Judicial Dictionary

Means and Includes-the meaning of

In P.Kasilingam v. P.S.G.College of Technology, reported in AIR 1995 SC 1395, the Apex Court observed that:

It has been urged that in Rule 2(b) the expression “means and includes” has been used which indicates that the definition is inclusive in nature and also covers categories which are not expressly mentioned therein. We are unable to agree. A particular expression is often defined by the Legislature by using the word ‘means’ or the word ‘includes’. Sometimes the words ‘means and includes’ are used. The use of the word ‘means’ indicates that “definition is a hard and fast definition, and no other meaning can be assigned to the expression than is put down in definition.” (See : Gough v. Gough, (1891) 2 QB 665; Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corpn. Ltd. v. Presiding Officer, Labour Court, (1990) 3 SCC 682, at p.717). The word ‘includes’ when used, enlarges the meaning of the expression defined so as to comprehend not only such things as they signify according to their natural import but also those things which the clause declares that they shall include. The words ‘means and includes’, on the other hand, indicate “an exhaustive explanation of the meaning which, for the purposes of the Act, must invariably be attached to these words or expressions.” (See : Dilworth v. Commissioner of Stamps, 1899 AC 99 at pp. 105-106 (Lord Watson); Mahalakshmi Oil Mills v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1989) 1 SCC 164, at p. 169 : (AIR 1989 SC 335 at p. 339). The use of the words ‘means and includes’ in Rule 2(b) would, therefore, suggest that the definition of “college” is intended to be exhaustive and not extensive and would cover only the educational institutions falling in the categories specified in Rule 2(b) and other educational institutions are not comprehended.”

(vi) In Bharat Co-operative Bank (Mumbai) Ltd., v. Coop. Bank Employees Union, reported in AIR 2007 SC 2320, the Apex Court observed as follows:

“On the other hand, when the word “includes” is used in the definition, the legislature does not intend to restrict the definition; makes the definition enumerative but not exhaustive. That is to say, the term defined will retain its ordinary meaning but its scope would be extended to bring within it matters, which in its ordinary meaning may or may not comprise. Therefore, the use of the word “means” followed by the word “includes” in Section 2(bb) of the ID Act is clearly indicative of the legislative intent to make the definition exhaustive and would cover only those banking companies which fall within the purview of the definition and no other.”

(vii) In Ramanlal Bhailal Patel v. State of Gujarat reported in AIR 2008 SC 1246, the Apex Court has observed that in such a case, the use of word ‘includes’ indicates an intention to enlarge the meaning of the word used in the Statute.

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