Disjunctive, Conjunctive I

We are conscious of the principle that the word ‘or’ is normally disjunctive and ‘and’ is normally conjunctive. However, there may be circumstances where these words are to be read as vice-versa to give effect to manifest intention of the Legislature as disclosed from the context.

Of course, these two words normally ‘or’ and ‘and’ are to be given their literal meaning… However, wherever use of such a word, viz., ‘and’/’or’ produces unintelligible or absurd results, the Court has power to read the word ‘or’ as ‘and’ and vice-versa to give effect to the intention of the Legislature which is otherwise quite clear. This was so done in R.M.D. Chamarbaugwala, (1957) 1 SCR 874.”

Hon’ble Justice A.K. Sikri, Spentex Industries Ltd. v. CCE, [Civil Appeal No. 1978 of 2007].