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STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION REVIEWER (2) There is an ambiguity in the law involved

- there is ambiguity when there is doubtfulness,


doubleness of meaning, duplicity, indistinctiveness, or
CHAPTER ONE uncertainty of meaning of an expression used in a
written instrument.
 Statutory Construction
- (shortened) The art of determining the (3) The party filing must be the proper party in interest

intention of the legislature in passing the law


(4) There must be a prayer for the resolution of the
and applying it to a given set of facts.
controversy
- (book) The art or process of
discovering and expounding the meaning and The duty of the court is to apply the law. When the law is
intention of the authors of the law with respect clear and unequivocal, the Court has no other alternative
to its application to a given case, where that but to apply the law and not to interpret it (Verba Legis).
intention is rendered doubtful, among others, by The Court cannot shy away from applying the law when
reason of the fact that the given case is not no interpretation is needed no matter how harsh the law
explicitly provided for in the law. may be (Dura Lex Sed Lex).

Illustrative Case:
 Construction
- the drawing of conclusions with Lito Corpuz v. People of the Philippines
respect to subjects that are beyond the direct
expression of the text from elements known and ISSUE: WON the court can adjust the penalties provided
given in the text under the law to prevent injustice.

HELD: No. There seems to be a perceived injustice


 Interpretation
brought about by the range of penalties that the courts
- the process of discovering the true
continue to impose on crimes against property
meaning of the language used
committed today, based on the amount of damage
measured by the value of money eighty years ago in
(The purpose of construction and interpretation
1932 (ART 5 of RPC). This Court cannot modify the
is to ascertain and give effect to the legislative
said range of penalties because that would constitute
intent.)
judicial legislation. What the legislature’s perceived
failure in amending the penalties provided for in the said
 Legislative
crimes cannot be remedied through this Court’s
- legislative power is vested in the
decisions, as that would be encroaching upon the power
Congress of the Philippines, which shall
of another branch of the government.
consist of a Senate and a House of
Representatives. Verily, the primordial duty of the Court is merely to
- makes the law apply the law in such a way that it shall not usurp
legislative powers by judicial legislation and that in
 Executive the course of such application or construction, it
- executive power is vested in the should not make or supervise legislation, or under
President of the Philippines the guise of interpretation, modify, revise, amend,
- executes the law distort, remodel, or rewrite the law, or give the law a
construction which is repugnant to its terms. The
 Judiciary Court should shy away from encroaching upon the
- judicial power is vested in one Supreme primary function of a co-equal branch of the
Court and in such lower courts as may Government; otherwise, this would lead to an
be established by law inexcusable breach of the doctrine of separation of
- interprets the law powers by means of judicial legislation.

Duty of the Court to Construe and Interpret the Law; ----------------------------------------------------------


Requisites:

(1) There must be an actual case or controversy

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Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals People of the Philippines v. Patricio Amigo

ISSUE: WON the land registration court can validly FACTS: Accused-appellant Amigo was charged and
confirm and register the title of private respondents in convicted of murder by the RTC Davao City and was
sentenced to the penalty of reclusion perpetua. He
the absence of publication in a newspaper of general
claims that the penalty is too cruel and harsh as a
circulation.
penalty and pleads for sympathy.

HELD: No. the law used the term “shall” in prescribing


HELD: Courts are not the forum to plead for sympathy.
the work to be done by the Commissioner of Land
The duty of the Courts is to apply, disregarding their
Registration upon latter’s receipt of the court order
feeling of sympathy or pity for an accused. Dura lex sed
setting the time for initial hearing. The said word
lex. The remedy is elsewhere – clemency from the
denotes an imperative and thus indicates the mandatory
executive or an amendment of the law by the

character of a statute. While concededly such literal legislative –but surely at this point, this Court cannot

import ultimately depends upon its context in the entire but apply the law.

provision, we hold that in the present case the term must


Hermeneutics is the science or art of construction and
be understood in its normal mandatory meaning.
interpretation.

When the law is clear, it is not susceptible of


The kinds of Hermeneutics, as classified by Dr. Lieber, are
interpretation. It must be applied regardless of who
the following:
may be affected, even if the law may be harsh or
erroneous.  Close Interpretation
- interpreting the text in its narrowest
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meaning, also known as the literal interpretation.
Secretary of the Department of Public Works and  Extensive Interpretation
Highways and District Engineer Celestino R. - adopts a more comprehensive
Contreras v. Sps. Heracleo and Ramon Tecson signification of the words, also called the liberal
interpretation.
ISSUE: WON just compensation should be based on the  Extravagant Interpretation
value of the property at the time of the taking. - substitutes a meaning beyond the true
one. It is not genuine interpretation.
HELD: Yes. In the previous similar cases, just
 Free or Unrestricted Interpretation
compensation due respondents-movants in this case
- proceeds simply on the general
should, therefore, be fixed not as the time of payment
principles of interpretation in good faith, not
but at the time of taking in 1940 which is P.070 per
bound by any superior principle.
square meter and not P1,500.00 per square meter, as
 Limited Interpretation
valued by the RTC and CA.
- influenced by other principles
Equity and equitable principles only come into full play  Predestined Interpretation
when a gap exists in the law and jurisprudence. The first - happens if the interpreter makes the
fundamental duty of the Court is to apply the law. text subservient to his preconceived views and
desires.
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People of the Philippines v. Mario Mapa


CHAPTER TWO
ISSUE: WON the appointment to and holding of the
position of a secret agent would constitute a sufficient - A statute starts with a bill. A "bill" is a draft of a
defense to a prosecution for the crime of illegal proposed law. It becomes an "act" once it has been
possession of firearm and ammunition. acted on and passed by the legislature. It then becomes
a statute, or the written will of the legislature.
HELD: No. No provision is made for a secret agent. As
such, he is not exempt. The duty of the Courts is to How a Bill becomes a Law:
apply the law disregarding their feeling of sympathy
or pity for the accused. (a) A member of the National Assembly may introduce
the proposed bill who will schedule it for the first
---------------------------------------------------------- reading.

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(b) First reading - the bill is read by its number and title comprehensive enough as to include the general object,
only. which the statute seeks to effect. The Court has
invariably adopted a liberal rather than technical
(c) After the first reading, the bill is referred to the
construction of the rule “so as not to cripple or impede
Speaker for study. The appropriate committee will call all
legislation.”
necessary parties to get their reaction regarding the
proposed bill. If there is an unfavorable report, then the ----------------------------------------------------------
bill is dead.
II. No bill passed by either House shall become a law
(d) Upon favorable action, it is calendared for the second unless it has passes three (3) readings on separate days,
reading. and printed copies of it in its final form has been
distributed to each member.
(e) In the second reading, the bill is read in its entirety.
+ Reason for "three readings" and "no amendment.":
(f) Immediately after, the bill is open for debates where
members can propose amendments and insertions to - This rule is designed to prevent hasty and improvident
the proposed bill. legislation and afford the legislators time to study and
deliberate the measures.
(g) The bill is then printed in its final form and
distributed to the members of the National Assembly. (The only exception is when the President certifies the
necessity of the immediate enactment of the bill to meet
(h) The bill is scheduled for the final reading. At this
a public calamity or emergency)
stage, no amendments are allowed. The title of the bill is
read and they all vote on the bill. III. The executive approval and the veto power of the
President is the third requirement. It is mandatory.
(i) After the bill is passed, it is submitted to the President
for approval. If approved, he will sign it. If not, he vetoes - Every bill passed by the Congress shall be presented to
it and returns it with amendments. If approved by 2/3 of the President. If he approves, he will sign it. If not, he
the members, it becomes a law. vetoes it, returning it to its original house, where it will
become a law if two-thirds approve of the bill and its
Constitutional Test in the Passage of a Bill
amendments.

- There are limitations in the enactment of a statute such


as no ex post facto law or bill of attainder must be
enacted. But here are the three very important Parts of a Statute: TPEBRSSE
constitutional requirements:
(a) Title
I. Every bill passed by Congress shall embrace only
(b) Preamble
one subject which shall be expressed in the title
thereof (Art. VI, Sec. 26 (1), 1987 Constitution) (c) Enacting Clause

Illustrative Case:
(d) Body

Remman Enterprises, Inc. v. PRBRES and PRC (e) Repealing Clause

ISSUE: WON RA 9646 is unconstitutional for being (f) Saving Clause


violative of the “one title-one subject” rule under Article
VI, Section 26 (1) of the Philippine Constitution. (g) Separability Clause

HELD: No. the Court ruled that the one-subject (h) Effectivity Clause
requirement under the Constitution is satisfied if all the
parts of the statute are related, and are germane to the
subject matter expressed in the title, or as long as they Kinds of Statutes:
are not inconsistent with or foreign tot the general
subject and title. An act having a single general subject, (a) General Law - affects the community at large
indicated on the title, may contain numerous provisions,
(b) Special Law - designed for a particular purpose
not matter how diverse they may be, so long as they are
not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject. (c) Local Law - operates over a particular locality only
The rule is sufficiently complied with if the title is
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(d) Public Law - a general classification of law, consisting  Ordinance
generally of constitutional, administrative, criminal, and - An ordinance is an act passed by the
international law. May be general, local, or special. local legislative body in the exercise of its law-
making authority. A local law.
(e) Private Law - defines, regulates, enforces, and
administers relationships among individuals, Tests of valid ordinance:
associations, and corporations
(1) It must not contravene the Constitution or any statute
(f) Remedial Statute - a statute providing means to
redress wrongs and obtain relief (2) It must not be unfair or oppressive

(g) Curative Statute - retrospective legislation which (3) It must not be partial or discriminatory
operates upon past events, acts, or transactions in order
(4) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade
to correct them and to render valid and effective many
attempted acts which would have been ineffective. (5) It must be general and consistent with public policy

(h) Penal Statute - defines criminal offenses and specifies (6) It must not be unreasonable
corresponding fines and punishments
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(i) Prospective Law - applicable only to cases which shall
arise after its enactment  Role of Foreign Jurisprudence:

(j) Retrospective Law - made to affect acts occurring - When a foreign law was not properly
before it came into force pleaded or proved, the presumption of identity
or similarity, otherwise known as the processual
(k) Affirmative Statute - directs the doing of an act or presumption, comes into play. The presumption
declares what shall be done in contrast to a negative is that foreign law is the same to ours.
statute that prohibits a thing from being done
Illustrative Case:
(l) Mandatory Statute - characterized by "shall". They
require, not merely permit, a course of action. Norma Socorro v. Ernst Johan Van Wilsem

FACTS: Petitioner and respondent were married and had


a child. They separated when the son, Roderigo, was only
 Judicial Doctrine 18 months old. Thereafter, Petitioner and son went home
to the Philippines.
- establishes the contemporaneous
legislative intent that the interpreted law carried Even though respondent made promises to provide
into effect. monthly support, he failed to do so ever since petitioner
and son arrived at the Philippines.
 Express Repeal
- the abrogation or annulling of a ISSUE: WON a foreign national has an obligation to
previously existing law by the enactment of a support his minor child under Philippine law.
subsequent statute which declares that the
HELD: Yes. Even though respondent argues that Dutch
former law shall be revoked and abrogated.
law governs him given he is a Netherland national when
it comes to laws on the matter of provision and capacity
 Implied Repeal
to support, the fact that he was unable to properly prove
- happens when later statute containing
this means that the Court will rule under the doctrine of
provisions so contrary to or irreconcilable with
processual presumption. Therefore, in the case at bar, he
those of the earlier law that only one of the two
is obliged to support his child and risk being penalized if
statues can stand in force.
he does not comply, as stated under Philippine Laws.
+ Article 7 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides:
"Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones and their
violation or non-observance shall not be excused by
disuse, or custom or practice to the contrary."

4
CHAPTER THREE to explain, but instead of explaining, respondent filed a
case against petitioner for illegal suspension, illegal
 Legislative Intent dismissal, and etc.
- The object of all interpretation and
construction of statutes is to ascertain the After hearing, Labor Arbiter ordered petitioner company
meaning and intention of the legislature, to the to reinstate respondent and pay her full back-wages and
end that the same may be enforced. other benefits, and moral damages. Petitioners appealed.

Illustrative Case: HELD: In the case at bar, the law is on the side of the
private respondent. In the first place, the wording of the
Socorro Ramirez v. Hon. Court of Appeals and Ester Labor Code is clear and unambiguous: "An employee
Garcia who is unjustly dismissed from work shall be entitled to
reinstatement... and to his full backwages." Again, if the
FACTS: A civil case for damages was filed by petitioner
law is clear, there is no need for interpretation.
after being berated and humiliated by respondent in
respondent's office. In support of her claim, she
produced a verbatim transcript based on a tape
recording made by the petitioner.  Statutes as a Whole
- Legislative Intent must be ascertained
In retaliation, respondent filed a criminal case against from a consideration of the statute as a whole
Ramirez for violation of RA 4200, or the "Anti Wire- and not merely of a particular provision. A
Tapping Act." Upon arraignment, Ramirez files a Motion general provision may actually have a limited
to Quash, stating that as one of the parties of the application if read together with other
conversation, she is not violating the law by recording provisions.
the conversation. - In interpreting a statute, care should
be taken that every part be given effect.
ISSUE: WON RA 4200 applies to taping of a private
conversation by one of the parties to a conversation. - Ut res magis valem quam pereat -
construction is to be sought which gives effect to the
HELD: Yes. The law makes no distinction as to whether
whole of the statute--its every word.
the party sought to be penalized is part of the
conversation or not. It is covered under the word "any." ----------------------------------------------------------

See: Section 1 of RA 4200, "It shall be unlawful for any  Spirit and Purpose of the Law
person, not being authorized by all parties to any private - When the interpretation of a statute according
communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, to the exact and literal import of its words would lead to
or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly absurd or mischievous consequences, it should be
overhear, intercept, or record such communication or construed according to its spirit and reason, disregarding
spoken word by using a device commonly known as a or modifying the strict letter of the law if necessary.
dictaphone or dictagraph or detectaphone or walkie-
talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described." Illustrative Case:

---------------------------------------------------------- Elena and Bernardino Salenillas v. Hon. Court of


Appeals
 Verba Legis
- If the nature of the statute is clear, FACTS: Sps. Enciso were grantees of free patent. They
plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given sold their land to their daughter, Elena Salenillas. The
its literal meaning and applied without petitioners mortgaged the property as security for a
interpretation. loan. upon failure of payment, in pursuant to Act No.
3135, the property was sold at a private auction.

Illustrative Case: It was bought by William Guerra. When the property was
to be placed in the possession of private respondent,
Globe-Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation v. NLRC petitioners refused to move and surrender possession of
and Imelda Salazar the lot; but instead offered to repurchase it.

FACTS: Petitioner GMCR placed private respondent ISSUE: WON petitioners have the right to repurchase
under preventive suspension for one month, asking her the contested property.

5
HELD: Yes. The petitioners can repurchase the contested FACTS: Respondent was charged of violation of
property, for Sec. 119 of the Public Land Act specifies Section 54 of the Revised Election Code in
that “every conveyance of land acquired under the free Pangasinan.
patent or homestead provisions, when proper shall be
subject to repurchase by the applicant. ISSUE: WON a justice of the peace is included in
the prohibition of Section 54 of the REC.
----------------------------------------------------------
HELD: Yes. Although respondent claims that due to
 Implications
the omission of the term "justice of peace" in the
- Though it may not need to shut out
every other conclusion, it must be one, which, REC from the previous Sec. 449 of the RAC, they are
under all circumstances is compelled by a not prohibited anymore, the SC says that it was not
reasonable view of the statute, and the contrary omitted at all, but merely replaced by a general
of which would be improbable or absurd. term. The rule of casus omissus can operate and
Although it is not explicitly stated as part of the apply only if and when the omission has been
law, it is included nonetheless. clearly established.
+ Doctrine of necessary implications: what is implied ----------------------------------------------------------
in a statute is as much a part thereof as that which is
expressed.  Stare Decisis
- The policy of courts to stand by
Illustrative Case:
precedent and not disturb settled points.
Lydia Chua v. Civil Service Commission, National When a court has once laid down a principle
Irrigation Administration of law as applicable to a certain state of
facts, it will adhere to that principle, and
FACTS: Republic Act 6683 was approved, providing for
apply it to all future cases where facts are
the early retirement of government officials. Chua filed
an application but was denied by the NIA. They contend substantially the same.
that this was because petitioner had a co-terminous
Illustrative Case:
(contractual) employment.
Rommel C. Arnado v. Commission on Elections and
ISSUE: WON petitioner's status as co-terminous
Florante Capitan
employee is excluded from the benefits of RA No. 6683.
FACTS: Petitioner Arnado was a PH-born citizen but lost
HELD: No. A co-terminous employee is a non-career civil
his citizenship after he was naturalized in the US.
servant, like casual and emergency employees. It will be
Subsequently, in his plans to run for public office in the
noted that RA 6683 expressly extends its benefits for
Philippines, Arnado applied for repatriation under RA
early retirement to regular, temporary, casual and
9225. He took an oath and he executed an Affidavit of
emergency employees. The legislature would not have
Renunciation of his foreign citizenship. His opponents
made a specific enumeration in a statute had not the
filed a petition for his disqualification on the grounds
intention been to restrict its meaning and confine its
that he remained a US citizen because he was still using
terms and benefits to those expressly mentioned.
his US passport upon entry and exit from the Philippines,
---------------------------------------------------------- even after executing his affidavit.

 Casus Omissus While the case was pending, he ran and eventually won.
- When a statute makes specifics provisions in This happened twice, on 2010 and 2013.
regard to several enumerated cases or objects,
ISSUE: WON the doctrine laid down in Maquiling case is
but omits to make any provision for a case or
applicable.
object which is analogous to those enumerated.
HELD: The petition is without merit. The circumstances
Illustrative Case:
surrounding the qualification of Arnado to run for public
People of the Philippines v. Guillermo Manantan office on both years are the same. The doctrine of
Maquiling, therefore, is binding on and applicable to this
case following the doctrine of stare decisis.

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+ Doctrine of Maquiling - using a US/foreign passport delivered by the petitioner to private responded at
after you have executed an Affidavit of Renunciation is a Makati.
voluntary decision to undo your affidavit.
Petitioner contends that the check in question was
drawn against the dollar account of petitioner with a
foreign bank and therefore not covered by BP 22.
CHAPTER FOUR
HELD: It will be noted that the law does not distinguish
 When the law does not distinguish, courts the currency of the check. The mere issuance of the
should not distinguish (ubi lex non distinguit check already violates BP 22. Where the law does not
noc nos distinguere debomos) make any exception, courts may not except something
- General words and phrases in a statute unless compelling reasons exist to justify it.
should ordinarily be accorded their natural and
general significance. Courts are not allowed to ----------------------------------------------------------
distinguish where the law makes no distinction.
 General and Special terms
Illustrative Case: - General terms in a statute are to
receive a general construction, unless restrained
Juanito Pilar v. Commission on Elections by the context or by plain inferences. Special
terms in a statute may sometimes be expanded
FACTS: Petitioner filed his candidacy on March 22, 1992.
to a general signification by the consideration
On March 25, he withdrew his certificate of candidacy.
that the reason of the law is general.
The COMELEC imposed upon petitioner the fine of
10,000 for failure to file his statement of contributions Illustrative Case:
and expenditures.
Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Inc. v. Hon. Pedro M.
Petitioner argues that he cannot be held liable for failure Gimenez as Auditor General
to file a SCE because he was a non-candidate.
Facts: Colgate-Palmolive pay a 17% special excise tax for
ISSUE: WON the petitioner can be considered a their imports, pursuant to RA 601. On March 1956, the
candidate despite the withdrawal of his certificate of petitioner filed with the Central Bank three applications
candidacy. for refund amounting to Php 113, 343.99. The claim was
based on Sec. 2 of RA 601, which states "foreign
HELD: Petitioner's argument is without merit. Section 14
exchange used as payment of the cost, transportation,
of RA 7166 states that "every candidate" has an
and/or other charges incident to the importation into
obligation to file his SCE. In the case at bench, as the law
the Philippines of stabilizer and flavors shall be refunded
makes no distinction as to whether the candidate
to any importer making application."
pursued his candidacy or withdrew the same, the term
"every candidate" must be deemed to refer not only to a The refundable amount was lessened to Php 23,958.13
candidate who pursued his campaign, but also to one but the petition was still denied by the Auditor General,
who withdrew his candidacy. maintaining that the term "stabilizer and flavors" only
refer to food and food products.
As a rule, the word "shall" in a statute implies that the
statute is mandatory, whereas "may" is simply directory. ISSUE: WON the foreign exchange used by petitioner for
the importation of dental cream stabilizers and flavors is
----------------------------------------------------------
exempt from the 17% special excise tax.
 Exceptions in the Statute
HELD: Yes. Since the law does not distinguish between
- When the law does not make any
"stabilizers and flavors" used in the preparation of food
exception, courts may not except something
and those used in the manufacture of toothpaste and
unless compelling reasons exist to justify it.
dental cream, we are not authorized to make any
Illustrative Case: distinction and must construe the words in their general
sense. The rule of construction that general and
Cecilio de Villa v. Court of Appeals unlimited terms are restrained and limited by particular
recitals when used in connection with them, does not
FACTS: On October 5, 1987, petitioner was charged with
require the rejection of general terms entirely.
violation of BP 22, the Bouncing Checks Law. It is
undisputed that the check in question was executed and ----------------------------------------------------------
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 Ejusdem Generis ----------------------------------------------------------
- where general words follow an enumeration or
 Use of the Word “Must”
persons or things, such general words are not to
- The word “must” in a statute like “shall” is not
be construed in their wildest extent. Broad and
always imperative and may be consistent with an
comprehensive expressions in an act, such as
exercise discretion.
"and all others," or "any others," are usually to
be restricted to persons or things of the same ----------------------------------------------------------
kind or class with those specially named in the
preceding words.  The Use of The Term “And” and the Word
- The rule of ejusdem generis is merely a tool of “Or”
statutory construction which is resorted to when - “And” means conjunction connecting words or
the legislative intent is uncertain. phrases expressing the idea that the latter is to
be added or taken along with the first.
----------------------------------------------------------
- “Or” is a disjunctive particle used to express as
 Express Mention and Implied Exclusion
alternative or to give a choice of one among two
(expresso unius est exclusio alterius) or more things. It is also used to clarify what has
- the express mention of one person, thing, or already been said, and in such cases, means “in
consequence is tantamount to an express
other words,” “to wit,” or “that is to say.”
exclusion of all others.
- Except: - The word "only" means exclusive.
(a) when there is manifest of injustice
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(b) when there is no reason for exception

----------------------------------------------------------  Computation of Time


- When the laws speak of years, months, days or
 Associated Words (noscitur a sociis) nights, it shall be understood that years are of
- Associated words explain and limit each other. three hundred sixty five days each; months of
The meaning of a doubtful word or phrase may thirty days; days of twenty –four hours; and
be ascertained by reference to the meaning of nights from sunset to sunrise.
other words of phrase with which it is associated.
- If months are designated by their name, they
- Similar to context clues
shall be computed by the number of days which
---------------------------------------------------------- they respectively have.

 Use of Negative Words - In computing a period, the first day shall be


- Negative words (shall) and phrases are excluded, and the last day included (Art. 13,
regarded as mandatory while those in the New Civil Code).
affirmative (may) are mere directory.
- A “week” means a period of seven
- The word "shall" emphasizes mandatory
consecutive days without regard to the day of
character and means imperative, operating to
the week on which it begins.
impose a duty which may be enforced.
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----------------------------------------------------------
 Function of the Proviso
 The Use of the Word May and Shall in the - Proviso is a clause or part of a clause in the
Statute statute, the office of which is either to except
- Use of the word “may” in the statute generally something from the enacting clause, or to
connotes a permissible thing, and operates to qualify or restrain its generality, or to exclude
confer discretion while the word “shall” is some possible ground of misinterpretation of its
imperative, operating to impose a duty which extent.
may be enforced.
- “Provided” is the word used in introducing a
- The term “shall” may be either as mandatory or
proviso.
directory depending upon a consideration of the
entire provision in which it is found, its object
and consequences that would follow from
construing it one way or the other.
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