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Report No. 60

1.10. Act not intended to codify rules of interpretation.-

It is not, of course, implied that the General Clauses Act, or, for that matter, the Interpretation Act of any other country, codifies all the 'rules' of statutory interpretation. The so-called rules of interpretation are really in the nature of guidelines,1 and are not to be treated as mathematical formula. In fact, even the definitions contained in the General Clauses Act (and many of the general rules of construction which are incorporated in it) apply only where the context does not otherwise require. This shows that the Act itself does not purport to treat rules of construction as categorical imperatives.

1. See also para. 2.8, infra.

General Clauses Act, 1897 Back

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