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Report No. 60

The General Clauses Act, 1897

Chapter 1 Preliminary
1.1 Subject-matter of the Report
2. Reference to the Commission
3. Objects of the Act
4. Importance of the General Clauses Act
5. Importance of uniformity
6. Importance of statute law today
7,8. Legislation as principal means of growth
9. The tide has now turned again
10. Act not intended to codify rules of interpretation
11. Shortening the language
12. Simplification in language-Importance of
13. History
14. Historical background-English Act
15. Historical background-Indian Act 1 of 1868
16. Act of 1889 and Act of 1897
17. State Acts
18. Utility of the present Act
19. Need for change
20. Whether there should be one Act or two Acts
21. One Act preferred
22. Homogeneity of Central Acts passed since 1868
23. Form of the proposed legislation
24. Amending Act preferred
25,26. Broad considerations borne in mind when revising the Act
27. Interpretation of the Constitution
28. No difficulty likely
29. Debates in the Constituent Assembly
30. Effect of section 8 on Article 367
31. Conclusion
32. Title of the Act
33. State laws
Chapter 2 Statutory Interpretation
2.1 Introductory
2. Interpretation as old as language
3. Interpretation of statutes-Importance of
4. A process of finding out
5. Aids to interpretation
6. Object of Interpretation Act to standardise the interpretation
7,8. Not possible to codify rules-Acharya's suggestion not accepted
9. Statutes to be adopted to facts of life
10. Specific conflicts to be set right
11. Interpretation Acts and the common law
12. Interpretation may partake of the character of law-making
13. Judicial law-making in three situations
14. Duty of interpreter to position to be taken
15. Administration of statutes-central aim
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1, Introductory
2. Section 3(1)-abet
3,4. Section 3(2)-act
5. Origin of English practice
6,7. Indian practice
8. Recommendation
9. Section 3(3A)-definition of 'aircraft' (New)
10 to 16. Section 3(4)-barrister
17. Section 3(10A)-Definition of Clause (new)
18. Section 3(11)-Collector
19 to 22. Section 3(12)-Colony
23. Section 3(16)-Consular Officer
24. Section 3(16A)-Definition of daughter (new)
25. Section 3(16B)-Definition of day
26. Section 3(16C)-Diplomatic Officer
27. Section 3(17)-District Judge
28. Case-law as to the District Judge
29. Question of persona designata in relation to District Judge
30. Recommendation
31. Section 3(18)-definition of document
32,33. Four processes
34. Stephen's definition
35,36. The words which is intended etc. examined
37,38,39. Admissibility of tape-recordings
40. Recommendation
41,41A Section 3(19)-enactment
42,43. Section 3(19)-enactment (application to repeal)
44. Section 8 and Enactment
45. Ordinances as falling within "enactment"
46. Recommendation as to definition of "enactment"
47 to 51. Section 3(20)-"father"
52. Section 3(25)-"High Court"
53 to 55. Section 3(26)-"Immovable property"
56,57. Indian law"">Section 3(29)-"Indian law"
58,59. Section 3(30)-"Indian State"
60 to 62 Section 3(32)-"Magistrate"
63,64,65. Section 3(35)-"month"
66,67. Section 3(36)-"movable property"
68 to 74. Section 3(38)-"Offence"
75. Section 3(43A)-Definition of "prescribed" (New)
76 to 79. Section 3(44)-"Presidency town"
80. Section 3(47A)-"public" (New)
81 to 88. Section 3(48)-"public nuisance"
88A to 88F. Section 3(56)-"sign"
89,90. Section 3(61)-"sub-section"
91. Section 3(62A)-temporary Act or temporary Regulation
92. Sedion 3(62A)-"renumbered as section 3(62B)-"Union Territory"
93,94,95. Section 3(63)-"vessel"
96,96A. Section 3(66)-"year"-amendment recommended
97,98,99. Sections 4 and 4A
Chapter 4 Commencement
4.1,1A. Introductory
2. Position in England
3. Provision in Canada
3A. Present rules in England
3B. Several alternatives as to commencement
4. Provision in State General Clauses Acts
5,6. Practice in Rome and France
7. English theory
8. Question whether date of publication should be substituted considered
9. Change in section 5(1) not recommended as to date of commencement
10. Verbal changes in section 5-words "come into operation" to be modified
11. "Coming into force", "coming into effect" and "at once"
12. Regulations and Ordinances-Commencement of
12A to 12C. Section 5(3)-time of commencemen
13. Time of commencement of provisions of an Act
14. Printed date of assent-Presumption
15. Mandatory provision to print date of assent not suggested
16. Recommendation regarding section 5
Chapter 5 Part of Statutes
5.1 Introduction
2. Section 5A (new)-Marginal notes
3,4. Qualified view
5. Opposite view
6,6A. Position in England and in Australia
7,8. Recent English cases
9,10. Need to re-settle the law
11. Recommendation as to marginal notes
11A. Section 5B (new)-Headings
12. Recommendation as to headings
13 to 15. Punctuation
Chapter 6 Repeal and Amendment
6.1 Repeal
2. Section 6-effect of repeal
3. Problems arising in relation to repeal, outside section 6
4. Legislative intent
5. Applicability of section 6 in case of re-enactment
6,7,8. Section 6 and implied repeals
9. Section 6A
10. Verbal changes
11. Exception recommended for temporary Acts (in section 6A)
12,13. Ordinance amending Acts
14. Temporary amending Acts-Expiry of
15,15A. Meaning of the word "text" in section 6A
16. Recommendation
17. Section 6B (new)-Reference to Acts etc. with title amended
21,21A,21B. Section 7-Revival of repealed Act
22. Wide scope of section 8, (State Act)
23. Section 8 not confined to repealing Acts
24,25. Meaning of "instrument" in section 8
26. Supreme Court's view
27. Reference in one statutory instrument to another statutory instrument
28. The High Court observed
29. Need to make the language explicit
30. Need to confine the amendment to statutory instruments
31. Section 8 and successive repeals
32,33. Recommendation to amend section 8
Chapter 7 Temporary Acts
7.1 Section 8A (new)-Expiry of Temporary Acts
2. Perpetual and temporary Acts
3. English law as to repeal
4. Effect of repeal and effect of expiry
4A. Advice of Lord Thring
5. No statutory provision in U.K. as to expiry
6. Repeal of perpetual Act and expiry of temporary Act-Similarity between
7. Provision in Bill of 1897
8,9. Position as to expiry of temporary Acts in India
10. Care to be taken while drafting
11. Failure to insert savings clause-effect of
12. Specific provision needed
13. Outlines of new provision relating to expiry of temporary Acts
14. Principles applicable to repeal generally applicable
15. Form of amendment considered
16. Self contained section preferred
17. Express provision to the contrary provided for
18. Expiry of Ordinances
19. Salient points of the recommendation
20. Recommendation
21,22,23. Section 8.3 (New)-Time of expiry etc
24 to 27. Position as to expiry of Ordinance
Chapter 8 Other General Rules of Construction
8.1 IntroduCtory
2. Section 9-particular expressions "from" and "to"
2A. The expression "from"-various applications analysed
2B. Two aspects of the matter
3. Layman's understanding different
4. Other expressions relating to time
5. "Clear days"
6. "Within of"
7. "Within after" and "within from"
8. "From" and "ending with"
9. Section 9 applied for computing limitation
10. Amendments recommended
11. Expression "both days inclusive"
12. Recommendation for revising section 9
13. Section 10
14. Section 10 applicable where expression "not later than" used
15. Meaning of "office" in section 10
16.16A,17. Extension to statutory instruments recommended
18. Recommendation as to section 10
19. Section 10A (new)-Standard Time
20. Section 11-Distance and Rate
21. Section 12
23. Section 13-Gender and number
24. Merit of the provision
25. Section.13 and rules
26. Verbal changes recommended in section 13
Chpater 9 Corporations
9.1 Incorporation
2. Section 13A (New)-Effect of incorporation-Recommendation
3. Offences by companies
4. Recommendation
Chapter 10 Provisions Concerning The Government
10.1 Introductory
2. Statutes in derogation of sovereignty
3. Effect of growth of democracy
4. Distinction between Governmental and other functions
5. View of Holmes that there can be no enforceable right against the State
6. Rule of law sufficient answer to the argument
7,8. Rule in England and in India
9. Position in ancient India
10. Section 13C (New)-Priority debts due to the Government
11. Position as to taxes-Supreme Court judgment
12. Limitations indicated by Supreme Court
13. Debts other than taxes
14. Areas not forming part of British India
15. Relevance of doctrine that Crown is not bound
16. Need for settling the law
17. Possible justification for the rule of priority considered-Discharge of governmental functions
18. Paramountcy of title of the State
19. Public Welfare
20. Priority justified at present day only for taxes
21. Recommendation
Chapter 11 Powers and Functionaries
11.1 Introductory
2. Section 14-Application to statutory instruments recommended
3. Recommendation to extend section 14 to duties
4. Section 15-Recommendation to extend to statutory instruments
5. Section 16
6. Section 17(1)
7. Section 18
8. Section 18-Recommendation
9. Section 19
10. Section 19A (New)-Deviation from form-Recommendation
11. Ancillary powers
Chapter 12 Statutory Instruments
12.1 Introductory
2. Various questions concerning subordinate legislation
3. Law relating to subordinate legislation not standardised
4. Importance of safeguards
5. Need to standardise safeguards
6. Two important safeguards
7. Safeguard of publication
8. Position in England as to publication
9. Position in Australia as to publication
10. Position in New Zealand as to publication
11. Position in Canada, as to publication
12. Position in U.S.A. as to publication
13. Desirability of publication
14. Importance of proper publication
15. Importance stressed by the Supreme Court
16. Recommendation as to publication
17. Amendment will fill up gap in the law
18. Copies of subordinate legislation to be made available
19. Recommendation-Parliamentary control
20. Provision as to legislative scrutiny of rules by Central Government
21. Rules by State Governments
22. Application of the General Clauses Act to statutory instruments
23. Application of whole Act to subordinate legislation
24. Principles of the Act supplied to subordinate legislation
25. Supreme Court's approach
26. Change not suggested
27. Points concerning sections dealing with subordinate legislation
28. Section 20-Recommendation
29. Section 21
30. A Supreme Court case
31. Recommendation
32. Section 22
33. Allahabad case
34. U.P. Amendment referred to
35. Recommendation
36. Section 23 to be extended to all statutory instruments
37. Section 23(5)
38. Gujarat Case
39. Presumption as to "duly made"-limited effect of
40. Meaning of "conclusive proof"
41. Other changes recommended in section 23
42. Position in England as to pre-publication
43. Recommendation
44. Section 23A-Commencement and publication of Statutory Rules (New)
45. Laying of rules-Provision proposed
46,47. Recommendation
48. Section 24-Continuation of notifications etc
49. Section 25
Chapter 13 Severability
13.1 Introductory
2. Question of severability of invalid statutes
3. Position under Article 13(2) of the Constitution
4. Summary in Supreme Court judgment
5. Position in Canada
6. General principle
7. Broad principles referred to in U.S.A
8. Difficulty of application
9. Three situation
10. Function of severability clauses
11. Forms of severability clauses-General and Special
12. Examples
13. Provision in Australia
13A. History of Australian provision
14. Difficulty of general form of severability clause
15,16. Comments as to special form of severability clause
17. Conclusion
Chapter 14 Offences under Several Enactments
14.1 Section 26
1A. English law
1B. History
2. Autrefois acquit and Autrefois convict and Article 20(2)
3. The principle firmly established
4,5. Essential ingredients required to be the same
6. Provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure
7. Two situations to be considered-Actually constituting the same offence
8. Acts constituting distinct offences by reason of difference in ingredients
9. Separate sub-sections desirable
10. Illustrative case-law
11. Supreme Court case & section 405, Penal Code & section 105, Insurance Act
12. Another Supreme Court case-Sections 330 and 345, I.P.C. and section 201, I.P.C
13,14. Mysore case, section 161, I.P.C. and section 5, Penal Code
15. A case of simultaneous prosecution
16. Object of amendment
17. Conclusion and recommendation
Chapter 15 Miscellaneous
15.1 Introductory
2. Section 25
3. Provisions in the Cr. P.C
4,5. Recommendation as to section 25
6. Two limbs of section 27
7. Section 114, Evidence Act
8,9. Other analogous provisions-section 106, TPA
10. Recommendation to use the words "shall be presumed"
11. Case law as to what proof needed
12. Recommendation to cover all statutory instruments
13. Refusal-effect of
14. Recommendation to remove conflict
15. Section 28(1)
16. Section 29
17. Section 29A (New)-Savings for enactments made in proposed amendment
18. Section 30
Appendix Proposals as shown in the form of draft amendments to the existing Act1-2
Section 3, opening lines
Revised section 3(3)
Section 3(10A) (New)
Revised section 3(11)
Revised section 3(16)
Section 3(16A) (New)
Section 3(16B) (New)
Revised section 3(17)
Revised section 3(18)
Revised section 3(19)
Revised section 3(25)
Revised section 3(31)
Revised section 3(37)
Section 3(43A) (New)
Section 3(60A) (New)
Section 3(62A) (New)
Section 3A (New)
Section 4B (New)
Coming into force of enactments
Marginal note not part of enactments
Headings part of enactments
Repeal of law making textual amendments in other laws
Reference to Act etc. with short title amended
Effect of expiry of temporary Act
Time of expiry of temporary Acts etc
Expressions of time
Revised section 10
Section 10A (New)
Revised section 13
Section 13A (New)
Section 13AA (New)
Section 13B (New)
Section 13C (New)
Revised section 14
Revises section 15
Revised section 17(1)
Section 18A (New)
Section 19A (New)
Construction of statutory instrument
Power to amend statutory instruments
Making of rules or bye-laws and issuing of orders between passing and commencement of Act
Making of statutory instruments after previous publication
Section 23A (New)
Section 23B
Section 24
Section 25
Revised section 26
Revised section 27
Revised section 28(1)
Saving for enactments made before amendment
Section 30

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