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[Landmark Judgement] Ramkishorelal V. Kamal Narayan (1963) 

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: 27 September 2023 at 16:33 IST

Court: Supreme Court of India

Citation: Ramkishorelal V. Kamal Narayan (1963) 

Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that where there exists any inconsistency between two provisions of a same instrument / document / deed, then the former clause shall prevail over the latter one. It is held that an attempt should always be made to read the two parts of the document i.e., deed / contract etc. harmoniously, however the law of interpretation will always prefer the First Clause in the sequence over the other Inconsistent Clause of a same instrument / document / deed.

12. The golden Rule of construction, it has been said, is to ascertain the intention of the parties to the instrument after considering all the words, in their ordinary, natural sense. To ascertain this intention the Court had to consider the relevant portion of the document as a whole and also to take into account the circumstances under which the particular words were used. Very often the status and the training of the parties using the words have to be taken into consideration.

It has to be borne in mind that very many words are used in more than one sense and that sense differs in different circumstances. Again, even where a particular word has to a trained conveyancer a clear and definite significance and one can be sure about the sense in which such conveyancer would use it, it may not be reasonable and proper to give the same strict interpretation of the word when used by one who is not so equally skilled in the art of convincing.

It is clear, however, that an attempt should always be made to read the two parts of the document harmoniously, if possible; it is only when this is not possible, e.g., where an absolute title is given is in clear and unambiguous terms and the later provisions trench on the same, that the later provisions have to be held to be void.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra