Article No. 800: The Revival of Ray XL / Disjunctive, Conjunctive II

Reliance has been placed on Sri Nasiruddin v. State Transport Appellate Tribunal, (1975)  2 SCC 671. The word ‘or’ was given grammatical meaning. It was held that the word ‘or’ cannot be read as ‘and’. They should be considered in an ordinary sense. If two different interpretations are possible, the Court will adopt that which is just, reasonable and sensible.”

– Hon’ble Justice Arun MishraIndore Development Authority v. Manohar Lal, [Special Leave Petition (Civil) Nos. 9036-9038 of 2016].

The conclusion as well as the reasoning of the High Court that the permanent seat of the High Court is at Allahabad is not quite sound. The Order states that the High Court shall sit as the new High Court and the Judges and Division Bench thereof shall sit at Allahabad or at such other places in the United Provinces as the Chief Justice may, with the approval of the Governor of the United Provinces, appoint. The word ‘or’ cannot be read as ‘and’. If the precise words used are plain and unambiguous, they are bound to be construed in their ordinary sense. The mere fact that the results of a statute may be unjust does not entitle a Court to refuse to give it effect. If there are two different interpretations of the words in an Act, the Court will adopt that which is just, reasonable and sensible rather than that which is none of those things. If the inconvenience is an absurd inconvenience, by reading an enactment in its ordinary sense, whereas if it is read in a manner in which it is capable, though not in an ordinary sense, there would not be any inconvenience at all; there would be reason why one should not read it according to its ordinary grammatical meaning. Where the words are plain, the Court would not make any alteration.

Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, Hon’ble Justice A.N. Ray.