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Report No. 60

5.2. Section 5A (new)-Marginal notes.-

From time to time, controversies arise as to how far a marginal note (or side note) can be used in interpreting a section. In 1904, Lord Mc Naghten, sitting in the Judicial Committee hearing an appeal from India, stated1' "It is well-settled that the marginal notes cannot be referred to for the purpose of construing the Act." He regarded the contrary opinion as "having originated in mistake." Nevertheless, the contrary opinion seems to have persisted amongst lawyers, and resort is often sought to be made to the side note in construing the section. From time to time, legal journals in India and elsewhere have also discussed this question2

1. See for example, comments as to marginal notes in

2. Thakurni Balraj Kunwar v. Rao Jagat Pal Singh, (1904) 31 IA 132 (141) (PC).

(a) (1934) 149 IC 6.

(b) 1934 Bom LR 100.

(c) (1934) 67 Mad LJ 35.

(d) (1934) 4 All WR 25.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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