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Report No. 60

1.21. One Act preferred.-

We have carefully considered the matter in all its aspects, and are inclined to take the view that the simultaneous existence of two interpretation Acts is likely to create unnecessary complications. Citizens as well as lawyers will be required to make themselves familiar with both the Acts, for a considerable time to come, because it is unlikely that all the existing Central Acts will be removed from the Statute Book within a reasonably foreseeable future. Diversity of judicial interpretation in respect of two sets of identical provisions may also create problems, and such diversity will harm the uniformity of the law.

It would, thus, be a serious anomaly if the Statute Book were to have two General Clauses Acts for the interpretation of Central Acts. No doubt, the initiation of a totally new interpretation Act (with only prospective effect) has an advantage inasmuch as the radical changes will not apply to existing Acts. But the same object could, in a fair measure, be achieved by suggesting new provisions for incorporation in the present Act, at the same time making those new provisions prospective1. The proposals for having two Acts does not, in this respect, have any peculiar merit.

1. See Para. 1.22, infra

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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