The Rule of Harmonious Construction

Law has an important place as a representative for social evolution. In this democratic system of governance, there are many intersections between legal order and social evolution. The source of the law in legislation is called statute law. It is made very fast, definite and does not have to wait for identification by the courts. The courts acknowledge a statute because it is law; it is merely not law because the courts recognize it. The cause for uncertainty of legislation is the basic nature of language. It is not always likely to perfectly turn the real intend of the legislation into written words. The ability to adopt the language inevitably means that there will be equally good or unconvincing arguments for both competing interpretation. Many of times the provisions are having more than one meaning or the uncertainty in the language. The legislature becomes functus officio when after enacting the statues. The interpreters cannot revert back to the legislature and ask the exact meaning of the statute because the legislators would not have take up such a wide variety of conditions while making any particular statute. Thus it is totally depend on the Judges to interpret such provisions to make both effective. To avoid further uncertainty, the legislation has provided us with some of the primary rules of interpretations. Harmonious Construction is one of the most significant rules where it is said that if the two or more or more than two provisions of the same act are conflicting with each other then it must be interpreted in such a manner that effect should be given to both, and the provision which has a wider concept will always prevail.

When there is a conflict or inconsistent between two or more provisions or two or more parts of a statute then the rule of harmonious construction is implemented. This rule follows a very simple theory that each and every statute has a purpose and intent as per the law and should be read as a whole. The interpretation should be adopted when all of the provisions are consistent. In the case in which it is totally impossible to harmonize both the provisions, the court’s decision regarding the provision shall prevail. Harmonious rule brings harmony among the various lists referred to in Schedule 7 of Constitution of India. (The 3 Lists of Legislation – Union list, State list, and Concurrent List). This doctrine follows a settled rule that an interpretation that results in hardship, injustice, inconvenience and anomaly should be avoided. The interpretation with the nearest compliance to justice must be picked.

Harmonious Construction has helped Judges to interpret between two conflicting laws easily and has proved easily in providing the justice to society at large. This does not mean that judicial interpretations always thought to be the true and as per the intention of the legislation. More but not the less their interpretation power has given a space for their own ideas to flourish. Although they in most of the cases they gave their best to bring sense out of miserably worded statute. The legislative inability to anticipate all conceivable future scenarios is understandable, and hence it is the task of the judiciary to make existing laws practical by rational interpretations. Judges must control themselves from their own thoughts and philosophy which affects the judgment and many a times they end up in making of new laws. Filling up of such space will ensure that the interpretation by judiciary in the future will produce fruit bearing results for all.