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LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES

CASE ANALYSIS

1. BADRINARAYAN SHANKAR BHANDARI VS. SHRI. OMPRAKASH


SHANKARLAL BHANDAR

Facts

His first wife died leaving behind a son (S1). He married again and had another son (S2) and
daughter (D1). He died in August 1942 without a will and survived by his second wife and
the three children. Do the daughters children get a share in the ancestral property. The
daughter (D1) died in 2002. The sons (S1 and S2) each had a flat in the property and the
daughter (D1)'s children are claiming a share in the land as well as the flat. Please advise.
Also what is the Supreme Courts ruling of 9Th September 2005 which says a daughter
cannot claim share in the property if the father died before 2005.

Issue

Whether Section 6 of the Hindu Succession Act 1956 as amended by the Amendment Act is
prospective or retrospective in operation?

Reasoning

The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 has amended and codified the law relating to intestate
succession Hindus and gave rights which were till then unknown in relation to women's
property. However, it does not interfere with the special rights of those who are members of
Hindu Mitakshara coparcenary except to provide rules for devolution of the interest of a
deceased male in certain cases. The Act-lays down a uniform and comprehensive system of
inheritance and applies, inter alia, to persons governed by the Mitakshara and Dayabhaga
schools and also to those governed previously by the Murumakkattayam, Aliyasantana and
Nambudir laws. The Amending Act which substituted Section 6 of the Principal act is
retrospective in operation and applies to all daughters born before 9 September 2005 and also
the heirs of such daughter who died before 9 September 2005 are permitted under the Act to
claim their right in the coparcenary property through the deceased daughter.
Conclusion

As per the Bombay High Court Full Bench, for getting any share in the ancestral property a
female should be alive on the date of the commencement of the Hindu Succession
Amendment Act, 2005 i.e she should be alive on September, 2005 in order to get a share. In
this case she is not alive on the said date even her legal heirs cannot claim any right in the
ancestral property.

2. INDIAN PERFORMING RIGHTS SOCIETY LTD. V. SANJAY DALIA

Facts

The plaintiff was carrying on business through a branch office in Delhi though their head
office was in Mumbai. The alleged infringement had taken place in Mumbai. The
concurrent findings of the Delhi High Court declining to entertain the suit in Delhi were
affirmed by the top court.

Issue

Whether Delhi has the jurisdiction or Mumbai over the copyright issue?

Reasoning

Purposivism and consequentialism cannot be used to tide over the convenience or


inconvenience of parties. When the Parliament has conferred on the plaintiff, the right to
sue for infringement wherever he resides or carries on business, is the Supreme Court right
in concluding that plaintiff could not do so in a case where the infringement arose in Mumbai
and defendant carried on business in Mumbai and plaintiff also had its head office.

Conclusion

The provisions of section 62 of the Copyright Act and section 134 of the Trade Marks Act
have to be interpreted in the purposive manner. No doubt about it that a suit can be filed
by the plaintiff at a place where he is residing or carrying on business or personally works for
gain. He need not travel to file a suit to a place where defendant is residing or cause of action
wholly or in part arises. However, if the plaintiff is residing or carrying on business etc. at
a place where cause of action, wholly or in part, has also arisen, he has to file a suit at that
place, as discussed above.

3. DEEPAK BHANDARI V. HIMACHAL PRADESH STATE INDUSTRIAL


DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LIMITED

Facts

In this case, a company (Borrower) had defaulted in repayment of a loan availed from the
Himachal Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation Limited (Respondent) and
accordingly the Respondent issued a recall notice (Recall Notice) to the Borrower directing
it to repay the outstanding amounts due to the Respondent. Upon failure of the Borrower to
repay such amounts, the Respondent sold the properties furnished by the Borrower to secure
such loan and set-off a part of its outstandings against the sale proceeds thereof.

The Respondent then called upon the promoter of the Borrower (Appellant) being a
guarantor to the said loan to repay the balance amounts due to the Respondent. Since the
Appellant failed to repay such amount, the Respondent filed a suit for recovery against the
appellant which was decreed in favour of the Respondent by a single judge of the High Court
of Himachal Pradesh (High Court). Being aggrieved by the same, the Appellant filed an
appeal before the division bench of the High Court which was dismissed. The Appellant then
filed an appeal before the Supreme Court of India (Supreme Court) on the ground that the
said recovery suit was time barred under the Limitation Act, 1963 (Limitation Act).

Issue

Whether the period of limitation in a contract for guarantee would commence from the date
(a) of Recall Notice; or (b) the Respondent called the Guarantor to re-pay the balance
amounts due to the Respondent after setting off the proceeds from sale of the properties
furnished to the Respondent as security?
Reasoning

It is thus clear that merely because the Corporation acted under Section 29 of the State
Financial Corporation Act did not mean that the contract of indemnity came to an end.
Section 29 merely enabled the Corporation to take possession and sell the assets for recovery
of the dues under the main contract. It may be that only the Corporation taking action under
Section 29 and on their taking possession they became deemed owners. The mortgage may
have come to an end, but the contract of indemnity, which was an independent contract, did
not. The right to claim for the balance arose, under the contract of indemnity, only when the
sale proceeds were found to be insufficient. The right to sue on the contract of indemnity
arose after the assets were sold. The present case would fall under Article 55 of the
Limitation Act, 1963 which corresponds to old Articles 115 and 116 of the old Limitation
Act, 1908

Conclusion

The Supreme Court held that when the Respondent takes steps for recovery of the amount,
the limitation period for recovery of the balance amount would start only after adjusting the
proceeds from the sale of assets of the Borrower as only then would the Respondent be in a
position to determine the Appellants final liability as the guarantor. It was further stated that,
the right to sue under a contract of indemnity or guarantee would principally arise when the
indemnifier or the guarantor fails to pay the money claimed from it and not from the time
when the Recall Notice is served.

Accordingly, the suit filed by the Respondents for recovery of money from the Appellant
being the guarantor was held to be within the period of limitation.

4. B. PREMANAND AND ORS VS MOHAN KOIKAL AND ORS

Facts

Appeal against the judgment of the Full bench of the Kerala HC which had dismissed appeal
against the Judgment of the Single Judge which had ruled in favour of the respondents. The
respondents rank list was prepared before that of appellants (on 20.06.1992) but the advice
for appellants (on 08.07.1992) was sent before that of respondents.
Issue:

Whether inter se seniority on the post of Block Development Officer between general
category candidates (Respondents) and the SC/ST candidates?

Reasoning

The Court explained the concept that if there is a conflict between equity and the law, it is the
law which must prevail. It may be mentioned in this connection that the first and foremost
principle of interpretation of a statute in every system of interpretation is the literal rule of
interpretation. The other rules of interpretation e.g. the mischief rule, purposive interpretation
etc. can only be resorted to when the plain words of a statute are ambiguous or lead to no
intelligible results or if read literally would nullify the very object of the statute

Conclusion

The Supreme Court has explained the literal rule of interpretation of statutes. Governing the
interpretation of statutes, the literal rule is the often invoked rule pressed into action
to ascertain the legislative intention behind the framing of the enactment. The rule governs
and regulates the meaning of the law in as much as the rule provides that the meaning has to
be ascertained from the text of the law itself.

5. ABHIRAM SINGH VS C.D. COMMACHEN (DEAD) BY LRS.& ORS

Facts

The bench was dealing with the appeal filed in 1992 by BJP leader Abhiram Singh, whose
election to 1990 Maharashtra Assembly was set aside in 1991 by the Bombay High Court on
the ground that he had appealed for votes on the basis of Hindu religion. In April 1996 a three
Judge Bench in Abhiram singh v. C D Commachen,[1] directed Chief Justice to constitute a
larger bench to hear and decide the matter authoritatively. Then 5 Judge bench was
constituted. While the five-judge bench was hearing this matter on January 30, it was
informed that the identical issue was raised in the election petition filed by one Narayan
Singh against BJP leader Sunderlal Patwa and the apex courts another Constitution Bench of
five Judges has referred a larger Bench of seven Judges.
On October 25 the seven judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court which was hearing a
slew of petitions relating to decisions and questions on electoral malpractices arising out of
its earlier judgments said for now it will not touch on its 1995 definition of hindutva is a
way of life and not a religion and also not ban its use during elections.[2]

If it would be considered that Hinduism is not religion but a way of life then asking vote in
the name of Hinduism is not a corrupt practice. This question still stands.

Issues
The question for determination in this case was whether section 123(3) of the Act prohibits
appeal to vote or refrain from voting any person based only on the religion, race, caste or
community of that person or whether an appeal to vote or refrain from voting in the name of
religion, race, caste community or language is altogether prohibited by this provision.
Whether there should be purposive interpretation of the words or literal interpretation of
Section 123 of The Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.
Is Seeking Vote In Name Of Religion Corrupt Practice?

Reasoning

Chandrachud J. has highlighted how purposive interpretation is only possible if there is only
one possible theory for purposive interpretation and the Court must not while interpreting a
provision in a purposive manner, choose a particular theory of purposive interpretation when
there are sound constitutional principles for a purposive theory which militates against the
one preferred by the Court.
But T. S. Thakur C.J. forming part of the majority verdict in his concurring opinion has found
only one theory of purposive interpretation which is preferable under the Indian
Constitution.

Conclusion

The seven judges bench by a majority of 4:3 decided that this provision prohibits appeal to
vote or refrain from voting in the name of religion, race, caste community or language
altogether and that it should not be given a narrow interpretation by confining the import of
the provision to appeals to vote or refrain from voting any person based only on the religion,
race, caste, community or language of that person only.