1. Preliminary

The importance of Indian laws is not hidden from anyone. Every Indian should have basic knowledge of Indian laws and the Constitution. My profession is belonging to tax laws and I have written so many articles on tax and other laws till date. But this is the first time when I am writing something on law in poetry form for a specific reason!   Exactly one month ago, on 22nd February, 2021 my beloved mother passed away. The incident was quite sudden and put me in a grief as I was neither prepared nor ever thought about it. I had never been away from my mother in the life. Whether it’s school time for study or it’s related to any business or profession after completion of study. She was not suffering from any disease rather fit and healthy and always busy either in family work or spiritual life. Even a single medicine was not needed to her though she was then 65 years old. And this is not the situation only at that time but whole life hardly she needed any medicine except for a few occasions. There is much more to talk about her but this is not a right place!

Since from last one month I am going through the most painful experiences of the life and trying to come out from the grief. I felt just one thing which can reduce my grief and make me strong internally that is reading and writing. After two week from the death, when almost all social formalities and customs related to death are completed, I gradually started again my professional work including reading and writing.  This write up is actually a memorial tribute to my mother and fortunately today is ‘World Poetry Day’ when I am going to complete this write up. The other reason to write this write up in poetry form is to make it interesting, simple and understandable for a layman, trade organisation, professional and all other readers. Efforts has been made to cover and explain various important rules of construction of laws, legal maxims, presumptions, special and qualifying words and phrases,  judicial pronounces and other settled prepositions etc. Further a brief end note is given for every rule of constructions, legal maxims etc. with citations of relevant case law.

The legal language is a special and standard language of law based on logical rules involved large amount of distinctive words and long sentences, used to describe a technical subject. Whereas poem is written in poetic language by using aesthetic and rhythmic type word,  Simile, Metaphor  etc. aimed to convey emotions, history, messages, happiness , grief, hope and so on. So it is a difficult task to create a poem on law subject as there are many words and expressions that may inferred differently in poem when used in legal sense. So the language of poem may not always capable to explain what the author wants to say.

Though each line has been crafted carefully but there can be a situation in which I have a clear understanding of any rule or preposition but I could not able to explain it in reasonable way through couplets. But I am sure if the readers read this poem with the end notes and cited judgments they would definitely get the knowledge of various concept of law.

2. Poem

Indian laws Rules Regulations absolute

Flow from, conform to the Constitution

Law of the land, dynamic and living organ

Ability to grow with socio-economic evolution1

Freedom of Speech and Expression

Right to vote, equal opportunity to citizen

Education and many fundamental right so on

Sovereign republic nation, democratic federal union

No Absolutism and Totalitarian

Indian Law of land, unique of its own

Salute to all great souls and Solon

Who worked, suffered and framed the Constitution

Power to make law vested in Parliament and State Legislatures

With respect to territories and subject matters2

Executive powers of the Union and States

Vested in the President and Governors3

Exercised directly or through officers subordinate

Constitutionalism touches both ends as well as means

No Autocracies or Despotism, control by checks and balances

Separation of powers among legislature, executive and Courts

Nemo superior to the law, Equity, Impartiality before the law4

Parliament can’t break the law, Legislation too regards the law

All are subject to law, No tax except authority of law5

Constitutional democracy governed by Rule of Law

Everyone must obey, follow and respect it

Whether public government owner or servant

‘Impossibility’ is an excuse, but not ‘Ignorance’6

Power, money, position no abuse

Promise to liberty, Safeguard to life and property

‘Law’ means law having force of law in Indian Territory7

Every Indian be safe and happy

It’s for Indian, by Indian, of the Indian

Proud Praise Concern of every citizen

Broad large gentle Challenging difficult

No one able to decode it perfect

It has too pros and cons, merits and demerits

Conflicts between letter of law and spirit

Construction whether liberal or strict

What the law says or what it means

Noscitur a sociis8 or Ejusdem Generis9

Locus Standi10 or Principles of natural justice11

Rule of last antecedent12 or Promissory estoppel13

Harmonious Golden or Mischief construction

Or best interpretation by usages and custom14

No provision should be read in isolation

Significance of each and every expression15

Law operates equally upon one and all

Statute must be read as a whole16

Provisions of more than one Act can be read together

When the same are complementary to each other17

Every statute prima facie operate prospective

Unless expressly or by necessary implication made retrospective

No retrospective effect of statutes affecting vested rights

Retroactive­ acting backward; affecting what is past

Overruling is retrospective except matters already settled18

Saying ‘comes into force’ is distinct from ‘come into operation’19

A judgment itself can’t be set at naught by legislative action

Basis of decision can be nullify by amending the relevant provision20

Grammatical rules must not always signify their authority

When term ‘Person’ used as an adjective

Definition of ‘person’ as noun not apply21

Unless the context require otherwise

Interpretation of tax treaty in good faith

Whether justify, effective or redundant

Saving clauses protect certain provisions of repealed Act22

Such as any order, direction, proceeding, liability or vested right

Accrual of profit ‘de die in diem’ or at year end23

Question whether practical, academic or best

Definitions in General Clauses Act apply to Central Act24

Unless there is anything repugnant to the subject or context

Word ‘May’ indicate ‘Discretion’, ‘Shall’ an ‘Obligation’.

‘May’ may be read as ‘Must’, “Shall’ not always ‘Compulsion’25

Word “OBLIQUE (/) denotes ‘Or’ or ‘Alternatives’26

‘And’ is conjunctive and ‘Or’ is disjunctive

Sometimes used ‘one for the other’ and interchangeably27

Two different words in the same statute prima facie construe differently28

 ‘Ordinarily’ means ‘Normally’ but not invariably29

Word ‘As’ has many shades of sense

Like, because, to the extent, in the manner and when

Phrase ‘subject to’ understood as ‘conditional upon’30

‘Attributable to’ and ‘Derived from’ are not same

Word ‘Any’ used to indicate ‘all’, ‘every’, ‘one’ or ‘some’

Word ‘Includes’ in a definition is prima facie extensive

Also used as “Mean and include” and can be exhaustive31

 ‘In’ may indicate ‘At the end of’, ‘Within’ means Before the end of’32

 ‘Notwithstanding’ read as ‘nevertheless’, ‘despite’, or ‘in spite of’33

Repeal of an ‘Amending Act’ does not affect the amendments34

Phrase ‘for the time being’ may denote the time present or indefinite

Or a single period of time or an indefinite state of facts35

‘Error of law’ may not alike to ‘Not according to law’36

Word ‘Purpose’ means ‘what it is sought to achieve’ but not ‘Motive’

 ‘Effect’ refers the end accomplished or achieved37

‘Similar’ is not similar to ‘Identical’38

‘So far as may be’ construed as ‘To the extent possible’39

‘Considers it necessary’ is an expression of discretion

A ‘Proviso’ plays a different role; as an Addendum or Exception40

May work independent or qualify main provision

‘Illustrations’ can’t extend the meaning of a section41

‘Titles or heading’ though not control the statutory provision42

But a shorthand reference and clue in depict the intention

Overriding effect of ‘Non obstante clause’ in case of confliction

‘Explanation’ may be introduced by way of ‘Abundant caution’43

‘Dicta’, ‘Obiter dicta’ just remark or suggestion44

Made `by the way’ by Court as extrajudicial expression

 No direct connection to the issue under consideration

Different Rules, Interpretation, hodge-podge and troublesome!

Right of appeal though remedial but substantive

Impunity leads to serious and more crime

Penalty is corrective, construed reasonably

Charge of Interest compensatory so mandatory

Penal law required to be interpret strictly

Negative, prohibitory language indicate statute is mandatory

What can’t be done directly, can’t be allowed to be done indirectly45

Nullity is the consequence of unconstitutionality

A person is presumed innocent until proven guilty

Modus operandi to identify the culprit46

Burden of proof lies on the plaintiff47

Procedural law not to be tyrant but a servant

Hyper technical approach should not be adopted48

Construction made provision superfluous must be avoided

Benefit of ambiguity to the subject not to tax evader49

One provision not to be used to defeat another

Accountability of Government and public similar

Equal importance to substantive and procedure law,

Parent Statute prevails over subordinate and bye-law50

‘Codification’ implies a written revision of all existing laws51

Also eliminating obsolete portions and including new provisions

Presumption against the implied repeals52

Power to remove difficulties does not confer power to frame rules53

In case of conflict between two section or Act

A logical approach is to try and reconcile them is best

If they can’t reconciled then General provision yield to specific provision

Otherwise the last resort is later abrogates the earlier one54

Rules are subordinate to the Act

But Act can’t override tax treaty or avoidance agreement

Ratio decidendi is binding, general observations are not precedent55

Law declared by Supreme Court is binding on all courts56

Binding in regard to its ratio and principle57

Delegation of power to make law not permissible

Making law to delegate power is acceptable58

Orders, bye-laws, schemes, rules or regulations

Normally made or known as Subordinate legislations

Ancillary in the nature, limited delegation

Can’t replace or modify the parent provision

 Order passed without jurisdiction is null and void

Conditions precedent for the exercise of power must be satisfied59

 Sub-delegation of legislative power is unauthorized

Unless expressly or by necessary implication authorized

Enable taxpayer not to escape the tax

Court cannot supply a casus omissus60

Proper opportunity of being heard must

Object, substance and effect decide nature of an Act

There is no straight jacket formula or shortcut

No Addition, substitution or rejection of any word

Conclude what is right and what is wrong

Laws must be just, clear, publicized and stable

Imprisonment under 420 for cheating61

An ‘On going’ or ‘Living Act’ treated ‘always speaking’62

 Punctuation helps to understand the structure of a sentence63

It denotes the quality of connection rather than length or pause

Generally it can’t be ignored in interpreting the text

Its impact ultimately depend on the language and intent

Hey friends are you reading
I M trying to explain something

No principle of interpretation has universal application

Each case depends upon the facts of its own

Rules of constructions are not the rules of laws

A subject-matter may involve many aspects

So legislative competence based on pith and substance64

Don’t defeat the legislative intent

Interpretation according to the text and context

Text is the texture, color according to the effect and object65

When a statute is conflicting and inconsistent

Efforts must be made to reconcile the difference

Construction to make law operative and effective

Laws may sleep for a while, but never die

Avoid an approach which renders the statute futile

Judges interpret the law but not enact it

Enhance the justice, not to frustrate it

Prevent the mischief, advance the remedy

Even if hundred of accused are released

But no innocent should be punished

Anyhow justice must be rendered

End notes:

1 [Refer case of Union of India (UOI) v. Naveen Jindal [2004] 15 ILD 47 and National Textile Workers’ Union v. P.R. Ramakrishnan (1983) 1 SCC 228]

2[For details refer articles 245 to 248 of the Constitution of India.]

3[Refer Article 53 and 154 of the Constitution]

4 [Nemo is a Latin word which means No one; nobody. This is used as initial word of many Latin phrases and legal maxims.]

5 [Article 265 of the Constitution of India]

6[For details refer case of Narmada Bachao Andolan Vs. State of M.P. & Another, AIR 2011 SC 1989]

7 [Refer Article 13(3) of the Constitution]

8 [Noscitur a sociis means meaning of a doubtful word may be ascertained by reference to the meaning of words associated with it. [State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha AIR 1960 SC 610; Ahmedabad Pvt. Primary Teachers’ Association Vs Administrative Officer & Ors., AIR 2004 SC 1426: 2014 (1) SCC 755]

9 [Ejusdem Generis – The rule is that when general words follow particular and specific words of the same nature, the general words must be confined to the things of the same kind as those specified. But it is clearly laid down that the specific words must form a distinct genus or category. (Kavalappara Kottarathil Kochuni & Ors. Vs The State of Madras & Ors., AIR 1960 SC 1080; Siddeshwari Cotton Mills (P.) Ltd. v. UOI, AIR 1989 SC 1019]

10 [Locus standi – means right of a party to an action to appear and be heard by the court]

11 [For meaning of principles of natural justice refer case of UOI v. J.N. Sinha AIR 1971 SC 40;   A.U. Kureshi vs. High Court of Gujarat & Anr (2009) 11 SCC 84;  R.S. Dass v. UOI, AIR 1987 SC 593]

12 [Rule of last antecedent – G.P. Singh in his book Interpretation of Statute, 8th edn. at page 267 explained “As a corollary to the rule that phrases and sentences in a statute are interpreted according to the grammatical meaning, relative and qualifying  words,  phrases  and clauses are applied to the antecedent immediately proceeding. The rule is, however, subordinate to context and may be better stated by saying that a qualifying  phrase ought to be referred to the next antecedent which will make sense with the context and to which the context appears properly to relate it”. Refer also case of Mangibai Hariram v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1966 SC 882 and Classic Builders & Developers vs UOI (2001) 115 TAXMAN 393 (MP)]

13 [Principle of promissory estoppel -The principle of estoppel in India is a rule of evidence incorporated in Section 115 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The principle of promissory estoppel means where one party has by his words or conduct made to the other a clear and unequivocal promise which is intended to create legal relations or effect a legal relationship to arise in the future, knowing or intending that it would be acted upon by the other party to whom the promise is made and it is in fact so acted upon by the other party, the promise would be binding on the party making it and he would not be entitled to go back upon it. It is not necessary, in order to attract the applicability of the doctrine of promissory estoppel that the promisee acting in reliance of the promise, should suffer any detriment. The only thing necessary is that the promisee should have altered his position in reliance of the promise.]

14 [Best interpretation by usages and custom is based on the maxim ‘Contemporanea exposito’  which means usage or practice developed under a statute is indicative of the meaning ascribed to its words by contemporary opinion. Also refer case of K.P. Varghese v. ITO [1981] (SC) 131 ITR 597]

15 [In High Court of Gujarat v. Gujarat Kisan Mazdoor Panchayat [2003] 4 SCC 712 it has been held by the Apex Court that it is a well-settled principle of law that an attempt should be made to give effect to each and every word employed in a statute and such interpretation which would render a particular provision redundant or otiose should be avoided.]

16 [This is the important basic rule of interpretation based on the Latin maxim ex visceribus actus which means a statute has to be read as a whole and not piecemeal. Also refer case of Padmasundra Rao v. State of Tamil Nadu [2002] 255 ITR 147]

17 [Refer case of Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay v. Sriyanesh Knitters [1999] 7 SCC 359]

18[It is a settled principle of statutory construction that every statute is prima facie prospective unless it is expressly or by necessary implications made to have retrospective operations. Legal Maxim nova constitutio futuris formam imponere debet non praeteritis, i.e. a new law ought to regulate what is to follow, not the past, contain a principle of presumption of prospectively of a statute. Refer case of CIT 5 Mumbai Vs Essar Teleholdings Ltd., AIR 2018 SC 1116: 2018 (3) SCC 253]

19 [Refer case of Abhilakh Ram vs B. Uma Shanker, AIR 1950 All 666]

20 [Refer case of Government of Andhra Pradesh v. Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd., AIR 1975 SC 2037 and National Agrl. Co-op. Marketing Federation of India Ltd. v. UOI, (2003) 260 ITR 548 (SC)]

21 [Refer case of Supreme Court in Dr. (Major) Meeta Sahai vs State of Bihar on 17 December, 2019 and FCC v. AT&T Inc. 562 U.S. 397 (2011)]

22 [Refer case of Pratap Narain Agarwal vs Ram Narain Agarwal And Ors., AIR 1980 All 42]

23 [The phrase ‘de die in diem’ is a Latin term which means from day to day or continuously. For details refer case of CIT vs. Ashokbhai Chimanbhai (1965) 56 ITR 42 (SC)]

24 [Section 3 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 made it clear that the definitions given in the said section applies to the General Clauses Act  itself and to all Central Acts and regulations made after the commencement of said Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context.]

25 [Refer case of Sub-committee of Judicial Accountability v. UOI AIR 1992 SC 320 and Shivjee Singh vs. Nagendra Tiwary, AIR 2010 (SC) 2261 at 2263]

26[Refer case of Rohit Chauhan V. Chairnman University College of Engg. Sambalpur, AIR 2001 Ori 125, 130]

27 [Refer case of Ch. Razik Ram v. J.S. Chauhan AIR 1975 SC 667 and Manmohan Das Shah v. Bishun Das, 1967 AIR 643, 1967 SCR (1) 836]

28 [When the same statute uses two different words then prima facie one has to construe that these two different words must have been used to mean differently. Refer case of  CIT v. Sun Engineering Works (P.) Ltd. (1992) 4 SCC 363]

29 [Refer case of Krishan Gopal  v. Prakashchandra  AIR 1974 SC 209 and Kailash Chandra v. UOI AIR 1961 SC 1346]

30 [Refer case of  K.R.C.S. Balakrishna Chetty & Sons & Co. v. The State of Madras, [1961] 2 S.C.R. 736]

31 [ Refer case of South Gujarat Roofing Tiles Manufacturers Association v. State of Gujarat [1976] 4 SCC 601]

32 [Refer case of CIT v. Ekbal & Co. (1945) 13 ITR 154 (Bom)]

33 [Refer case of Khaizar Basha vs Indian Airlines Corporation, New … on 1 August, 1984, AIR 1984 Mad 379]

34 [Refer case of Jethanand Betab v. The State of Delhi, AIR 1960 SC 89 and Khuda Bux v. Manager, Caledonian Press, AIR 1954 Cal 484]

35 [Refer case of Union Territory Of Chandigarh vs Rajesh Kumar Basandhi And Anr, 2003 (4) RSJ 571]

36 [Refer case of Supreme Court in -Hari Shankar vs Rao Girdhari Lal Chowdhury on 5 December, 1961, 1963 AIR 698, 1962 SCR Supl. (1) 933]

37 [Padmavati Jaykrishna vs CIT, 1975 101 ITR 153 Guj

38 [The word ‘similar’ does not mean ‘identical’ but it means corresponding to or resembling to in many respects; somewhat like, or having a general likeness. Refer case of Nat Steel Equipment Pvt. Ltd vs Collector of Central Excise, 1988 AIR 631, 1988 SCR (2) 732]

39 [Refer case of Md. Savi v. State of West Bengal, AIR 1951 Cal. 97]

40 [Refer case of Kihota Hollohon v. Zachilhu AIR 1993 SC 412 and State of Rajasthan v. Mrs. Leela Jain AIR 1965 SC 1296]

41 [Refer case of  UOI v. Avinash P. Bhonsle [1993] 76 Comp. Cas. 326 (Bom.)]

42[Refer case of IFC of India v. Cannanore Spinning & Weaving Mills Ltd. (2002) 110 Comp. Cas. 685 (SC) and Khoday Industries (P.) Ltd. v. CIT    [1987] 163 ITR 646]

43 [Refer case of Keshavji Ravji & Co. v. CIT [1990] 183 ITR 1 (SC)]

44[For meaning of ‘Dicta’, ‘Obiter dicta refer case of Divisional Controller, KSRTC v. Mahadeva Shetty, (2003) 7 SCC 197 and Girnar Traders v. State of Maharashtra, (2007) 7 SCC 555]

45[Refer case of MTNL vs. Telecom regulatory authority of India, AIR 2000 Delhi 208]

46[Modus operandi—means Mode of operating i.e. a characteristic pattern of methods of a repeated criminal act; the way in which a person goes to work; a distinct pattern or method of operation especially that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in …; is someone’s habits of working; It is used to identify the culprit.]

47[One cardinal rule of law of evidence is in a legal maxim ‘Actori incumbit onus probandi’ which means ‘the burden of proof is on the plaintiff or the prosecution.  The plaintiff’s case has to stand on its own legs and plaintiff cannot claim his claim to be established on account of the weakness of the defendant’s case.’ Refer also case of RAJU Vs. RAJU {CDJ 2011 MHC 5942} and Ramaraj vs T.N.V.Durairaj on 14 March, 2012, Madras High Court]

48[Refer case of Jai Jai Ram Manohar Lal v. N.B.M. Supply AIR 1969 SC 1267]

49[Refer case of Noorulla Khan vs Regional Transport Officer, ILR 1985 KAR 2711]

50[Refer case of CIT v. Taj Mahal Hotel[1971] 82 ITR 44 (SC)]

51[Refer observation in case  of Guru Amarjit Singh v. CWT [2002] 254 ITR 510 (Punj. & Har.) ]

52 [Refer case of Municipal Council, Palai v. T.J. Joseph AIR 1963 SC 1561and Ratan Lal Adukia v. UOI, AIR 1990 SC 104]

53[Refer case of Krishnadeo Misra vs State of Bihar And Ors., AIR 1988 Pat 9, 1987 (35) BLJR 784]

54[Refer case of King v. Dominion Engineering Co. Ltd., (AIR 1947 PC 94); Chief Inspector of Mines v. Karam Chand Thapar,  AIR 1961 SC 838; Ajay Kumar Banerjee v. UOI, AIR 1984 SC 1130]

55[For meaning of ‘Dicta’, ‘Obiter dicta, Ratio decidendi etc. refer case of Divisional Controller, KSRTC v. Mahadeva Shetty, (2003) 7 SCC 197 and  Girnar Traders v. State of Maharashtra, (2007) 7 SCC 555]

56[Refer Article 141 of the Constitution of India 1949]

57[B. Sharma Rao Vs Union territory of Pondicherry, 1967 AIR 1480, 1967 SCR (2) 650]

58[Refer case of Sadhu Singh S. Mulla Singh vs District Board, Gurdaspur, AIR 1962 P H 204]

59[Refer case of ITO v. Lakhmani Mewal Das [1976] 103 ITR 437 (SC) and Vindhya Metal Corporation v. CIT (1985) 156 ITR 233 (All.)]

60[Refer case of Padmasundra Rao v. State of Tamil Nadu [2002] 255 ITR 147]

61[That is under section 420 of The Indian Penal Code (IPC)]

62[It is now a well-known rule of statutory construction that an “on going” statutory provision should be treated as “always speaking”. The principle is set out in Bennion Statutory Interpretation (3rd edn. 1997). . . .” (p. 686). Refer also case of Victor Chandler International v. Customs and Excise Commissioners [2000] 2 All ER 315]

63[Refer case of Aswini Kumar Ghose  v.  Arabinda Bose AIR 1952 SC 369 and Hindustan Construction Co. v. CIT (No. 1) (1994) 208 ITR 291 (Bom.)]

64[‘Pith and substance’ means ‘true nature and character’.   It is well settled that the validity of an Act is not affected if it incidentally trenches on matters outside the authorised field, and therefore it is necessary to inquire in each case what is the pith and substance of the Act impugned. If the Act, when so viewed, substantially falls within the powers expressly conferred upon the Legislature which enacted it, then it cannot be held to be invalid, merely because it incidentally encroaches on matters which have been assigned to another legislature. (The State Of Bombay And Another vs F.N. Balsara, 1951 AIR 318, 1951 SCR 682)]

65[ Refer case of Reserve Bank Of India vs Peerless General Finance & … 1987 AIR 1023, 1987 SCR (2) 1]

Author Bio

Qualification: CA in Practice
Company: N/A
Location: JODHPUR, Rajasthan, India
Member Since: 22 Mar 2021 | Total Posts: 1
NAME : NEELAM KUMAR JAIN PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION: FCA (CA since from 1999), DISA Certification Course of Study: In “Academic writing for clarity and meaning” in May, 2020 from Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa At present: Own Practice and Consultant in the field of View Full Profile

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      1. Ram S. says:

        Wonderful. Mohd. Rafi (postpomously) could have given wonderful music.
        Long time back I had a book of Accountants Dictionary. Now please public Tax Payers Dictionary. Every one would appreciate it. Once Upon a time Ramayyas Book of Explanation was one book but it is a volume by volume. Could replace the pillow cotton with this book, that suddenly a confusing clause in the dream will find an explanation.
        Please make the Tax Payers Dictionary.

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