In order to study the classification of a statue one must know what is the
statue and then its classification etc. Black LAW Dictionary defines the term
'statues' as a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs
a country, state, or city. The constitution of India does not define the term
statute. Instead, it uses the term "Law". The term law is defined in art. 13(3)
(a) as including any ordinances, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification,
custom, or usage having the force of law. It would be appropriate to say that
statute is the will of the Indian Legislature. Indian statute is the act of
Central or state legislature.
Statues also include laws passed by Provincial Legislature in Pre- Independence
days as well as Regulations. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they
are distinguished from case law or precedent, which is decided by courts and
regulations issued by government agencies. The term statute is also used to
refer to an international treaty that establishes an institution, such as the
Statute of the European Central Bank, or a
protocol to the international courts as well, such as the Statute of the
International Court of Justice and the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court. A statute is also another word for law. The term was adapted
from England in about the 18th century. A statue may be classified with
reference to its duration, nature of the operation, object, and extent of
Classification with reference to duration such a mode classifies a statue as:
- Temporary statue.
- Permanent statue.
A temporary statute is one where its period of operation and validity
have been fixed by the statute itself. Such an act continues in force unless
repealed earlier, until the time so fixed. After the expiry of the act if the
legislature wishes to continue it a new enactment is required. The Finance act
is a temporary act and is required to be passed every year. Whereas a
permanent statue is one where no such period has been mentioned but this does
not make the statute is unchangeable but such statute may be amended or repealed
by another act.
Classification with reference to a method such mode classifies a statue as:
- Mandatory, Imperative or Obligatory statute.
- Directory or permissive statute.
A mandatory statute is one that compels the performance of certain things
or compels that certain things must be done in a certain manner or form.
A directory statue merely directs or permits a thing to be done without
compelling its performance. In some cases, the conditions or forms prescribed by
statute have been regarded as essential to the act or thing regulated by it and
their omission has been held fatal to its validity. In others such prescriptions
been considered as mere directory, the neglect of them involving nothing more
than a liability to a penalty if any were imposed, for breach of enactment2.In H.V.
Kamath v. Ahmad Ishaque3 it was held that mandatory provisions have to be
strictly observed whereas substantial compliance with a directory provision is
Classification with reference to an object:A statute may be classified with reference to its object as:
- Codifying Statute
A codifying statute is one that codifies the law, or in other words which
purports to state exhaustively the whole of law upon a specific subject. The
code contains the pre-existing provisions in the different statutes on the
subject as well as the
common law on it. For instance, the Bill of Exchange Act 1882 in England is
an act to codify the law relating to Bills of Exchange, Cheques, and Promissory
The Hindu Succession act 1956 is a codifying statute with respect to
succession among Hindus. The foremost purpose of the codifying statute is
to prevent is to present an orderly and authoritative statement of the leading
rules of the law on a given subject whether those rules are to be found in a
statute or common law.4
- Consolidating Statute.
A consolidating statute is one that consolidates the law on a particular subject
in one place; it collects all statutory enactments on a specific subject and
gives them the shape of one statute with minor amendments if necessary. For
example, in England, the Law of Property act 1925which consolidates the acts of
1922 and 1924 is a consolidating act. Similarly in Australia the New South Wales
Justice act,1902 is a consolidating act. In India the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1974 consolidates statute relating to criminal procedure. A
consolidating statute may not be a mere complication of an earlier statute.
purpose of consolidating an act is to present the whole body of statutory law in
a subject in a complete from repealing the earlier acts, However, a
consolidating act may not be a mere complication of
- Declaratory statute.
It is a statute that removes doubts either in the common law or statutory law
or in the statutory law. The passing of a declaratory statute becomes desirable
when certain expressions in common law or statutes are being misunderstood. This
may happen, for instance where the courts have been interpreting a particular
expression as connoting a specific meaning which the legislature feels is a
wrong notion of the expression. In such cases, the legislature may pass a
statute declaring the correct meaning of that expression.
In the case of
The Central Bank of India v. Their Workman5, It was held that a declaratory
statute contains a preamble and also the word declared as well as the word
enacted. The mere use of the expression it is hereby declared does not
necessarily make the statute a declaratory statute. In India, the Income Tax
(Amendment) Act, 1985 which added an explanation2 to section 40 of the Income
Tax Act, 1961 and the Finance Act, 1987 amending the definition of "Owner of
house property" in section 27 are declaratory acts.
- Remedial statute.
A remedial is one whereby a new favor or a new remedy is conferred. The
main object of passing such a statute is to make improvements in the enforcement
of one's rights or for the redress of wrongs and remove defects or mistakes in
the former law. Some illustrations of remedial statutes are the Maternity
Benefits Act, 1961and the Workmen's compensation act 1923. In remedial acts, the
words "for remedy whereof" have been used immediately before the language of the
The Central Bank of India v. Their Workman, AIR 1960 SC 12enactment.
Blackstone holds the view that remedial statutes could be enlarging as well as
The acts could be enlarging when narrow common law was widened or
restraining when existing common law right was cut down. In Central Railway
Workshop, Jhansi v. Vishwanath,6 it was held that all the legislations in a
welfare state are enacted with the object of promoting the general welfare, but
certain types of enactments are more responsive to some urgent social demands
and also have a more immediate and visible impact on social vices by operating
more directly to achieve social reforms.
- Enabling statute.
According to Craies, "many statutes have been passed to enable something to
be done which was previously forbidden by law, with or without prescribing the
way it is to be done. An enabling statute is one that enlarges the common law
it is narrow. It makes doing something lawful which would not be
otherwise lawful. In Bidi, Bidi Leaves and Tobacco Merchants Association v.
State of Bombay7 , it was held that by an enabling act the legislature enables
be done. It empowers at the same time by necessary implications to do
the indispensable things for carrying out the object of the legislature.
conditions which have been put by an enabling act for the public good must be
compiled as they are indispensable. Section 49-A (1) and 49-A (2) of the
Advocates act 1961 as amended by act 21 of 1964 is an example of enabling act.
- Disabling statute.
A disabling statute is one that restricts or cuts down a right conferred by the
common law. An act restraining a common law right is a disabling act.
- Penal Statute.
A penal statute is one that punishes certain acts or wrongs. Such Statute may be
in the form of a comprehensive criminal code or a large number of
sections providing punishment for different wrongs for example - Criminal
Code, Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Food Adulteration act, 9154, Arms
The penalty for disobedience may be in the form of a fine, forfeiture
of property, imprisonment, death sentence, etc. Where the obedience to the law
is enforced not by an individual action but by a command of the law in the
form of punishment the statute is penal. A penalty can be imposed only when the
letter of the law says so unambiguously and any doubt has to be resolved in
favor of the alleged offender.
- Taxing Statute
According to Lord Halsbury and Lord Simonds stated, "The subject is not to
be taxed without clear words for that purpose; and also that every Act of
Parliament must be read according to the natural construction of its words."
A taxing statute is one that imposes taxes on income or certain other kinds
of transactions. It may be in the form of income tax, wealth tax, sales tax,
gifts tax, etc. It is a source of revenue generation for the state. The money so
collected is utilized for the welfare of the people. Tax can be levied only when
a statute unequivocally so provides by using express language to that effect and
any doubts are resolved in favor of the assessee.
- Explanatory Statute.
An explanatory statute is one that explains a law. In Keshavlal v.
Mohanlal8, it was held that an explanatory statute is enacted with the view to
supply an apparent omission or to clarify ambiguity as to the meaning of an
expression used in the previous statute. An act enacted for the express purpose
of explaining or clearing the doubts as to the meaning of a previous Act is an
act of explanation or an explanatory statute. For instance, the Royal Mines Act,
1688 in Britain was passed to encourage the mining of certain base metals with
Royal Mines act 1963 was enacted for a better explanation of the earlier act.
The latter is an example of an explanatory statute.
- Amending Statute.
An amending statute is one that makes an addition to or operates to change the
original law so as to effect an improvement therein or to more effectively carry
out the purpose for which the original law was passed.9 An amending statute
cannot be called a repealing statute. It is a part of law it amends. Direct
Taxes Amendments act 1974; Direct Taxes Amendments acts 1986, Land Acquisition
(amendments) 1984 are examples of amending statute.
- Repealing Statute.
A repealing statute is one that repeals an earlier statute. This revocation
or termination may be the express or explicit language of the statute or it may
be necessary implications also. For example The Hyderabad District
Act, 1956 was a repealing act that repealed the Hyderabad Municipal and Town
Committees Act 1951.
- Curative or validating Statute.
A curative or validating statute is one that is passed to cure defects in prior
law or to validate legal proceedings, instruments, or acts of public and private
administrative authorities that in the absence of such an act would be void for
want of conformity with existing legal requirements but which would have
been valid if the statute had so provided at the time of enacting.10 A
validating legislation normally contains the expression notwithstanding any
judgment, decree, or order of any court. The purpose is just to validate some
actions which would otherwise be unlawful or which may have been declared
invalid by a court.
In Amarendra Kumar Mohapatra and others v. State of Orissa and
others11. The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India with respect to articles
254, 254, and 50 of the constitution while adjudication of rights is
essentially a judicial function, the power to validate an invalid law or to
legalize an illegal action is within the exclusive province of the
legislature. Exercise of that power by the legislature is not therefore
an encroachment on the judicial power of the court.
But when the validity of such validation act is in question the Court would
have to carefully examine the law and determine whether:
- The vice of invalidity that rendered the action rule, proceedings
or action invalid has been cured by the validating legislation,
- Whether the legislature was competent to validate the act action
proceedings or rule declared invalid in the previous judgments and
- Ehether such validation is consistent with the rights guaranteed in part
III of the constitution. It is only when the answer to three questions is in
the affirmative that the validation act can be held to be effective.
To conclude the above-mentioned it would be appropriate that each and
every statute has its specifications and are enacted for the welfare of the
citizens. The biggest statute governs our country and portrays the adequate
standard of living as well as provides remedies to approach to Hon'ble Supreme
Court of India whenever there is a violation of fundamental rights i.e. basic
rights guaranteed to each and every citizen of India without any discrimination
is our Constitution of India the most important thing is that all the laws are
interconnected with the Constitution of India whenever a statue is being
prepared in India by the legislature the foremost thing which is inscribed in
the minds of the legislature that the statute which they are preparing does not
violative provisions mentioned in the constitution of India otherwise it be
There must be a nexus between the Indian constitution and that particular
statute in order to get it implemented in India and the very same thing applies
to pre -pre-constitutional, customs, etc. If anything is contrary to the
pre-constitution to the constitution of India it will be declared
The very unique feature of our constitution is that there are doctrines and
tests mentioned in art.13 & art.14 of the C.O.I on which a new law or an old
custom is tested even if there is the slightest possibility of violation of
fundamental rights. They are the doctrine of severability, eclipse, waiver,
territorial nexus, and test of intelligible differentia mentioned in art.14 of
the Indian constitution, and also there is a test popularly known as the test of
proportionality being implemented by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India to check
the law in its cases whenever there is a violation and the law is contrary to
the fundamental rights.
- Black Henry Campbell (1990), Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition.
- Maxwell, Interpretation of Statutes, Twelfth Edition, p.314.
- AIR 1955 SC 233.
- Haksbury, Laws if England, 3rd Vol.36, p. 366
- The Central Bank of India v. Their Workman, AIR 1960 SC 12
- Central Railway Workshop, Jhansi v. Vishwanath, AIR 1970 SC 488
- AIR 1962 SC 486
- AIR 1968 SC 1336.
- Crawford ,Statutory Construction, p.11
- Sutherland , Statutory Construction, Volume 2
- AIR 2014 SC 1716.
- Interpreting Statutes - D. Neil Macormick And Rober S.Summers.
- The Interpretation of Statutes - Prof. T Bhattacharya Eleventh Edition
- Syed Zainul Hasan Rizvi -Vth Year Law Student of Unity P.G. and
Law College Lucknow.
- Simran Jamal - IVth Year Law Student of Babu Banarsi Das