Backdrop of Dominant Purpose II

It is more than well-­settled, Court has to avoid interpretations which will result in a head-­on clash between two Sections of an Act. One provision has to be construed with reference to other provisions, so as to make a consistent enactment.

Mahadeo Prasad Bais (Dead) v. Income­-Tax Officer ‘A’ Ward, Gorakhpur, (1991) 4 SCC 560 held, an interpretation, which will result in anomaly or absurdity, should be avoided. It has been held, at times, circumstances justify a slight straining of language so as to avoid a meaningless anomaly.

Lord Denning in Seaford Court Estates Ltd. v. Asher, (1949) 2 All ER 155, 164 said thus: “A Judge should ask himself the question how, if the makers of the Act had themselves come across this ruck in the texture of it, they would have straightened it out? He must then do as they would have done. A Judge must not alter the material of which the Act is woven, but he can and should iron out the creases.”

Court should not always cling to literal interpretations and should endeavor to avoid unjust or absurd results. To make sense out of an unhappily worded provision, ‘some’ violence to language is also permissible.

Hon’ble Justice B.R. Gavai, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation v. Sanjay Gajanan Gharat, [Civil Appeal No. 2643 of 2022].