The Doctrine of Contemporanea Expositio II

Doctrine of Contemporanea Expositio is applied as a guide to the interpretation of a statute or even document by referring to the exposition that the same had received from competent authority at the relevant point of time. An exposition standing for a long length of time is considered to be a law settled and is applied as such. As regards the contemporaneous construction placed by Administrative or Executive Officers charged with executing statute, the Courts lean in favour of attaching considerable weight to the same but, it cannot be laid down that the understanding is always fait accompli and has to be applied even if erroneous. Such has never been the intent of the Doctrine of Contemporanea Expositio nor could such a result be countenanced. If a construction is found to be clearly wrong or erroneous, the same deserves to be disregarded.”

Hon’ble Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, M/s. Ultratech Cement Ltd. v. State of Rajasthan, [Civil Appeal No. 2773 of 2020].