What Is Golden Rule of Interpretation

The following is an illustration of the use of the rule in both a broad and narrow sense: In R. v. Allen[5] charged the accused with bigamy under section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The court noted that the word “marry” did not imply “legally marry” since it did not apply to someone who is already married. It would simply mean “going through a second wedding ceremony. However, the main case in favour of the rule of interpretation is Adler v. George,[6] where the defendant prevented a military guard from performing his duty. To prove this, the prosecution had to prove that the crime took place in a military installation. The defendant objected, stating that “near a military installation” meant “near” that area, whereas the author was inside the facility, which was an RAF base. The court concluded that the meaning proposed by the defendant would be absurd and that the defendant would therefore fall within the definition of “in the vicinity”. The “golden rule” gives a court the ability to create exceptions in the eyes of the public that are not based on the social purpose of the legislation, or even on the consequences of the wording used by the legislature, but solely on the social and political perception of judges dealing with such difficult cases. In a broader sense, the rule can be used to avoid a result contrary to the principles of public policy, even if prima facie words can have only one meaning. According to Gray, “the process by which a judge (or any person, lawyer or layman, who has the opportunity to seek the meaning of a law) constructs from the words of a code of law a meaning that he believes to be that of the legislature, or which he proposes to attribute to it, is called interpretation”.

Another example of English courts applying the Golden Rule is R v Allen.[7] In this case, the provision to be interpreted was section 57 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, which defined bigamy. According to this provision, if the marriage is still in force, a married person remarrying is considered bigamy. One of the biggest criticisms of the golden rule of interpretation is the very limited scope of judges` interpretation. Similar to the literal rule, the Golden Rule states that the natural meaning of the law always takes precedence and that judges do not have much discretion or freedom in analyzing the meaning of the provisions. One of the main tasks of the judiciary is the interpretation of laws. In disputes, the judiciary is administered within a framework created by law, and this legal framework includes the Constitution, statutes, administrative rules and regulations. There is a plethora of laws that define a country`s legal framework. The usual way of interpreting a statute is to seek the intent of its authors [iv] and apply it to the facts of this case. [v] An interpretation of the statutory provision contrary to the spirit and purpose of the legislation should be avoided.

[vi] Justice Chakravarti made two remarks on his behalf in Badsha Mia v. Rajjab Ali:[vii] Parke B in Becke v. Smith[xi] formulated the following well-known rule for the interpretation of laws: Second, literal, golden, and absurd rules are called rules, but do they really govern in the true sense of the word? Certainly not. It is entirely at the discretion of the judges. Although they are called rules, none of them have independent authority. Judges may choose not to follow the “rules” if there is a clear need. Moreover, they are all different solutions to the same problem. Therefore, there is no absolute rule applicable in the present case. The main purpose of interpreting a statute is always to discover the intention of the legislator, and in England, one can rely on the rules of interpretation developed there to support the discovery, because those whose job it is to translate the intention of the legislator into language shape their language with those same rules in mind.

In short, it is an interpretation that gives effect to Parliament`s purpose when the words themselves become ambiguous by changing the language used. At first glance, this rule solves all problems and is therefore called the “golden rule”. Since the literal meaning is altered to some extent, this approach is also known as the modifying interpretation method. This rule therefore suggests that the consequences or effects of an interpretation deserve much more importance, as there are also indications as to the true meaning of a legal provision. The Golden Rule approach, which states that the wording of a statute must be interpreted in such a way that no manifestly absurd results emerge from its interpretation. We could call this the “reasonable interpretation” approach. General words derive their meaning from specific words. Austin has also contributed to the extensive literature on rules of interpretation. He divided the interpretative process into three sub-processes: In Prabhuda`s Damodar Kotecha v Manhabala Jeram Damodar[12], the Supreme Court held: “The golden rule is that the words of a statute must prima facie acquire their ordinary meaning if the language or wording used by the legislature is precise and clear.

That alone clearly proclaims the intention of the legislator, it must be implemented and there is no need to refer to legislative history, justification, framework of the law, etc. Such an exercise should be carried out only if the words are incomprehensible, ambiguous or vague. In this case, the judge had made some comments on the interpretation of the law, which was consistent with the English judgments cited above. The court ruled that when a deficiency arises, a judge cannot simply fold his hands and blame the cartoonist. It must tackle the constructive task of finding Parliament`s intention, and then it must complement the writing to give “strength and life” to the intention of the legislator. In another case, under section 3A of the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948, Annapurna Biscuit Manufacturing Co. v. Commissioner of Sales Tax, U.P. Turnover 34 The tax was set at 2% of turnover for `cooked food`. The Appellant was active in the manufacture and sale of cookies.

Whether biscuits, although intended for human consumption, can be regarded as `prepared food` and are therefore subject to taxation under the abovementioned provision.