Change of language. Unnecessary and superfluous language in prior legislation deleted from later statute. No presumption can be drawn from the change. PLD 1949 Lah. 188. Abdul Wahid v. Crown .
Construing a Constitution Act. Power of legislature. Unrestricted scope to be given within its own ambit. (FC) PLD 1950 FC 1 Muhammad Ali v. Crown.
Construing an amending Act. In order to construe an amending Act it is not only legitimate but highly convenient to refer both to the former Act and the evils which it gave rise to and the latter Act which provided the remedy (FC) PLD 1951 FC 118 Muhammad Haroon v. Crown.
Expiry of temporary statute. Its effect in case of cancellation of notification PLD 1956 Kar. 535. Nisar Ahmed v. Crown.
Proviso not to be given meaning by implication which is not to be found in the enacting part. (PC) PLD 1948 P.C. 211 Governor General v. M.C. Madura.
Court cannot probe into choice of legislature when enactment providing sufficient safeguards against its abuse. PLD 1956 BJ 17 Miran v. Crown.
Later enactment cannot be judged in the light of the language of the earlier when the legislation is separated by half a century and enacted by different bodies. PLD 1956 Lah. 664. Ilam Din.
English Law. It is dangerous to construe Indian Act by reference to English Law. (PC) PLD 1947 P.C. 103 Thiagraja v. Emperor.
Courts not to enquire into reasons of legislation. Executive Officer empowered to curtail or take away liberty of citizen on his being satisfied that such action was necessary in the interest of public safety or public order. Courts are concerned with meaning and interpretation of law. PLD 1952 Lah. 624. Abdul Ghafoor v. Crown.
Faulty drafting of statute resulting in contradiction absurdity, hardship or injustice presumably not intended, a construction may be put upon it which modifies the meaning of the words and even the structure of the sentences. (FB) PLD 1950 Lah. 384. Sarfraz Khan etc. v. Crown.
Special Law. Where there is special and general law applicable to a matter, the principle is, that special law will prevail. PLD 1950 Dac. 37. Safi-ud-Din Kazi v. P.C. Roy.
General principles of interpreting statutes are that the interpretation should be natural, appropriate and simple and should give the words their ordinary meaning. It should be consistent with the intention of legislature and should help the administration of justice. It should not offend the common sense. It should not lead to ridiculous consequences. (DB) PLD 1956 Pesh. 110. State v. Said Akbar.
Consideration of mischief and remedy are to be kept in view, History of the Act and the reasons which led to its being passed and not only the words used in the Act. It is the duty of the judge to construe a statute so that it shall "suppress the mischief and advance the remedy." Extended meaning to the words and phraseology can be given to prevent failure of justice and the legislation may not be reduced to futility. (FC) Muhammad Haroon (DB) PLD 1958 Kar. 35. Moazzam Hussain.
Illustration to sections may be called in aid to interpret the intention of the legislature. (FC) PLD 1951 FC 62, Ghulam Rasul v. Crown. (DB) PLD 1959 Lah. 429. Salim Ullah Beg v. Mst. Motia Begum.
Judge not to add or take out from statute except that there be adequate grounds justifying inference that legislature intended something which it omitted to express. (DB) PLD 1949. Nazar Muhammad v. Crown.
Court may add words to provisions to be construed when literal construction is repugnant to good sense. (FC) PLD 1959 FC 209. Working Muslim Mission etc. v. Crown.
Penal Act-Liberal Constructions. Provisions of Penal Act ought to be construed liberally so as to lean towards the liberty of the subject. (FB) PLD 1954 Lah. 14. Mazhar Ali Khan v. Governor of the Punjab.
Penal Statutes-to be construed strictly. The statutes which trench upon the liberty of the subject must be construed strictly and nothing should be deemed to fall within the terms of any such statute unless the words used are wide enough to cover it PLD 1952 Lah. 578 Rahmat Aslam v. Crown.
Penal statutes language is to be strictly construed. Question of carrying forward any legal fiction" does not arise. (SC) PLD 1975 SC 506. Bring F.B. Ali. PLJ 1975 Sc 369 = PLD 1963 Lah. 474. G.N. Dalmia. PLD 1964 Lah. 423.
Penal Statutes-in case of doubt. Interpretation to be in favour of the subject case of doubt. (QB) 42 Cr.LJ 125, King v. Aung Nyun.
Penal statutes-Construction favourable to citizen. When two interpretations of a provision are possible then the one which is favourable to the citizen should be adopted. (DB) PLD 1973 Kar. 78. Liaqat Ali v. Government of Sindh. PLD 1963 Kar. 1001 Muhammad Nakifo. PLD 1964 Kar. 384. State v. Abdul Hakim.
Dictionary meanings. Dictionaries cannot be taken as authoritative exponents of the meaning of the words used in the Act of Legislature for the plainest words may be controlled by a reference to the context. (DB) 47. Cr.LJ 44. Rup Lal Mehra v. Emp. 221 IC 48 = AIR 1945 Lah. 158.
Grammatical meaning. Plain words of a statute free from ambiguity, strict grammatical meaning should be followed. (DB) PLD 1951 Sindh. 1 Noor Muhammad v. Sardar Khatoon.
Preamble and construction. Though the preamble may be considered to be a key to the Act itself, it cannot normally be applied to explain the act itself except where the provision contained in its body are otherwise vague. (DB) PLD 1950 Pesh. 22. Shah Muhammad v. Crown.
Preamble and construction. Where the section is very clear on the point it is not necessary to consider the preamble (DB) PLD 1952 Dac. 272. Nur-ud-Din Akhan v. Kuti Baru Bibi.
Preamble and construction. The preamble cannot either restrict or extend the enacting party, when the language and the object and scope of the Act are not open to doubt. (DB) PLD 1952 Dac. 425. Soudamint Roy v. Narendra Chandra.
Preamble and construction. Preamble will not qualify enactment in itself clear and unambiguous. PLD 1953 Sindh 15 S.M. Solomon v. M.J. Solomon.
Preamble: marginal notes or head notes. When the language of the section is obscure and ambiguous, the preamble, marginal note or head notes may be referred to for discovering intention of the legislature. (DB) PLD 1955 Pesh. 76. Gul Muhammad Khan v. Dilawar Khan (FB) PLD 1958 Lah. 120 Muhammad Umar Khan v. Tehsildar Mardan. (FB) PLD 1958 Pesh. 73. Abdur Rauf v. N.W.F.P. Government.
Provision prospective or retrospective. Provisions affecting substantive rights are prospective in effect in the absence of express words or necessary intendment indicating retrospective operation. Right of appeal is a substantive right. (SC) PLD 1956 SC 256 = PLD 1956 Lah. 865. Dilbar Hussain v. Khurshid Ahmed.
Retrospective effect if intended, must be expressed by words or object must be clear from the Act. (DB) PLD 1950 Lah. 221. Amir Shah v. Crown, PLD 1951 BJ 47. Mst. Fazal Bibi v. Habib Ullah. PLD 1959 Lah. 915. Khaliq and Najam Co. (DB) PLD 1960 Kar. 20 Shah Mustan Khan v. Sui gas.
Proviso may limit enactment. A proviso may limit and severely limit the application of an enactment to which it is a proviso but it could only be held in the most exceptional circumstances that the proviso nullifies the enactment (PC) PLD 1955 PC 4. Dyal Singh v. Kenyan Insurance Ltd.
Proviso-Construction. A proviso is of great importance when the Court has to consider what cases come within the enacting part of the section, and it is always to be construed with reference to the proceeding parts of the clause to which it is appended. (DB) PLD 1950 Lah. 12. Khan Iftikhar Hussain Khan of Mamdot.
Repeal (implied). The Court should ordinarily lean against an implied repeal. The latest expression of the legislature will and ought to prevail although there is no express repealing clause in the new enactment. An Act which contains a provision offending against a constitutional provision would be ultra vires. (FB) PLD 1955 Lah. 215. Lal Khan v. Crown. (FC) PLD 1956 FC 157 157 Punjab Province v. Sita Ram. (FB) PLD 1958 Lah. 229. Mst. Maryam v. Dost Muhammad, (SC) PLD 1964 SC 673. Abul Alla Maudoodi.
Repeal and re-enactment: If any Central Act is repealed and re-enacted then, unless otherwise provided, any appropriate notification, under, scheme, rule, forum shall continue in force unless same are inconsistent with new enactment. PLD 1997 Lah. 563, State  v. Shafi M. Sehwani. (D.B.).
"Beneficial construction." The rule of beneficial construction comes into play only when the language used is so ambiguous that two constructions are equally or almost equally possible. Where the language is clear the rule of beneficial construction has no applicability. (FC) PLD 1951 FC 118. Muhammad Haroon v. Crown.
Strict Interpretation of Penal Laws. Penal law must be interpreted strictly and in favour of the subject not so as to deprive him of his legal rights. PLD 1958 FC 145. Abdus Sattar Molla v. Crown.
Penal Provision. Strict construction. Sense which best harmonises with context or effectuates the legislative intent should be adopted. PLD 1949 Lah. 188. Abdul Wahid v. Crown.
Procedural Statutes. Statutes dealing with procedure come into force at once and apply to all actions brought before or after its passing. PLD 1951 Pesh. 49. Painda Khan v. Akram. PLD 1956 Lah. 865 Dilbar Hussain v. Khurshid.
Encroachment upon rights. Statutes which encroach upon the rights of the subject, whether of person or property are subject to a strict construction. Where the import of some enactment is inconclusive or ambiguous the Court may properly lean in favour of an interpretation that leaves, private rights undisturbed but where the language is clear the rule does not apply. (PC) PLD 1952 PC 29. AG of Canada v. Hallet and Carey Ltd. (SC) PLD 1959 SC 476. Yousaf Ali v. E. Pak. (PC) PLD 1959 PC 84. Ross-Clunis v. Vassos.
Temporary Act enforced but withdrawn at trial. Temporary Act enforced by notification in a particular area, prescribing enhanced penalty i.e. death instead of punishment prescribed under the Penal Code (XLV of 1860) for a certain offence. Notification in force at time of commission of the offence, but withdrawn at the time of trial. Withdrawal leaves law as it previously was. Punishment of death no longer applicable. (FB) PLD 1949 Lah. 550. Crown v. Haveli.
Temporary provisions. Offence under temporary provisions in Act, must be prosecuted and punished while the provision lasts, and as soon as the Act expires, any proceedings which are being taken against a person ipso facto Terminate. Retrial, cannot be ordered in revision after temporary provision has terminated. (DB) PLD 1950 Lah. 479. Crown v. Ghulam Muhammad.
Temporary statute, general rule. While dealing with temporary Statutes the general rule is that in the absence of special provisions to the contrary, the proceedings which are taken under it would ipso facto terminate on the expiry of the Statute. Where Special Court for Speedy Trial Ordinance, 1988 (XIX of 1988) was extended upto 12-2-1989 and Special Court recorded conviction on 11-4-87 when the Act and Ordinance had lapsed, the judgment of the Special Court was coram non judice. 1993 SCMR 1589, Muhammad Arif.
An ordinance can be promulgated time and gain even after the expiry of its life of 4 months if it is for the welfare of the society to prevent legal choas. Refer to para 17 of the judgment, PLJ 1999 SC 105 Riaz Ahmed.
Two contradictory provisions. If two provisions involve an absolute contradiction and it is impossible to construe them together the former provision must give way to the latter. (FB) PLD 1956 Lah. 807 Ahmad Saeed Kirmani v. Fazal Elahi.
Words diversity of. A diversity of terminology does not necessarily involve substantial difference in meaning. (FC) PLD 1953 FC 170 Crown v. Khushi Muhammad. AE
Change of law pending appeal. New law may be applied in deciding appeal. PLD 1961 Lah. 256 Mars. Keyas Byrne v. M. Obaidullah Khan.
Words not used by legislature cannot be read into a section of the Act. (DB) PLD 1960 Lah. 261 Siraj-ud-Din v. Allah Rakha.
Basic rules, applied in interpretation of statutes and constitution are enumerated. (1) Discover the intention of the legislature. (2) Whole enactment must be considered to find the intention. (3) Statute is not to be extended to meet a case for which clear provision has already been made. (4) In case of particular and general enactment in the same statute, the particular enactment must be operative and the general enactment applies to other part. (5) Same principles apply to the interpretation of constitution as to the statutes, effect is to be given to the intention of the framers of the Constitution. (6) Effect must be given to every part and every word of the Constitution. (7) In case of repugnancy between different provisions the Court should harmonise them if possible. (SC) PLD 1957 SC 219 Reference by the President.
Invalid law unchallenged for a number of years does not thereby become sacrosanct. (PC) PLD 1957 PC 115 Attorney General of Australia v. Queen.
Modification of language. Court may modify language of a statute to give effect to manifest and undoubted intention of legislature. (SC) PLD 1961 SC 119 Muhammad Amir Khan v. Controller of Estate Duty.
New punishment provided for past offence, can be given effect to in pending cases, but if the offence was not punishable when committed it cannot be punished retrospectively. PLD 1959 Lah. 883 Abdul Karim.
"Noscitur a sociis" A provision or phrase must be read in connection with the context. (SC) PLD 1957 SC 219 Reference by the President.
Rules cannot supply omission of the legislature in regard to a statute. (DB) PLD 1960 Lah. 709 Hakim-ud-Din v. Government of West Pakistan.
Permanent statute repealed by a temporary statute emerges again on the expiry of the temporary statutes. (DB) PLD 1960 Lah. 236 State v. Muhammad Sharif. PLD 1958 Lah. 77 Sargodha Bus Service.
Provision whether mandatory or directory. Object of the Statute should be looked at. Case Law discussed. (DB) PLD 1958 Kar. 56 Jamil Ahmad v. Chief Commissioner.
Rules powers. Rule making authority cannot clothe itself with powers which statute itself does not give. (SC) PLD 1964 SC 451 East Pakistan v. Noor Ahmad. (DB) PLD 1966 Kar. 518 Muhammad Din and Sons v. Trustees of Port.
Rules not abrogated. Amendment in Act does not abrogate rules unless the section under which they are framed is repealed. (DB) PLD 1966 Lah. 780 Muhammad Din v. Nazar Muhammad Khan.
Rules interpretation. Principles which regulate interpretation of statutes must be taken to interpret the rules as well. (DB) PLD 1960 Lah. 801 Punjab v. Nisar Ahmad.
Rule-force. Rules have the same force as the provisions of the enactment under which framed. (FB) PLD 1958 Pesh. 191 Khan Ajun Khan v. West Pakistan.
Rules cannot defeat enactment. Rules framed under a statute cannot defeat the clear intention of the legislature expressed in the statute. (SC) PLD 1959 SC 296 United Industrial Bank Limited v. Mohan Bashi Shah.
Special provisions override the general. (FB) PLD 1958 Pesh. 191 Khan Ajun Khan v. West Pakistan.
"And". "Or". Ordinarily "and" is used in conjunctive sense while "or" is used in disjunctive sense. However, often interpretation is effected by reading the two words, one for the other. PLJ 1978 Cr.C. (Q.) 421 Syed Yaqub Shah. PLD 1978 Q. 158.
"Or" and "and" are interchangeable and can be read one for the other to give effect to legislative intention. (DB) PLD 1966 Lah. 128 Muhammad Hussain v. Additional District Judge. PLD 1966 Dac. 1 = PLD 1965 Kar. 347 = PLD 1965 Dac. 358 = PLD 1966 Lah. 830 Khan Nasrullah Khan v. Member, Election Commissioner. PLJ 1978 Cr.C. (Q.) 421 Syed Yaqub Shah. PLD 1978 Q. 158.
"Shall" and "May" meaning. "Shall" in statute though generally taken in a mandatory sense, does not necessarily mean that in every case it shall have that effect and unless complied with the proceeding shall be invalid. On the other hand it is not always correct to say that where the word "May" has been used the statute is only permissive or directory in sense and non-compliance will not render the proceedings invalid. (SC Ind.) PLD 1958 Ghulam Hussain. PLD 1964 Lah. 329 Ghulam Qadir.
Jurisdiction. Act conferring jurisdiction impliedly grants power of doing all acts or employing means essentially necessary to its execution. (DB) PLD 1965 Lah. 703 Muhammad Akram v. G.A. Saeed. (DB) PLD 1965 Pesh. 65 Ahmad Khan v. Commissioner Rawalpindi Division.
Alteration in procedural Law. The general principle seems to be that alterations in procedure are retrospective unless there be some good reason against such a view. New procedural law will apply to all pending cases as well as in future. (SC) PLD 1965 SC 681 State v. Muhammad Jamil.
Procedural requirements of criminal law are not mere formalities. Underlying the rules of procedure is an all pervading care to ensure the liberty of the subject and the due dispensation of justice. (FC) PLD 1953 FC 145 Abdus Sattar Molla v. Crown.
No provision in law. Courts cannot extend a statute to meet a case for which a provision has "clearly and undoubtedly" not been made. Court has no power to fill gaps in a statute. (FB) PLD 1965 Lah. 349 Khizar Hayat v. Commissioner, Sargodha Division. (DB) PLD 1966 Lah. 839 Riaz Ahmad v. Election Tribunal.
Superfluous words. No part or word of a statute is to be held surplusage. (SC) PLD 1963 SC 663 E and W Steamship Co. v. Queen Land Insurance Co. PLD 1966 SC 828 Muhammadi Steamship Co.
Policy of law is not concern of the Courts. (DB) PLD 1963 Lah. 337. Rafiq Ahmed.
Interpretation involving least alteration of existing law to be chosen where arguments on question of interpretation are evenly balanced. (SC) PLD 1977 SC 548. Muhammad Hussain Shah. PLJ 1977 SC 433
Interpretation should be made so as to harmonise and to remain consistent with other laws having relevance or nexus with the law sought to be interpreted. PLD 1991 SC 787. Mst. Amir Khatoon v. Faiz Ahmed etc.