News Update

Sugar export to USA – DGFT

31 01 2006

An additional quantity of 2,050 MTs of Raw Sugar out of free sale portion of 2005-2006 seasons production for export to USA for the period from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006 is allocated. This enhances the preferential Raw Cane Sugar Tariff Rate Quota from 9,050 MTs to 11,100 MTs for export to USA.

PUBLIC NOTICE NO. 86 (RE-2005)/2004-2009, Dated: January 27, 2006

DGFT amends some description in DEPB rates

Certain amendments in DEPB rate schedule are carried out in the engineering and chemicals products groups and paper.

DGFT PUBLIC NOTICE NO. 85/2005, Dated: January 27, 2006

Authority for Advance Rulings launches web site

The Authority for Advance Rulings for Income Tax has launched its web site yesterday. You can access the site at . The Customs and Central Excise wing of the AAR already has a web site - . Both the Authorities are headed by Justice Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India and a tax expert. He holds an LL.M from the University of London with taxation as specialization. When there is a common chairman and hardly any cases in the customs and excise side, what is the point in having two Authorities? They can as well be merged. A proposal to do so is believed to be in the pipeline. Let's wait till April and the news may concretise.

Greek and Latin - DDT's new feature

Todays phrase: ejusdem generis. Of the same kind, class or nature. This concept cannot be understood in isolation. This is related to a few other Latin phrases.

We presume that Parliament chooses words very carefully when it drafts laws. We assume that because they could have used a different word, but didnt, the word not chosen was deliberately excluded. We assume not on whats in front of us, but on what isnt. Cannons of interpretation provide guidelines to the courts to interpret a law when the words are not clear only when they are not clear. There are four main cannons of interpretation:-

1. Ejusdem generis - Where general words follow an enumeration of specific items, the general words are read as applying to other items akin to those specifically enumerated. The Supreme Court of India in the Grasim case - 2002 (141) E.L.T. 593 (S.C.) explained the rule and its applicability.

The rule reflects an attempt to reconcile incompatibility between the specific and general words in view of the other rules of interpretation that all words in a statute are given effect if possible, that a statute is to be construed as a whole and that no words in a statute are presumed to be superfluous. The rule applies only when  

(1)   the statute enumerates the specific words,

(2)   the subjects of enumeration constitute a class or category,

(3)   that class or category is not exhausted by the enumeration,

(4)   the general terms follow the enumeration and

(5)   there is no indication of a different legislative intent.

If the subjects of enumeration belong to a broad based genus, as also to a narrower genus there is no principle that the general words should be confined to the narrower genus.

2. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius - mention of one thing in a statute implies exclusion of another. Also known as The Negative Implication Rule. This rule assumes that the legislature intentionally specified one set of criteria as opposed to the other. Therefore, if the issue to be decided addresses an item not specifically named in the statute, it must be assumed the statute does not apply.

3. Noscitur a sociis - The meaning of questionable or doubtful words or phrases in a statute may be ascertained by reference to the meaning of other words or phrases associated with it. The Supreme Court in the PARDEEP AGGARBATTI case explained the concept as Entries in the Schedules of Sales tax and Excise statutes list some articles separately and some articles are grouped together. When they are grouped together, each word in the Entry draws colour from the other words therein. This is the principle of noscitur a sociis.

4. In pari materia: - Upon the same matter or subject- to determine the meaning of the particular statute, the court should look at surrounding statutes to determine meaning. The idea is that a set of statutes will form a complete subject body, and it is the job of the court to bring a contextual harmonization among the various related statutes like a customs provision being made applicable to Central Excise.

There are a few other minor cannons of interpretation

(1)   Rule of Lenity for Criminal Statutes - Criminal statutes should be construed narrowly

(2)    lex specialis derogat legi generali. - Specific Language Controls over the General

(3)    lex posterior derogat legi priori - Last-in-Time Rule if there are two conflicting laws of equal weight,  he later in time prevails

Some more cannons from judgements -

++ if one interpretation leads to an absurdity and the other does not, the Court will conclude the legislature did not intend to legislate an absurdity and will adopt an interpretation which will not lead to an absurdity

++ As per the accepted cannons of interpretation, the word namely has a meaning quite different from such as or e.g. or the like. The word namely is not illustrative but restricts the scope of the Entry to the articles named therein.

++ It is well recognised principle that in remedial legislations even where two interpretations are possible, one that advances the remedy and suppresses the evil as the legislature envisioned, must find favour with the courts.

++ One of the basic cannons of interpretation of statute is that the Legislature never enacts any provision which may be superfluous or redundant. The Courts are bound to give meaning to the provisions enacted by the Legislature unless, by necessary implication, it is shown that the provision enacted is superfluous.
I was never ruined but twice -- once when I lost a lawsuit, and once when I gained one.


Until tomorrow with more DDT

Have a nice day.

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