MADRAS HC TO LAW PUBLISHERS REGARDING THE AMENDMENTS.5 min read

BY- SHRUTI SHARMA

BACKGROUND ( Law Publishers Amendments )

Although parliament is the one that makes a law, it is the judiciary that interprets them and incorporates them in their judgments. They apply their judicial mind to interpret the language of the various statutes and Acts framed by the legislature. Because there are ambiguity and contradictions, the judiciary plays a key role in providing a better understanding of them through their judgments. The judges provide a more effective meaning to legislations. 

They use the literal approach whereby, they primarily look at the words of the legislation to determine the meaning. The inculcation of the definitive word in the text of the legislation can alter the entire meaning of the provision. Another kind of approach that is much prevalent in India is the purposive approach. Through this, the legislation provides the general provisions and the judges do a further interpretation in various judgments. They rely on the legislations that are provided in the law books for providing effective remedies and judgments. 

When the amendments are made in any legislation, they must also be included in the books of that concerned legislation. Because, based on these amendments made in the legislation, the judgments can take a new aspect. When the new amendments are made, they may add/quash/alter the previous legislation. One such notable example was through the landmark judgment of Shreya Singhal vs.UOI where Section 66A of the IT Act was repealed as being violative of the fundamental rights. This amendment in the IT Act, thus become crucial for future judgments. 

When the amendments are made to any legislation, it becomes the duty of the publishers of the law books to keep the books as per the latest amendments. Because these books, be it bare acts or manuals, are relied upon by the court. The learned advocates, as well as the judges, take reference from these books. Any fault on the part of the publisher may result in the default in the judgment as well. Therefore, the publishers of the law books are requested and reminded time and again by the judiciary to incorporate all the latest amendments in the books. Another judgment in this context is that of In Re: Basant Chandra Gosh where a similar emphasis was put by the judges. 

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CURRENT SCENARIO

In the recent case of A.Ananthakumar vs. Registrar General, Madras HC& others, Rule 14(a)(1) of the Tamil Nadu Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, was misquoted in the law books even though it had been amended with effect from 1954. This created confusion regarding the order of suspension to be made by the superior on their immediate subordinate officer that behaves delinquently. The petitioner in the present case was the junior assistant in a government department, who had moved the petition against his suspension. There were disciplinary proceedings initiated against the petitioner on the accusation of negligence. Upon serving the show-cause notice was issued to him and subsequently, under Rule 17(e) he was placed under a suspension by the District Munsif-cum-Judicial Magistrate. 

The petitioner alleged that the District Munsif-cum-Judicial Magistrate was not the competent authority. Based on the judgment of the case UOI vs. Kunisetty Satyanarayan, it was stated that no writ lied against any show-cause because it does not amount to an adverse order that affects the rights of the parties. Also, relying upon the proviso 3 of Rule 12(2), it was observed that the charges can be framed by the authority immediately on the higher post than the person, in the State Services even if they are not a competent authority to impose any kind of penalty. Therefore, it was held that the show-cause notice was legally issued. 

But subsequently, the bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi & Justice Subramonium Prasad also stated in their order that, the Publishers of the Law books must carefully include the Amendments that have been made to the legislation because the judges might pass the wrong order. Not only would it harm the interest of the parties but also future judgments. The judgment also read that the misquotation of the law in the books causes confusion and also results in the erroneous judgments by the judges. In the present case, the confusion arose with the adjudication of the authority regarding the suspension by a superior officer in the State Services. 

CONCLUSION ( Law Publishers Amendments )

It was noted by the division bench that the Publishers of the Law books must pay additional precautions as to not publish any misquotation or not to miss the Amendments made in any legislation. This leads to a default in the orders made by the judges and leads to an error in the future judgments that rely upon such precedents.  

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