Introduction to Interpretation of Laws Act 2010

Interpretation of Laws Act 2010 was enacted in Magh 2010 B.S. to provide a consistent framework for interpreting laws in Nepal. It was promulgated by His Majesty through the state power and Royal Privileges.

Its Preamble states that the act was promulgated in order to provide a reliable definition of legal words and phrases in Nepal, acting as a Lexicon for Legal Terminologies.

It is amongst the most widely studied and analyzed acts by lawyers, judges, and legal professionals of Nepal because of the technicality of the act and the fundamental framework it has acted upon for interpreting laws in Nepal.

The Act, during its period of promulgation, assisted the Pradhan Nyayalaya and complimented the Interim Government of Nepal Act 2007.

Features of Interpretation of Laws Act 2010

The Interpretation of Laws Act 2010 of Nepal features a clear definition of some legal terminologies along with provisions of legal interpretation and the use of plain legal language.

It also prevents absurd interpretations and promotes legal harmony with contradictory statutes.

New and Old Laws

Effect of Repeal

The Act has provisioned that in conditions where an old law has been repealed, the new law cannot change the rights, obligations, or penalties arising from the application of the Old Law

Repeal of Textual Amendments

If the Old Law brought changes in other laws and got repealed, the changes continue to remain in effect even after the enactment of the new law.

Reviving Repealed Laws

According to the Interpretation of Laws Act 2010, if a new law has been provisioned for reinstating a repealed law, it needs to clearly state the purpose and its connection before it is authenticated.

References to Repealed Laws

The Act has provisioned for a repealing or replacing of a section of old law, the references to the specific section will be references to the new version.


From and To in Laws

This Act has also provisioned the usage of the Words From and To in the legislation of Nepal.

  • If the word from is used, then, it excludes the first day.
  • If the Word To is used, then, it includes the last day.

Time Postponement

The Act has flexibly stated that in conditions when a legal process was to be done within or on a particular time or day but if the court or the office is closed on that specific day, then, the legal process is considered on time if fone the next day when the court is actually open.

Limitation of Law

The Act has stated that a reasonable Law is limited in several circumstances. Amongst them, if the law imposes taxes, liabilities, and burdens on the Government of Nepal, it cannot be applied. However, if the act particularly states as such, then, it is applicable.

Legal Powers

When any legislation of Nepal allows a public authority or individual power for a function or conduct, the Authority or Individual can exercise the power as often as required.

Gender and Number

The Act has provisioned that in the laws of Nepal, words that refer to males also include females.

It adds that the singular form of a word also comprises plural forms and vice versa.


If any Act has provided an authority the power to impose a penalty, then, the authority can provide penalties that are lesser in magnitude than the provisioned penalty.

Subordinate Application

A Public Office in Nepal consists of deputies and other Public Servants who are subordinate to the Head or Chief of the Public Office.

In such cases, if a law is applicable to the Head or Chief of the Public Office, it is equally applicable to the subordinates of the office working under the Chief and fulfilling the Chief’s Duties.


Interpretation of Laws Act 2010 complimented a complete replacement of the Sui-Generis Laws of Nepal in favor of International Legal Standards. It is compared with a similar stance as that of the Interim Government of Nepal Act 2007, Pradhan Nyayalaya Act 2008, and Civil Rights Act 2012.

The Act introduced swift changes in the Nepalese Legal System and increased its compliance with International Standards of Law and Legislation. It also propagated the fundamental elements of Legal Interpretation in Nepal and addressed some exceptional conditions that arise while applying and interpreting legislation.

However, the act limited the scope of a potentially sui-generis Legal System of Nepal and overall, undermined the liberal interpretation of Nepalese Laws.


Interpretation of Laws Act 2010 is regularly applied in the Courts and the legislative drafting process of Nepal. It acts as the primary principle of Legal Interpretation in Nepal despite being promulgated nearly 70 years ago as of 2080 b.s.