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Report No. 60

1.27. Interpretation of the Constitution.-

There is a constitutional question which we would like to dispose of at the outset. It concerns the interpretation of the Constitution, and can be appropriately mentioned in connection with the revision of this Act. The question1 arises, mainly, from the language of Article 367 of the Constitution, which reads as follows:-

"Unless the context otherwise requires, the General Clauses Act, 1897, shall, subject to any adaptations and modifications that may be made therein under Article 372, apply for the interpretation of this Constitution as it applies for the interpretation of an Act of the Legislature of the Dominion of India."

Since this article refers to "an Act of the Legislature of the Dominion of India", the query tnay be raised if it is permissible to modify or revise the General Clauses Act, lest such modification or revision should introduce complications in the literal application of Article 367. In other words, the question is whether amendments concerning the existing General Clauses Act, in so far as the Act applies to Central Acts, would, in any manner, dislocate the operation of that Act in relation to the Constitution. That is the question to which we address ourselves.

1. At a very early stage of consideration of this Act before a previous Law Commission, this query was dealt with.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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