Day-Fraction

There can be no doubt, the principle which appears to have evolved over a period of time is, the law frowns upon determining a day with reference to its fractions. The principle, ‘fractions of the day’ are eschewed from consideration, is not a universal principle which knows no exceptions.

Clearly the context and the purpose of the statute guide the Court in holding, the law disregards fractions. It must be noted even then, the ‘fractions of the day’ are to be disregarded as far as possible.

Hon’ble Justice K.M. Joseph, Union of India v. G.S. Chatha Rice Mills, [Civil Appeal No. 3249 of 2020].

The decisions to which a reference has been made, have construed the expression ‘day’ or, as the case may be, ‘date’ in varying contexts ranging from the law governing elections, insurance and limitation. A general position in law has not been laid down that is divorced from subject, context and statute. In interpreting the statute, the Court is guided by the terms of its provisions, the purpose underlying their adoption and the scheme which emerges from interrelated provisions and the nature of the provision.

Legislature does not always say everything on the subject. When it enacts a law, every conceivable eventuality which may arise in the future may not be present to the mind of the lawmaker; legislative silences create spaces for creativity; between interstices of legislative spaces and silences, the law is shaped by the robust application of common sense.

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Union of India v. G.S. Chatha Rice Mills, [Civil Appeal No. 3249 of 2020].