State of Assam vs Binod Kumar 2024 INSC 44 :: [2024] 1 S.C.R. 473 – S 17 Assam Police Act vs Rule 63(iii) Assam Police Manual – Interpretation of Statutes

Assam Police Act, 2007; Section 14(2) -Upheld Gauhati HC judgment that held that Rule 63(iii) of the Assam Police Manual held invalid on the ground that it is in direct conflict with Section 14(2) of the Assam Police Act, 2007 – 1970 Rules/2007 Rules define reporting, reviewing and accepting authorities to mean that they must all be from the same service or department, intervention by the Deputy Commissioner during the exercise of performance assessment of SPs of the districts in the State of Assam, by virtue of Rule 63(iii) of the Manual, cannot be countenanced, being in direct conflict therewith, and would tantamount to permitting the Deputy Commissioner to interfere with the internal organization of the police force, which would be contrary to the mandate of Section 14(2) of the Act of 2007. (Para 26)

Interpretation of Statutes – the words used in a statute must be interpreted in their plain grammatical meaning and it is only when they are capable of two constructions that the question of giving effect to the policy or object of the legislation can legitimately arise. (Para 17)

Interpretation of Statutes – A a statutory provision has to be considered first and foremost as a norm of the current legal system whence it takes force, as it has a legal existence independent of the historical contingencies of its promulgation and should be interpreted in the light of its place within the system of legal norms currently in force. – Referred to Sir Rupert Cross in his ‘Statutory Interpretation (3rd Edition, 1995) and Dharani Sugars and Chemicals Limited vs. Union of India (2019) 5 SCC 480. (Para 12)

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