, the Supreme Court referred to a speech by Dr B. R. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly while interpreting Article 16(4) of the Indian Constitution. The Court held that although Parliamentary debate is not binding on the courts, it can be considered to understand the context, background and legislative intent.

This case was related to implementson to BP mandal Commission where under reservation of 27% to OBC. The central government implemented the report. The court upheld the separate reservation for OBC based on Social and educational backwardness but excluded Creamy layers with a limit  maximum upto 50%. It was held  that the constitution recognised only Social and educational backwardness but did not recognise economic backwardness so no reservation for the weaker Section of Upper caste. Later on 103rd amendment to Constitution has done 10% reservation to this category not included  in OBC/ SC/ ST which was upheld by SC in 03 – 02 majority in a writ Petition civil 55 of 2019 Janhit Abhiyan Vs UOI and Review Petition also dismissed in 2023.

Memorandum explaining finance bill or Statements Ministers. 

K.P. varghese Vs income tax officer (1981) (SC)131 ITR 597/24 CTR 358/7 Taxman 13 (SC) related to Capital gain – understatement of sale consideration 

Speech made by mover of Bill can  Certainly be referred to for the Purpose of ascertaining mischief Sought to be amended by the legislature and object and Purpose for which the legislation is enacted.therefore the speech made by the finance Minister while moving amendment introducing Sechon 52(2) of the income tax Act 1961 is extremely relevant.

 S.52(2): Consideration for transfer of cases of understatement -Additions cannot be made on presumptions- Capital gains– Where the consideration for the transfer is under-stated or in other words, the assessee has actually received a larger consideration for the transfer than what is declared in the instrument of transfer and it would have no application in case of a bonafide transaction where the full value of the consideration for the transfer is correctly declared by the assessee- Burden is on revenue to prove that under consideration is received by the assessee. – Task of interpretation of a statutory enactment is not a mechanical task and it is more than a mere reading of mathematical formulae where the plain literal interpretation of a statutory provision produces a manifestly absurd and unjust result which could never have been intended by the legislature, the court may modify the language used by the legislature or even ‘do some violence’ to it, so as to achieve the obvious intention of the legislature and produce a rational construction [ S.45 ]

Facts: Assessee who purchased a house situated in Ernakulam in 1958 for Rs. 16,500  sold the same on 25.12.1965, (falling assessment year 1966-1967), to his daughter in law and five of his children. On this assessment was first completed in normal course accepting the case of assesse that no capital gains accrue on subject property sale transaction since the house was sold by the assessee at the same  price at which it was purchased and no capital gains accrued or arose to him as  a result of the transfer. Later on, on 04.04.1968, Assessing Officer (‘AO’) issued notice under section 148 of the Act seeking to reopen the assessment of assessee  for subject assessment year.  Videletter dated 4th March 1969 the ‘AO’  intimated   to the assessee that he proposed to  fix  the  fair market  value of  the  house sold by the assessee on 25.12.1965 at Rs. 65,000 as against the consideration of Rs. 16,500 for which the house was sold and assess the difference of Rs. 48,500 as capital gains in the hands of the assessee. The assessee raised objections against  the reassessment proposed to be made by the Income-tax officer but the objections were over-ruled and an order of reassessment was passed by the Income-tax officer including the sum of Rs. 48,500 as capital gains and bringing it to tax. Though the sale of the house by the assessee was in favour of his daughter-in- law and five of his children who were persons directly connected with him, the ‘AO’ could not invoke the aid of section 52 sub-section  (1) for bringing the sum of Rs. 48,500 to tax, because there was admittedly no under- statement of consideration in respect of the transfer of the  house  and it  was not  possible  to say that the transfer was effected by the assessee with the object of avoidance or reduction of his liability under section 45. The ‘AO’  therefore rested his decision   to assess the sum of Rs. 48,500 to tax on sub-section (2) of section 52 and taking   the view that this sub-section did not require as a condition precedent that there should be under-statement of consideration in respect of the transfer and it was enough to attract the applicability of the  sub-section if  the  fair  market  value of the property as on the date of the transfer exceeded the full value of the consideration declared by the assessee by an amount of not less than 15% of the value so declared, which was indisputably the position in the present case, the   ‘AO’ assessed the sum of Rs. 48,500 to tax  as  capital gains. Now  assessee filed writ petition before Kerala High court (single Judge court) where stand of assessee that under-statement of consideration in respect of the transfer was a necessary condition for attracting the applicability of section 52 sub-section (2) and since  in the present case there was admittedly no under-statement of consideration  and it was a perfectly bonafide transaction, section 52 sub-section (2) had no application and the sum of Rs. 48,500 could not be brought to tax as capital gains under that provision was given imprimatur by Single Judge of Kerala high court  and re-assessment was resultantly quashed. Now it was revenue turn to file intra court appeal against this order of Single Judge of Kerala high court in Division bench where on the issue was referred for consideration of full bench given the importance and complexity of the question involved. In full bench decision, the majority opinion of two judges favored the revenue side as it held that in order to bring a case within section 52 sub-section (2), it is not at all necessary that there should be under-statement of consideration in respect of the transfer and once it is found that the fair market value of the property as on the date of the transfer exceeds the full value of the consideration declared by the assessee in  respect of the transfer by an amount of not less than 15% of the value so declared,section 52 sub-section (2) is straightaway attracted and the fair market value of the property as on the date of the transfer is liable to be taken  as the full  value  of the consideration for the transfer. The writ petition was accordingly dismissed and the order of re-assessment sustained by the majority decision (while one opinion  by Raghvan C.J. agreed substantially with the view taken by single judge).Hence  the present appeal by the assessee before the apex court.

issue :The principal question that arises for determination in this appeal by certificate is whether understatement of consideration in a transfer of property is a necessary condition for attracting the applicability of section 52 sub-section (2) of the Income Tax Act 1961 (hereinafter referred as the Act) or it is enough for the Revenue to show that the fair market value of the property as on the date of the transfer exceeds the full value of the consideration declared by the assessee in respect of the transfer by an amount of not less than 15% of the value so declared.The Court significantly observed at the outset that “The task of interpretation of a statutory enactment is not a mechanical task. It is more than a mere reading of mathematical formulae because few words possess the precision of mathematical symbols. It is an attempt to discover the intent of the legislature from the language used by it and it must always be remembered that language is at best an imperfect instrument for the expression of human thought and as pointed out by Lord Denning, it would be idle to expect every statutory provision to be “drafted with divine prescience and perfect clarity.” We can do no better than repeat the famous words of Judge Learned Hand when he said: “ it is true that the words used, even in their literal sense, are the primary and ordinarily the most reliable source of interpreting the meaning of any writing: be it a statute, a  contract or  anything else. But it is one of the surest indexes of a mature and developed jurisprudence not to make a fortress out of the dictionary; but to remember that statutes always have some purpose or object to accomplish, whose sympathetic and imaginative discovery is the surest guide to their meaning.” We must not adopt a strictly literal interpretation of section 52 sub-section (2) but we must construe its language having regard to the object and purpose which the legislature had in view in  enacting  that provision and in the context of the setting in which it occurs. We cannotignore the context and the collocation of the provisions in which section 52 sub- section (2)  appears, because, as  pointed out  by  Judge  Learned Hand  in  most I felicitous language the meaning of a sentence may be more than that of the separate words as a melody is more than the notes, and no degree of particularity can ever obviate recourse to the setting in which all appear, and which all collectively create”. Keeping these observations in mind we may now approach the construction of section 52 sub-section(2).”

Held : Allowing the appeal of assessee and quashing reassessment order, the court held that, Firstly it was held that “We must therefore eschew literalness in the interpretation of section 52 sub-section (2) and try to arrive at an interpretation which avoids this absurdity and mischief and makes the provision rational and sensible, unless of course, our hands are tied and we cannot find any escape from  the tyranny of the literal interpretation. It is now a well settled rule of construction that where the plain literal interpretation of statutory provision produces a manifestly absurd and unjust result which could never have been intended by the legislature, the court may modify the language used by the legislature or even ‘do some violence’ to it, so as to achieve the obvious intention of the legislature and produce a rational construction”. Secondly, that, having regard to this well recognised rule of interpretation, a fair and reasonable construction of section 52 sub-section (2) would be to read into it a condition that it would apply only where the consideration for the transfer is under-stated or in other words, the assessee has actually received a larger consideration for the transfer than what is declared in the instrument of transfer and it would have no application in case  of a bonafide transaction where the full value of the consideration for the transfer  is correctly declared by the assessee. Thirdly, it held that there may be cases where the consideration for the transfer is shown at a lesser figure than that actually received by the assessee but the transferee is not a person directly or indirectly connected with the assessee or the object of under-statement of the consideration is unconnected with tax on capital gains, Such cases would not be within the reach of sub section (1) and the assessee, though dishonest, would escape the rigour of the provision enacted in that sub-section. Parliament therefore enacted sub-section (2) with a view to extending the coverage of the provision in sub-section (I) to other cases of under statement of consideration. This becomes clear if one gives regard to the object and purpose of the introduction of sub- section (2) as appearing from travaux preparatoire relating to the enactment of that provision. It is a sound rule of construction of a statute firmly established in England as far back as 1584 when Heydon’s case was decided that”… for the sure and true interpretation of all statutes in general-four things are to be discerned and considered: (1) What was the common law before the making of the Act, (2) What  was the mischief and defect for which the common law did not provide, (3) What remedy the Parliament hath resolved and appointed to cure the disease of the Commonwealth, and (4) The true reason of the remedy, and then the office of all the Judges is always to make such construction as shall suppress the mischief, and advance the remedy”. Fourthly, it held that,the speech made by the Mover of the  Bill explaining the reason for the introduction of the Bill can certainly be referred  to for the purpose of ascertaining the mischief sought to be remedied by the legislation and the object and purpose for which the legislation is enacted. This is in accord with the recent trend in juristic thought not only in Western countries but also in India that interpretation of a statute being an exercise in the ascertainment of meaning, everything which is logically relevant should be admissible. Fifthly, it held that, The object and purpose of sub-section (2), as explicated from the speech of the Finance Minister, was not to strike at honest   and bonafide transactions where the consideration for the transfer was correctly disclosed by the assessee but to bring within the net of taxation those transactions where the consideration in respect of the transfer was shown at a lesser figure  than that actually received by the assessee, so that they do not escape the charge   of tax on capital gains by under-statement of the consideration. This was real object and purpose of the enactment of sub-section (2) and the interpretation of  this sub-section must fall in line with the advancement of that object and purpose. So it was held that it accepts as the underlying assumption of sub- section (2) that there is under-statement of consideration in respect of the transfer and sub-section (2) applies only where the actual consideration received by the assessee is not disclosed and the consideration declared in respect of the transfer is shown at a lesser figure than that actually received. Sixthly, it held that, its interpretation of sub-section (2) of section 52 is strongly supported by the marginal note to section 52 which reads ‘Consideration for transfer in cases of under-statement’ to which the court noted that “It is undoubtedly true that the marginal note to a section cannot be referred to for the purpose of construing the section but it can certainly be relied upon as indicating the drift of the section  or, to use the words of Collins MR in Bushel v. Hammond to show what the section is dealing with.” Seventhly, the court held that the placement of subsection (2) in section 52 does indicate in some small measure that Parliament intended that sub-section to apply only to cases where the consideration in respect of the transfer is under-stated by the assessee. As held by the court, it is   not altogether without significance that the provision in sub- section (2) was enacted by Parliament  not as a separate section, but as part of section 52 which, as it originally stood, dealt only with cases of under-statement of consideration.

Historical Facts and Surrounding Circumstances

Historical facts play a crucial role in establishing the context in which a statute was enacted, providing background information and aiding in interpretation. This external aid to the interpretation is particularly significant when applying the Mischief Rule of Interpretation, as outlined in the Heydon case. The Mischief Rule seeks to address four key points:

  • The state of the law before the enactment of the statute in question.

  • The earlier law failed to address the problem or issue (referred to as “mischief”).

  • The remedy provided by the statute in question.

  • The rationale or reason behind the remedy.

These points directly correspond to the historical facts surrounding the statute, reflecting the circumstances in which it was enacted. An example of the application of the mischief rule can be seen in the case of Bengal Immunity Co. v. State of Bihar, which involved the interpretation of Article 286. The court ruled that a state can impose sales tax only if all sale elements have a territorial connection, preventing multiple states from imposing sales tax on the same transaction. As per art 286 State can’t impose tax on interstate supply goods or services or Sale outside  state or supply in the Course of import or export .

Historical facts are the facts that led to the evolution of a statute. They can assist judges in uncovering the true nature of the statute, enabling a more efficient legal process. Any relevant historical facts that contributed to the development of the statute can be helpful in its interpretation.

Scientific Inventions

In the interpretation of statutes, it is essential to consider any subsequent developments related to the statute’s provisions. This is particularly relevant in fields like science and technology, constantly evolving. Society is continuously progressing and rapid advancements are occurring in various domains. Therefore, while interpreting statutes designed to govern these developments, it is important to consider these evolving circumstances.

A notable case illustrating this principle is State (through CBI) v. J. S. Chawdhary (1996) (SC) , which involved Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. This section specifically mentioned handwriting experts but did not include typewriting experts since typewriters were invented after the statute’s enactment. However, in the case at hand, the party representing the state sought to rely on the opinion of typewriting experts. The Supreme Court had previously held  in the case of Hanumant v. The State of Madhya Pradesh, that the opinions of typewriting experts were not admissible. Nevertheless, in this particular case, the Supreme Court departed from its earlier view and deemed such opinions admissible.

This demonstrates the importance of considering subsequent developments and adapting the interpretation of statutes accordingly, especially in light of technological advancements and changing societal norms.

Extract of section 45

It states that the opinions of those who are particularly knowledgeable in such foreign legislation, science, or art, or concerns about the identification of handwriting or finger impressions, also referred to as specialists therein, are pertinent facts. By virtue of Section 45 of the Evidence Act, the opinion of such experts may be presented as important facts in evidence. [section 45]

Economic, Scientific, Political and Social Changes

Today’s environment is more dynamic than before due to which a lot of development and changes occur as time passes by. Many situations are not anticipated by the legislature at the time of passing of the act which may arise in future due to these changes. Thus, enough discretion and flexibility is given to courts to interpret according to the needs of the present environment while seeing these changes.

S.P. Gupta v. President of India & Ors. AIR 1982 SC 149

In this case it was observed that the interpretation of an enactment must always take into account the dynamic environment so that justice can be served and judges must adapt to the changes in the environment.

SP Gupta vs Union of India, also known as the “Judges’ Transfer Case” (1981), was a landmark legal case in India. The main issue revolved around the constitutional validity of the Central Government’s orders regarding the non-extension of an additional judge’s term and their transfer. The majority decision, by a 5:2 ratio, upheld the validity of these actions. Justice Bhagwati recommended the establishment of a collegium to recommend judicial appointments to the President, while Justice Pathak and Tulzapukar emphasized the Chief Justice of India’s opinion in such matters.

The court in SP Gupta case emphasised that ‘consultation’ meant full and effective deliberation and that disclosure of government correspondence should occur unless it negatively affects public interest. This case played a pivotal role in shaping India’s judicial landscape by addressing issues related to judicial appointments, transparency and the accountability of the government to the public.

words of other Statute of pari materia

When a statute lacks clarity regarding its intended meaning, other statutes in pari materia that deal with the same or similar subjects can be considered for interpretation. It is also an external aid to the interpretation of statutes. Although these statutes may not be identical, they address related topics or different aspects of the same subject matter. They have corresponding provisions despite being enacted at different times and under different circumstances.

In the case of State of Madras v. A. Vaidyanath Iyer, the accused, an income-tax officer, was charged with accepting a bribe. The trial court sentenced him to six months of rigorous imprisonment. However, the High Court acquitted the accused upon appeal, suggesting that he may have borrowed money instead of accepting it as a bribe.

The Supreme Court, in its examination of Section 4 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, ruled that if there is evidence that the accused accepted gratification in any form other than legal remuneration, it shall be presumed that such gratification was accepted as a bribe, unless proven otherwise. This provision was considered in pari materia with the Indian Evidence Act 1872, where the words ‘shall presume’ corresponded to the words ‘it shall be presumed’ in the Prevention of Corruption Act. Consequently, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s decision and found the accused guilty.

This case illustrates the application of the principle of pari materia, wherein related statutes can be used to interpret ambiguous provisions and establish a consistent legal framework.

As per Section 4 of the IEA  “Shall presume” – Whenever it is directed by this Act that the Court shall presume a fact, it shall regard such fact as proved, unless and until it is disproved.

Foreign Decisions

Before independence, it was common for Indian courts to refer to English judgments when deciding cases on specific matters. This was because the Indian legal system had its roots in the English legal system, and many laws in England and India were similar. However, after the enactment of the Constitution of India, the Supreme Court of India started placing significant reliance on American judgments. Now the Judgement of privy council or federal Supreme Court has no binding precedent on supreme court. 

It is important to note that the decisions of foreign courts do not bind Indian courts and such decisions are merely persuasive. In the case of M. V. Elisabeth v. Harwan Investment and Trading Pvt. Ltd., the Supreme Court took a different stance from the English courts when interpreting the phrase “damage caused by a ship” under Section 443 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. The court expanded the meaning of the phrase to include physical damage and damage caused to the cargo within the ship.

This instance demonstrates that Indian courts have the discretion to depart from foreign court decisions and interpret laws based on the specific context and requirements of Indian law. While foreign judgments can provide persuasive authority, Indian courts ultimately have the autonomy to arrive at their own interpretations.


Whenever the meaning of a particular word is not clear, the help may be taken from the dictionaries by the court to ascertain the ordinary and natural meaning of the word if the court is making a literal interpretation . No strict approach is used in ascertaining the meaning. The ordinary meaning of the word can be found with the use of a dictionary.

A single word may have different Meanings in different contexts, therefore the court Should always keep in mind the context in which a word has been used while choosing the correct meaning. 

Alamghir v. State of Bihar AIR [1956]SC 436

In this case the interpretation of Article 498 of Indian Penal Code was done. The word “detain” was under consideration. It was accompanied by other words such as takes or entices or conceals. Now in an ordinary sense the word detain would mean without the consent of the person detained. But the court observed that Section 498 protects the interests of the husband. So, detain would include the case of taking away the wife from her husband even with her consent.

Mangoo singh Vs.  Election Tribunal 1957(SC)

Motipur Zamindari company private Ltd Vs. Stated Bihar (1962) (SC)

  under the Bihar Sales Tax Act 1947, no sales tax on vegetables. The question was whether Sugarcane is tax-free because it is a vegetable. Hon’ble SC has held that in a taxing statute, the natural and ordinary meaning of the word Should be the correct meaning. In the present case the word vegetable should be interpreted in a natural and popular sense and dictionary meaning is not very helpful. vegetables as normal people mean those grown in the kitchen garden to be used for the dining table during lunch, breakfast, or dinner. Sugarcane certainly does not fall in this Category.

Kanwar singh Vs. Delhi Administration (1965) (SC)

meaning of the word abandon, in this case, officers of the Delhi Administration while rounding up found Stray cattle, ( Stray dog/ Street dog ) and on raising objections, those officers were beaten up by the appellant. When prosecuted for offence u/s 332 of The IPC, the appellant pleaded the right of private defence of Property. The appellant also contended that cattle were not abandoned within the meaning of Section 418 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957 in that abandoned means completely leaving a thing as a final rejection of one’s responsibility So that it became ownerless as per dictionary meaning. Hon’ble Supreme Court rejecting the argument held that it is not necessary to adhere to the dictionary meaning always. In the present case to know the mind of the legislature it is expedient to see what was the mischief intended to be Suppressed and what was the remedy advanced by the legislature so interpreted the word abandoned means let loose or left unattended. 

Text Book

Text books or commentaries may be referred to by the Court to arrive at the true meaning of an enactment. But views of text book are not binding on the Court, count may either accept or reject the same.

In kesavananda Bharati is State of kerala (SC) (1973) a large no of the textbook were quoted but most of the Judges were of the opinion that in view of many opinion and Counter opinion it was not desirable to follow the opinion and that safest Course for the court was to interpret keeping in mind always the whole Context of the issue.

Conclusion: External Aids to Interpretation

External aids to the interpretation of statutes include parliamentary history, historical facts, scientific inventions, other statutes, foreign decisions and dictionaries/textbooks. It provides valuable context and guidance for understanding the meaning and intent of a statute.

Qualification: LLM(P) LLB, FCA, CS, GSTCC, B.Sc. (H),
Location: NCR DELHI

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