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Report No. 60

11.10. Section 19A (New)-Deviation from form-Recommendation.-

When matters of form prescribed by a statute are departed from, nice questions as to the effect of such departure arise. In general, courts take a common sense view, and disregard minor deviations not affecting the substance. It is time that statutory recognition is given to what the courts do in practice, by a suitable provision in the General Clauses Act. The procedural Codes already contain provisions achieving the same result1. A new provision2 as the effect of deviation from form is, therefore,3 recommended as follows4:-

1. (a) Sections 533 to 537, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; (b) Section 99, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

2. Cf. Russel Legislative Drafting and Forms, (1938), p. 585, Model Interpretation Act, Clause 29.

3. Compare section 19(g), Uniform Interpretation Act, (1956), p. 260.

4. See also section 30 of the Travancore-Cochin, General Clauses Act, 1125 (7 of 1125).

Section 19A (New)

"19A. Whenever a form is prescribed for or specified for any act by any Central Act or Regulation, or by any statutory instrument made thereunder, then, save as is otherwise expressly provided by such Central Act or Regulation or by such statutory instrument, any deviations there from neither affecting the substance nor calculated to mislead, shall not render the act or form invalid.1

1. New section 19A can apply to existing Acts also.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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