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Mischief Rule of Interpretation

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HomeBrud.gifInterpretation of StatutesBrud.gifMischief Rule of Interpretation

In the process of interpretation of statutes, English courts do not go into the debates taken up in the Parliament or into the reports of the Law Commissions, the inputs of which are responsible for the formation of the Law. However, Courts of the United States will go into the history of the Act of the Congress.

Mischief Rule or Purposive Construction looks into four aspects in the construction of the Act of the Legislature:

  • What was the law before making the Act?
  • What is the mischief or defect for which the law did not provide?
  • What is the remedy that the Act has provided?
  • What is the reason for the remedy?

This rule highlights the importance of the statute and that the interpretation should promote the remedy and suppress the mischief.

Remedial and welfare statutes are liberally construed so as to extend the operation of the Act.

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

  • State of Bombay Vs Ardeshir Homusji Bhiwandiwala: Court used the Mischief Rule to give a wider meaning to the term 'premises' under Section 2(m) of Factories Act, 1948 to include open spaces as well since salt works are situated upon open lands.

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

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