Golden Rule of Interpretation

3260 Words Nov 11th, 2012 14 Pages
Golden Rule Of Interpretation-Comparision Between English Law And Indian Law INTRODUCTION The golden rule is that the words of a statute must prima facie be given their ordinary meaning. It is yet another rule of construction that when the words of the statute are clear, plain and unambiguous, then the courts are bound to give effect to that meaning, irrespective of the consequences. It is said that the words themselves best declare the intention of the law-giver. In law, the Golden rule, or British rule, is a form of statutory construction traditionally applied by English courts. The golden rule allows a judge to depart from a word's normal meaning in order to avoid an absurd result.
The term "golden rule" seems to
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As you will see, this rule has its own peculiarities.
Lord Wensley Dale’s statement in Grey v Pearson is important:
We are to take the whole statute together and construe it altogether, giving the words their ordinary signification, unless when so applied they produce an inconsistency, so as to justify the court in placing on them some other signification, which, though less proper, is one which the court thinks the words will bear.
Lord ESHER, then Master of the Rolls, in The Queen v Judge of the City of London criticising a judgment of Sir George Jessel, the late Master of the Rolls, says (p. 290):
JESSEL, M R says that the words of sec. 2 are quite clear, and that if the words of an Act of Parliament are clear you must take them in their ordinary and natural meaning, unless that meaning produces a manifest absurdity. Now I say that no such rule of construction was ever laid down before. If the words of an Act are clear, you must follow them, even though they lead to a manifest absurdity. The court has nothing to do with the question whether the legislature has committed an absurdity. In my opinion the rule has always been this - if the words of an Act admit of two interpretations, then they are not clear; and if one interpretation leads to an absurdity, and the other does not, the Court will conclude that the legislature did not intend to lead to an absurdity, and will adopt the other interpretation.

The rule is usually