preamble as an aid to interpretation

2691 Words Oct 29th, 2013 11 Pages
Introduction:-
The Preamble to an act is the lodestar and guides those who find themselves in a grey dealing with its provision. According to the canons of statutory interpretation, the proper function of a Preamble is to explain certain facts which are necessary to be explained before the enactments contained in the Act can be understood. In short it contains a recital of the facts or state of the law for which it is proposed to legislate by the statute, the object and policy of the legislation and evils or inconveniences it seeks to remedy1. But though it is a recital of some inconveniences, it does not exclude others, for which remedy is given by the enacting parts of the statute. Hence, where the language of the enacting section is
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There may be no exact correspondence between preamble and enactment, and the enactment may go beyond, or it may fall short of the indications that may be gathered from the preamble. Again the preamble cannot be of much or any assistance in construing provisions which embody qualifications or exceptions from the operation of the general purpose of the Act. It is only when it conveys a clear and definite meaning in comparison with relatively obscure or indefinite enacting words that the preamble may legitimately prevail. The courts are concerned with the practical business of deciding his, and when the plaintiff puts forward one construction of an enactment and the defendant another, it is the court‟s business in any case of some difficulty, after informing itself of what I have called the legal and factual context including the preamble, to consider in the light of this knowledge whether the enacting words admit of both the rival construction put forward. If they admit of only one construction, that construction will receive effect even if it is inconsistence with the preamble, but if the enacting words are capable of either of the constructions offered by the parties, the construction which fit the preamble may be preferred.” Eton College v/s Minister of Agriculture7 was a case in which the enacting words were unambiguous and
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