Latest Expert Exchange Queries

GST Demo Service software link:
Username: demouser Password: demopass
Get your inventory and invoicing software GST Ready from Binarysoft
sitemapHome | Registration | Job Portal for CA's | Expert Exchange | Currency Converter | Post Matrimonial Ads | Post Property Ads
News shortcuts: From the Courts | News Headlines | VAT (Value Added Tax) | Placements & Empanelment | Various Acts & Rules | Latest Circulars | New Forms | Forex | Auditing | Direct Tax | Customs and Excise | ICAI | Corporate Law | Markets | Students | General | Mergers and Acquisitions | Continuing Prof. Edu. | Budget Extravaganza | Transfer Pricing | GST - Goods and Services Tax
Popular Search: Central Excise rule to resale the machines to a new company :: ACCOUNTING STANDARD :: cpt :: ICAI offer Get Windows 7,Office 2010 in Rs.799 Taxes :: due date for vat payment :: list of goods taxed at 4% :: empanelment :: TAX RATES - GOODS TAXABLE @ 4% :: form 3cd :: ACCOUNTING STANDARDS :: ARTICLES ON INPUT TAX CREDIT IN VAT :: VAT Audit :: TDS :: VAT RATES :: articles on VAT and GST in India
News Headlines »
 What if you forget to verify your Income Tax return?
 TDS on rent and other tax tasks to complete before March 31
 5 income tax changes which will come into effect from April 1, 2018
 Why you shouldn't be a last-minute tax filer
 How to calculate income tax for this assessment year on Moneycontrol
 6 Tax notices you may get and how to cope with them Income Tax Notice
 Deadline to pay advance tax ends tomorrow: Here is a step-by-step guide
  Central Goods and Services Tax (Second Amendment) Rules, 2018
 Income Tax Return Filing Deadline: Waiver On LTCG Tax To End On 31 March. Details Here
 Income tax returns (ITR) filing: Top mistakes that can be very costly
 Income Tax Return (ITR) filing: 6 last-minute things you can still do to save tax for FY17-18

How complexity enters law
December, 21st 2006
Bad drafting of laws cannot be dismissed as a minor aberration. It comes with a huge social cost. It complicates simple issues.

If we are asked to draft, say, a company law provision, you and I, the laypersons that we are, will draft it in a simple and forthright manner. It will be a section, neatly organised and divided into numbered sub-sections. Each sub-section will convey one idea and complete in itself. The language will be simple and the sentences will not be overlong. There will be no provisos, no explanations and no unnecessary prescriptions. The section will lend itself to easy and unambiguous interpretation.

Now, a provision like that may satisfy lesser mortals. But the legal drafting fraternity will find it too simple and `bare'. The provision will offend the stalwarts there, as it is not in what they call "the legal language".

The pundits will reject the "bare" draft and start working on and produce a sufficiently long-winding provision.The global trend is that of making legislation less complex. Consider the provisions from the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 enacted by the British Parliament which became law on June 14, 2000:

"No person may carry on a regulated activity in the United Kingdom, or purports to do so, unless he is (a) an authorised person; or b) an exempt person. If an authorised person carries on a regulated activity in the United Kingdom, or purports to do so, otherwise than in accordance with the permission (a) given to him by an Authority under Part IV, or (b) resulting from any other provision of this Act , he is to be taken to have contravened a requirement imposed on him by the Authority under his Act... "

"Now, come to a recent enactment of Parliament The Right to Information Act 2005. The enactment is replete with provisos, explanations and parentheses.

"Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any compliant or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees:... "

Such inelegance is not true of this Act alone. Take any recent legislation, be it the Competition Act 2002, the Securitisation Act 2002 or the Prevention of Money-laundering Act 2002, you will find it long-winding and obscure.

The troubles caused by the ill-conceived and badly-drafted amendments to the Companies Act are only too well known. The state of the rules made under these enactments (subordinate legislation) is still worse. That modern legislation elsewhere avoids complexities and adopts simple formats to convey ideas clearly has been totally lost on our law drafters.

Revamp drafting machinery

Bad drafting cannot be dismissed as a minor aberration. It is not a simple pitfall. It is not just bad, it is criminal. It comes with a huge social cost. It complicates simple issues. It leads to unnecessary litigation and docket explosion in the courts. It causes colossal waste of manpower and time. It causes enormous hardship.

The Government must revamp the legal drafting machinery and ask the pundits there to get acquainted with what is going on elsewhere in the world.

Judicial forums should discourage clever and contrived arguments presented before them by smart counsel. Such arguments twist and misinterpret statutory provisions. They impute an intention to the legislature which it would have never meant.

S. Santha Devi
(The author is a Mumbai-based advocate.)

Home | About Us | Terms and Conditions | Contact Us
Copyright 2018 CAinINDIA All Right Reserved.
Designed and Developed by Binarysoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Bath SEO Company Birmingham SEO Company Bradford SEO Company Brighton and Hove SEO Company Bristol SEO Company Cambridge SEO Company Canterbury SEO Company Carlisle SEO Company Chester SEO Company Chichester SEO Company Coventry SEO Compan

Transfer Pricing | International Taxation | Business Consulting | Corporate Compliance and Consulting | Assurance and Risk Advisory | Indirect Taxes | Direct Taxes | Transaction Advisory | Regular Compliance and Reporting | Tax Assessments | International Taxation Advisory | Capital Structuring | Withholding tax advisory | Expatriate Tax Reporting | Litigation | Badges | Club Badges | Seals | Military Insignias | Emblems | Family Crest | Software Development India | Software Development Company | SEO Company | Web Application Development | MLM Software | MLM Solutions