Why do we read aid to construction?

In the Interpretation of Statute, we read aid to construction but what would be the reason behind it?

Before we talk about the reasons for reading 8 to construction let’s understand the meaning of aid, its purpose and its kind and then we’ll get you know the reason for reading it.

The word ‘aid’ means to help or assist. So, aid to construction itself depicts its meaning as help or assistance for construction of a word which is not clear in itself or having more meaning or is ambiguous.

So, the Court takes help to understand the intention of the legislature so that they can come to a conclusion.

In R v. Prince, the accused, was held liable for kidnapping a girl below the age of 16 years and it was reasonable to believe him but the court held him liable because the objective of legislation behind making the law would get frustrated if he would be acquitted.

So we can understand that aid to construction helps in understanding the objective of legislation behind the law.

The Court seeks help or assistance from statue document text etc which is known as Aid to construction and it is permissible where the –

  • Word is having more than one meaning
  • Judicial mind ordinary or naturally fails to understand the intention of legislation
  • The word is uncertain about its meaning
  • Language of provision is having more than one interpretation, etc


Further, we will get to know about sources of Aid to construction. There are two sources of aid to construction – Internal aid and external aid

  1. Internal Aid to Construction – Internal Aid includes titles which can be short and long, Preamble, interpretation clause, heading, marginal notes, illustration, punctuation marks, proviso, schedules and explanations, etc.
  2. External Aid to Construction – External Aid includes parliamentary history, dictionary, textbooks, contemporanea expositio, codifying statutes, consolidating statutes and foreign judgements, etc.

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