Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat

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Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat Maximum is used in India. The literal meaning of this legal maxim is that it is better for a thing to have an effect than to be made void, which means that it is better to validate I think instead of invalidating it. A statute is considered to be an authentic repository of legislative will and therefore it is the function of the court to interpret it according to the intent of them that made it. that function of the court has to abide by the maxim Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat as far is the intention of the legislature may go to vain or may even be left to evaporate in thin air[1]. It is the duty of the court to try and avoid that construction which attributes irrationally to the legislature. And hence must obviously Prefer such a construction which renders the statutory provision constitutionally valid instead of making it void[2].

Therefore we can say that the above maxim is primarily a rule of construction which states that construction of a rule should give effect to the rule instead of destroying it. In simple words, in case of a situation where there are two constructions possible from a single provision, of which one renders the provision inoperative while the other give effect to the provision, the latter which gives effect to the provision is adopted and the former is discarded. It usually begins with the presumption in favour of constitutionality and prefers the construction which solely embarks the statute within the domain of competency of the legislature. However, it is also noted that if the presumption of a Constitution fails, then in such a case the statute cannot be rendered operative or valid accordingly. In the landmark case of Indira Sawhney Vs. Union of India and Others.[3], the Supreme Court had struck down the state legislation as it was a violation of the constitution and was ultra-vires of the legislative competency.

In the case of Mark Netto Vs State of Kerala[4], the plaintiff was a manager of the school who on assertation by a Christian community admitted girls to a boys school. When this matter was presented before the district administration they denied the admissions and claimed the refuge under rule 12(3) of chapter 6 of the Kerala Education Bill, 1959. According to the rule, girls can be admitted to secondary schools for boys in areas where there are no girls’ school, in which case adequate arrangement should be made for the necessary convenience. The admissions shall be subject to general permission given by the director of particular boys school which will then be specified by him. A wider application of the aforementioned provision would lead to the inclusion of minorities within the specified rule which would then lead to making the above rule nugatory as there would be a violation of rights conferred upon the minorities under article 30 of the Indian Constitution. The Supreme Court, in this case, observed that the rule with its wide amplitude sanctioning the withholding of permission for the purpose of admission of girl students in the boys’ minorities school is a violation of article 30. If it is widely interpreted it fully crosses the barriers of regulatory measures and enters the region of interference with the administration of the institution, a right that has been guaranteed to the minority under the provisions of article 30. Thus, the rule must be interpreted in a narrow manner.

When it comes to interpreting any provision or law it is very vital to note that there are almost always two interpretations that may arise. One which is ultra vires while the other which is intra vires. According to this maxim, the latter interpretation shall always prevail over the former[5].

While resuming the constitutionality of any problem the words of the provision should not be given any form of unnecessary extension. Since the role is established to gauge the intentions of the legislature in a case where it couldn’t be gauged from the word that are employed by it, thus reading this particular aspect of the rule essentially leads to a claim for ‘textualist’ interpretation or can also be viewed as something imposing a rider on the ‘contextual’ interpretation.

In the case of Dhoom Singh Vs. Prakash Chandra Sethi[6], a petition was filed by Mr. C against Mr. A who had won the elections of legislative assembly from Ujjain North campus constituency. In this case, Mr. A had raised an objection that the annexures of the election petition weren’t signed by the Mr. C, the petitioner. Therefore, the petition does not comply with the mandate set out in section 81(3) of the representation of peoples act and thus is liable to be dismissed under section 86(1) of the same act. Mr. B later made an intervening application during the hearing of petition claiming that Mr. C has willfully colluded with Mr. A and therefore he should not to be impleaded in the proceedings. High Court further dismissed his claims and stated that the provision only speaks regarding the “withdrawal or abatement” and does not provide for “intervention” by third-party. The apex court sentenced a defect in the scheme of the statute and therefore held that the argument in such a situation where “the intention of the legislature that the petition should not fail, by the reason of any collusion or bargain between a successful candidate and the election petition would be frustrated”, was fully repelled on the grounds that there undoubtedly exists a lacuna in the act as it creates the provision for when an election petitioner is allowed to withdraw however does not make a provision regarding if he just refuses to prosecute. Marking the inception of Gold and hitting the culmination of textual interpretation best befits this role. I feel the prominent question, in this case, was whether the new words which are not specified in the statute can be read into the statute under the light of furthering object and the purpose of the statute or not. This reminds me of the discussion regarding contextual interpretation wherein there are two possible methods that are derived from the existing literature. First, where the text takes a primacy and is prioritised over the purpose as well as object. Second, where the purpose and object is prioritised and given primacy over the text. Looking at the judgement of the above cases, we can say that while presuming the legality of any laws/provision no effect shall be given to something which is not clearly set out in the laws/provision itself.

Conclusion The provisions of any statute must be construed in an operative as well as effective manner based on the principle of “Ut Res Magis Valeat Quam Pereat”. There is obviously no doubt that if a statute is absolutely vague and the language is mostly untraceable and somewhat meaningless the statute can be declared void for the vagueness that it carries. The maxim is pressed into service so as to contend that the duty of every court is to constitute the enactment of a provision in such a way so as to implement it for enforcing a taxing law or regulating law. According to this maxim, the courts strongly lean against a construction which reduces the statute to futility and there is a presumption in favour of the constitutionality of the statute.