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Report No. 60

1.25. Broad considerations borne in mind when revising the Act.-

This disposes of the preliminary questions. So far as the revision of individual sections of the Act is concerned, we have borne in mind a few broad considerations which we may now mention. In the first place, where a particular section of the Act has led to a conflict of decisions, or other difficulties of interpretation, we have tried to settle the law. Secondly, apart from such conflict or difficulties, where the particular provision was found to be juristically wrong1, we have tried to set right. Thirdly, we have recommended the addition of new provisions2 where the gap in the existing law was found to cause difficulties in practice.

1. E.g., section 3-"affidavit".

2. E.g., the proposed provision as to temporary Acts, Chapter 7, infra.

1.26. It will be apparent from the following Chapters of this report that the recommendations that we have made are not numerous or radical. This is a tribute to the draftsmanship of the present Act, which has stood the test of time for three quarters of a century. On the whole, the provisions of the Act have caused no serious difficulty1. No doubt, a certain amount of technical language is bound to recur in an Interpretation Act, as the subject-matter deals with abstractions familiar to lawyers but not to laymen. One cannot, therefore, expect here the excellence of limpid language found in, say, continental Codes, and in some of our own laws. However, at some places, the legislative style was tortured2 and left scope for improvement. We hope that in the recommendations made by us, we have been able to arrive at a statement of law which, on the whole, can be described as clear, simple and precise.

1. See para. 1.18, supra.

2. E.g. section 6A, para. 6.10, infra.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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