Notwithstanding Meaning

Notwithstanding Meaning

The expression “notwithstanding” is potent and it could mean only “despite”, “in spite of” and “nevertheless” (see Khaizar Basha v. Indian Airlines Corpn. AIR 1984 Mad. 379).

A clause beginning with the expression “notwithstanding anything contained in the Act and in some particular provision in the Act or in some particular Act or in any law for the time being in force or in any contract”, is more often than not appended to a section in the beginning with a view to give the enacting part of the section in the case of conflict, an overriding effect over the provisions of the Act or the contract mentioned in the non obstante clause or any contract or document mentioned in the enactment following it. The provision in the non-obstante clause would not be an impediment for an operation of the enactment (South India Corpn. (P.) Ltd. v. Secretary, Board of Revenue AIR 1964 SC 207 and Chandravarkar Sita Ratna Rao v. Ashalata S. Guraam AIR 1987 SC 117).

Where the court has to construe non-obstante clauses of two different statutes, the court must determine the effect of such clauses on a broad consideration of the purpose and policy underlying the two statutes [P. Rajaram Mehta v. P. Haribhai Patel [1996] 87 Comp. Cas. 557 (Guj.)]. Special law prevails over the general law (Generalia specialibus non derogant). There is one exception and that is a later general law prevails over the earlier special law if it clearly indicates the intention to supersede the special law.

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