From CHAPTER III of Wildlife protection act,1972 (India)

  1. Prohibition of Hunting: No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule, I, II, III and IV except as provided under section 11 and section 12.
  2. Hunting of Wild animals to be permitted in certain cases....The killing or wounding in good faith of any wild animal in defence of oneself or of any other person shall not be an offence....


Can these be called laws mentioned in an Act?

What I understand of these words is that:

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.



an Act is a written law.

(oxford dictionaries)

2 Answers 2


I would use the phrase “under section XX (sXX) of the XXXXX Act” or simply “under legal provision” to refer to what you said. For example, “under s9 of Cap. III of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972”.

Can these be called “laws in an Act”?

They are more likely to be called “sections” or “articles”.


The concept of law predates writing. "Law" refers not only to the system of rules, as your definition notes, but to the individual rules making up that system (for example, there is a law that prohibits theft).

An act is, more generally than the definition you quote, a thing that is done (for example, someone who is discovered committing a crime can be said to have been "caught in the act.") This also does not depend on writing.

In our literate times, however, when a legislature (or any body, such as a corporate board of directors), wants to achieve something, someone writes a description of a proposed result. When the body makes a formal decision to adopt the written document (by a vote, for example), it is deciding to do the thing described in the document; that is, it is deciding to act. Typically, for a legislature, the thing it's doing is to create, modify, or repeal a law.

It's not very difficult to see how a document that describes a legislature's desire to act came to be called an act. In some contexts, however, it can also be called a law.

So the word law can refer to the entire system (as in law school), to a particular act (as in the legislature passed a law today called the XYZ Act), or indeed to a particular rule or section of an act (as in the law in question is subparagraph 2(B)(ii)(b) of the XYZ Act).

Law can also refer to case law, of course, or regulatory law, so we tend to use statutory law or statute to denote the laws created through the legislative process.

In conclusion, the word "law" has several related meanings, so its use can be imprecise. When speaking about specific paragraphs, precision may be in order. In a case like this, where a paragraph create exceptions to rules laid out in a preceding paragraph, it doesn't make a lot of sense to describe each paragraph as a "law." The numbered items in statutory text can be called many things, and usually have different names depending on the level at which they are found. So I would not know whether these are sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, or something else. If I were unable to find the correct terminology for (in this case) India, would probably use a generic term like "items."

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