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329. Repealed by Act VII of 1870. 330. Repealed by Act VII of 1870.
331. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to In- Succession testate or Testamentary succession to the property of any of Hindus
to property Hindú', Muhammadan 2 or Buddhist 3, nor shall they apply etc., and to any Will made“, or any intestacy occurring before the first intestacies day of January 1866. The fourth section shall not apply to and mar.
riages not any marriage contracted before the same day.
this Act. 332. The Governor-General of India in Council shall from Power to time to time have power, by an order, either retrospectively exempt from the passing of this Act, or prospectively, to exempt from tion of Act. the operation of the whole or any part of this Act the members of any race, sect or tribe in British India or any part of such race, sect or tribe, to whom he may consider it impossible or inexpedient to apply the provisions of this Act,
? We see from its connection with it does not include · Native Christian,'
441) or Sunní.
or of the part of the Act mentioned in the order 1. The Governor-General of India in Council shall also have power from time to time to revoke such order, but not so that the revocation shall have any retrospective effect. All orders and revocations made under this Section shall be published in the Gazette of India.
1 Under this section Native Christians in Coorg have been exempted retrospectively from the 16th March,
1865. Gazette of India, 25 July, 1868, Part I, p. 1094.
THE GENERAL CLAUSES ACT.
The primary object of this law, which was suggested by the English Statutes 7 Wm. IV and 1 Vic. c. 39, and 13 & 14 Vic. c. 21, is to shorten the language of the Acts of the GovernorGeneral in Council passed after 3rd January 1868. It also contains provisions as to the revival of statutes ; the commencement and termination of time; and the application of a law to Her Majesty's successors, to deputies and subordinates of official chiefs, to successors of functionaries and corporations, and to persons duly appointed to act for absent officials. It incorporates by reference the rules of the Penal Code, and the Criminal Procedure Code as to the recovery of fines to be imposed under Acts passed after 3rd January, 1868. These provisions apply to the interpretation of all future Acts unless the subject or context requires a different construction. They were suggested by a draft entitled “Illustrations of Rules of Construction' framed by the late Mr. Arthur Symonds, and printed in Papers relative to the drawing of Acts of Parliament, London, 1838, p. 77. The General Clauses Act also declares that all matters done under an enactment before its repeal shall be unaffected. It also provides that, in case of any one whose personal law permits adoption, the word "son’ shall include an adopted son, and the word 'father an adoptive father. The latter amendment, looking to the fact that the practice of adoption prevails amongst the great bulk of the population to which the Acts of the Governor-General apply, is desirable. Had such a provision existed when the Legislative Council passed Act No. XIII of 1855—the Indian version of Lord Campbell's well-known Act—there would have been no room for the doubt which was raised, as to whether a Hindú could recover from a Railway Company damages for a wrongful act or neglect causing the death of his adoptive father. A section has also been taken from Act No. V of 1849, which provided that when
any enactment declared that a duty of customs or excise was leviable on any given quantity of goods, a like duty was leviable, according to the same rate, on any greater or less quantity. Two other sections, repealed and replaced by the Evidence Act, ss. 37, 56, provided that judicial notice should be taken of the laws in force in any part of British India, and that recitals contained in Acts of the Governor-General in Council should be prima facie evidence of the truth of the facts recited.
Act I of 1868 was drawn by the writer for Mr. (now Sir H. S.) Maine, and carried through the Council, in Mr. Maine's absence, by the late Right Hon. W. N. Massey. Though very incomplete, it has worked fairly well. If it were extended (as it might safely be) to unrepealed Acts passed before 3rd January, 1868, and to Regulations made by the Governor-General in Council under 33 Vic. c. 3, many of those Acts and Regulations might be shortened by omitting, in whole or in part, their interpretation-clauses.
Should this be done, the opportunity might be taken to insert in the new law declarations that any power conferred by an Act to make rules or issue orders may be exercised at any time after it passes, but that a rule or order so made shall not take effect until the Act comes into force: that a power to make bye-laws authorises the annexation of reasonable pecuniary penalties for their breach: that all powers conferred by an Act may be exercised from time to time as occasion requires : that any enactment or document referring to any enactment repealed shall be construed to refer to the repealing Act or the corresponding portion thereof: that every power to appoint to an office includes a power to suspend or remove the person appointed : that offences committed against, and obligations incurred under, a temporary Act may be, respectively, punished and enforced after its expiration. Definitions of the following terms, ' Collector,'' Company,'' District Court,'· District Magistrate,' 'export,' 'Gazette,' Government Securities, 'import,''Local Authority,''notification' and 'notified,''prescribed,' registered,' salary,' sign,' 'street,' 'value' used with reference to a suit, 'vessel,' 'steam-vessel' and 'master,' "written,' might also be added. And declarations might be made as to the effect of preambles, marginal notes, titles of groups of sections, illustrations and schedules.
Similar local Acts are in force in the Presidency of Madras (Mad. Act I of 1867), in the Presidency of Bombay (Bombay Act X of 1866), and in the Lower Provinces (Ben. Act V of 1867). They have greatly shortened the subsequent laws of the local legislatures by which they were respectively enacted.
ACT No. I OF 1868.
(Received the assent of the Governor-General on the 3rd January, 1868.)
An Act for shortening the language used in Acts of
the Governor-General of India in Council and for
WHEREAS it is expedient to shorten the language used in Preamble. Acts made by the Governor-General of India in Council, and to make certain provisions relating to such Acts; It is hereby enacted as follows :1. This Act
"The General Clauses Act, Short title. 1868.'
2. In this Act and in all Acts made by the Governor- InterpretaGeneral of India in Council after this Act shall have come into tion clause. operation,-unless there be something repugnant in the subject or context,
(1.) Words importing the masculine gender shall be taken Gender. to include females;
(2.) Words in the singular shall include the plural, and vice Number. versá 1.
(3.) “Person’shall include any company, or association, or “Person. body of individuals whether incorporated or not;
(4.) Year' and 'month' shall respectively mean a year · Year' and month reckoned according to the British calendar? ;
'month.' (5.) 'Immoveable property'shall include land, benefits to 'Immovearise out of land, and things attached to the earth, or per- perty manently fastened to anything attached to the earth 3 ;
But 'a pair of ponies' does not by the Indian Legislature as some. include a single pony, 5 Mad. 271.
thing less technical than 'real,' and * The phrases agricultural year' • immoveable property' comprehends and financial year, which occur in (says the P. C.) certainly all that many Acts of the Governor-General would be real property according to in Council, might also here be defined. English law, and possibly more. In • The word immoveable' is used some foreign systems of law in which