Interpret, but don’t re-write – The Hindu BusinessLine


The job of judges is to interpret the law, not to re-write them, the Supreme Court has said, while overruling an interim order of the Madras High Court. The issue in question was Rule 29(4) of the Copyright Act, which basically makes it mandatory for a broadcaster to get prior permission to use a piece of music or any copyrighted material – in a dispute between Saregama India and Next Radio.

The Madras High Court, after checking the rule against Section 31D of the parent Act, had allowed the broadcaster to give a notice about the use of the copyrighted material after the use, within a stipulated time. The issue went to the Supreme Court. Justice Dr DY Chandrachud observed that “the High Court has substituted the provisions of Rule 29(4) with a regime of iits own, which is made applicable to the broadcasters and the petitioners before it.”

Noting that the court “cannot supplant the terms of the provisions through judicial interpretation by re-writing statutory language,” Justice Chandrachud stressed that “draftsmanship is a function entrusted to the legislature”.

He said, “Craftsmanship on the judicial side cannot transgress into the legislative domain by re-writing the words of a statute. For then, the judicial craft enters the forbidden domain of a legislative draft. That precisely is what the Division Bench of the High Court has done by its interim order.”

Section 31D(2) speaks of the necessity of giving prior notice, in the manner as may be prescribed, of the intention to broadcast the work stating the duration and the territorial coverage of the broadcast, together with the payment of royalties in the manner and at the rates fixed by the Appellate Board.

While the High Court has held the broadcasters down to the requirement of prior notice, it has modified the operation of Rule 29 by stipulating that the particulars which are to be furnished in the notice may be furnished within a period of fifteen days after the broadcast. The interim order converts the second proviso into a “routine procedure” instead of an exception (as the High Court has described its direction). This exercise by the High Court amounts to re-writing.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legal Updates/News

High Court sets Nov. 17 execution date for man convicted of killing wife in front of children

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – A man who wishes to speed up his execution has been granted his request by the Mississippi State Supreme Court. The high court recently granted David Cox’s request to dismiss all appeals in his death sentence conviction and set his execution date for November 17, 2021. The court denied Cox’s motion […]

Read More
Legal Updates/News

Supreme Court reverses HC order, Gauri ‘killers’ to face stringent law | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday reversed a Karnataka HC decision and ruled that those accused in the murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh will face charges under the provisions of the stringent Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) apart from IPC Section 302 and arms and explosives laws. A bench of Justices […]

Read More
Legal Updates/News

Kerala High Court, Kerala High Court Judgement: Can’t Acquit Accused Even If Rape Survivor Of “Easy Virtue”: Kerala High Court

Woman being of easy virtue cannot be reason to absolve, Kerala High Court said. (Representational) Kochi: A woman or girl being of easy virtue or habituated to sexual intercourse cannot be reasons to absolve someone of rape, especially a father who is expected to be the “fortress and refuge” of his daughter, the Kerala High […]

Read More