Definitions under Indian Income Tax Act as on 2019

The Income Tax Act, 1961


2. Definitions. – In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(1) “advance tax” means the advance tax payable in accordance with the provisions of Chapter XVII-C;

(1-A) “agricultural income” means-

(a) any rent or revenue derived from land which is situated in India and is used for agricultural purposes;

(b) any income derived from such land by-

(i) agriculture; or

(ii) the performance by a cultivator or receiver of rent-in-kind of any process ordinarily employed by a cultivator or receiver of rent-in-kind to render the produce raised or received by him fit to be taken to market; or

(iii) the sale by a cultivator or receiver of rent-in-kind of the produce raised or received by him, in respect of which no process has been performed other than a process of the nature described in paragraph (ii) of this sub-clause;

(c) any income derived from any building owned and occupied by the receiver of the rent or revenue of any such land, or occupied by the cultivator or the receiver of rent-in-kind, of any land with respect to which, or the produce of which, any process mentioned in paragraphs (ii) and (iii) of sub-clause (b) is carried on:

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Judgment means

In our opinion, a judgment within the meaning of these sections is the final decision of the Court intimated to the parties and to the world at large by formal “pronouncement” or “delivery” in open Court. It is a judicial act which must be performed in a judicial way. Small irregularities in the manner of pronouncement or the mode of delivery do not matter but the substance of the thing must be there; that can neither be blurred nor left to inference and conjecture nor can it he vague. All the rest – the manner in which it is to be recorded, the way in which it is to be authenticated, the signing and the sealing, all the rules designed to secure certainly about its content and matter – can be cured; but not the hard core, namely the formal intimation of the decision and its contents formally declared in a judicial way in open Court. The exact way in which this is done does not matter. In some Courts the judgment is delivered orally or read out, in some only the operative portion is pronounced, in some the judgment is merely signed after giving notice to the parties and laying the draft on the table for a given number of days for inspection.

An important point therefore arises. It is evident that the decision which is so pronounced or intimated must be a declaration of the mind of the Court as it is at the time of pronouncement. We lay no stress on the mode or manner of delivery, as that is not of the essence, except to say that it must be done in a judicial way in open Court. But however it is done it must be an expression of the mind of the Court at the time of delivery. We say this because that is the first judicial act touching the judgment which the Court performs after the hearing. Everything else up till then is done out of Court and is not intended to be the operative act which sets all the consequences which follow on the judgment in motion. Judges may and often do, discuss the matter among themselves and reach a tentative conclusion. That is not their judgment. They may write and exchange drafts. Those are not the judgment either, however heavily and often they may have been signed. The final operative act is that which is formally declared in open Court with the intention of making it the operative decision of the Court. That is what constitutes the “judgment”.

Now up to the moment the judgment is delivered Judges have the right to change their mind. There is a sort of ‘locus paenitentiae’ and indeed last minute alterations often do occur. Therefore, however much a draft judgment may have been signed beforehand, it is nothing but a draft till formally delivered as the judgment of the Court. Only then does it crystallise into a full fledged judgment and become operative. It follows that the Judge who “delivers” the judgment, or causes it to be delivered by a brother Judge, must be in existence as a member of the Court at the moment of delivery so that he can, if necessary, stop delivery and say that he has changed his mind. There is no need for him to be physically present in court but he must be in existence as a member of the Court and be in a position to stop delivery and effect an alteration should there be any last minute change of mind on his part. If he hands in a draft and signs it and indicates that he intends that to be the final expository of his views it can be assumed that those are still his views at the moment of delivery if he is alive and in a position to change his mind but takes no steps to arrest delivery.

But one cannot assume that he would not have changed his mind if he is no longer in a position to do so. A Judge’s responsibility is heavy and when a man’s life and liberty hang upon his decision nothing can be left to chance or doubt or conjecture; also, a question of public policy is involved. As we have indicated, it is frequently the practice to send a draft, sometimes a signed draft, to a brother Judge who also heard the case. This may be merely for his information, or for consideration and criticism. The mere signing of the draft does not necessarily indicate a closed mind. We feel it would be against public policy to leave the door open for an investigation whether a draft sent by a Judge was intended to embody his final and unalterable opinion or was only intended to be a tentative draft sent with an unwritten understanding that he is free to change his mind should fresh light drawn upon him before the delivery of judgment.[Surendra Singh and others Versus State of Uttar Pradesh-23/11/1953]

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.

Torture means

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The Declaration defines torture as follows:

“. .  torture means any act by which

  • severe pain or suffering,
  • whether physical or mental,

is intentionally inflicted by or at the instigation of a public official

on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or third person information or confession, punishing him for an act he has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating him or other persons.

It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions to the extent consistent with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.”

International Law- definition

What is International Law

International law defines the legal responsibilities of States in their conduct with each other, and their treatment of individuals within State boundaries. International law encompasses a wide range of issues of international concern, such as-

  1. human rights,
  2. disarmament,
  3. international crime,
  4. refugees,
  5. migration,
  6. problems of nationality,
  7. the treatment of prisoners,
  8. the use of force,
  9. and the conduct of war,

among others. It also regulates the global commons, such as-

  1. the environment and sustainable development,
  2. international waters,
  3. outer space,
  4. global communications and
  5. world trade.

The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly, in 1947, to undertake the mandate of the Assembly, under article 13 (1) (a) of the Charter of the United Nations to “initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of … encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification”.

Under article 20 of its Statute, the Commission is required to prepare drafts in the form of articles and to submit them to the General Assembly together with a commentary containing an adequate presentation of precedents and other relevant data, including treaties, judicial decisions, and doctrine.

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Satyagraha: the meaning of

Hidayatullah C. J. in Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Vs. State of Bihar and Others,

The last ground is based on “Mass Satyagraha”. The term Satyagraha has been defined in Webster’s “Twentieth Century Dictionary” (Unabridged Second Edition) as “lit grasping for truth; sans. Satya, truth and graphs, grasping the political doctrine of Mohandas K. Gandhi which favoured passive resistance and non-co-operation in opposing British Rule in India. “Mere passive resistance in the line preached by Gandhi-cannot be a ground for detention under the head “public order” or “supply and services”. We have clearlv set forth the law touching satyagraha in Civil Rule Nos. 47. 48, 49. 59 and 60 (HC) of 1981 Krishna Barua v. District Magistrate where inter alia, we observed: “However the detention law should not be allowed to be taken by their smooth handle to subjugate legitimate and demoratic common will which do not affect the supplies and services essential to the community. The extraordinary law should not be a pretext or pretence to handle ordinary or run of the mill incidents.”

Dependant means

Definition of ‘dependant’ as provided in Section 2(1)(d) of Act, 1923, which is reproduced herein below:-

(d) “dependant” means any of the following relatives of a deceased (employee), namely-

(1) a widow, a minor [legitimate or adopted] son, an unmarried [legitimate or adopted] daughter, or a widowed mother; and

(2) if wholly dependent on the earnings of the [employee] at the time of his death, a son of a daughter who has attained the age of the 18 years and who is infirm:

(3) if wholly or in part dependent on the earnings of the [employee] at the time of his death-

(a) a widower.

(b) a parent other than a widowed mother.

(c) a minor illegitimate son, an unmarried illegitimate daughter or a daughter [legitimate or illegitimate or adopted] if married and a minor or if widowed and a minor.

(d) a minor brother or an unmarried sister or a widowed sister if a minor.

(e) a widowed daughter-in-law.

(f) a minor child of a pre-deceased son.

(g) a minor child of a pre-deceased daughter where no parent of the child is alive, or

(h) a paternal grandparent if no parent of the [employee] is alive;

Workmens Compensation Act, 1923 – Section 2(1)(d)


Article 31, like Art, 19 (1) (f), is concerned with “property.” Both the Articles are in the same chapter and deal with fundamental rights. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that the word “property” must be given the same meaning in construing those two articles., What, then, is the meaning of the word “property?” It may mean either the bundle of rights which the owner has over or in respect of a thing, tangible or intangible, or it may mean the thing itself over or in respect of which the owner may exercise those rights. It is quite clear that the Ordinance or the Act has not deprived the share-holder of his share itself. The share still belongs to the shareholder. He is still entitled to the dividend that may be declared. He can deal with or dispose of the share as he pleases. The learned Attorney-General contends that even if the other meaning of the word “property” is adopted, the share-holder has not been deprived of his “property” understood in that sense, that is to say he has not been deprived of the entire bundle of rights which put together constitute his “property.” According to him the “property” of the share-holder, besides and apart from his right to elect directors, to pass resolutions giving directions to the directors and to present a winding up petition, consists in his right to participate in the dividends declared on the profits made by the working of the Company and, in case of winding up, to participate in the surplus that may be left after meeting the winding up expenses and paying the creditors. Those last mentioned rights, he points out, have not been touched at all and the shareholder can yet deal with or dispose of his shares as he pleases and is still entitled to dividends if and when declared. Therefore, concludes the learned Attorney-General, the share- holder cannot complain that he has been deprived of his “property,’’ for the totality of his rights has not been taken away. The argument thus formulated appears to me to be some what too wide, for it will then permit the Legislature to authorise the State to acquire or take possession, without any compensation, of almost the entire rights of the owner leaving to him only a few subsidiary rights. This result could-not, in my opinion, have been intended by our constitution. As said by Rich J, in the Minister for State for the Army v. Dalziel, (1943-44) 68 C.L.R. 261, While dealing with S. 51 (XXXI) of the Australian constitution :

“Property, in relation to land, is a bundle of rights exercisable with respect to the land. The tenant of an unencumbered estate in fee simple in possession has the largest possible bundle. But there is nothing in the placitum to suggest that the Legislature was intended to be at liberty to free itself from the restrictive provisions of the placitum by taking care to seize something short of the whole bundle owned by the person whom it is expropriating.”

The learned Judge then concluded as follows at page 286:

“It would, in my opinion, be wholly inconsistent with the language of the placitum to hold that whilst preventing, the Legislature from authorising the acquisition of a citizen’s full title except upon just terms, it leaves it open to the Legislature to seize possession and enjoy the full fruits of possession indefinitely, on any terms it chooses or upon no terms at all”

Police power

We are familiar with the expression “police power” which is in vogue in the United States of America. ‘This expression simply denotes that in special cases the State can step in where its intervention seems necessary and impose special burdens for general benefit. As one of the Judges has pointed out,

“the regulations may press with more or less weight. upon one than upon another, but they are designed not to impose unequal or unnecessary restrictions upon anyone, but to promote, with as little individual inconvenience as possible, the general good.” (Per. Field J. in Barbier v. Connolly; 113 U. S. 27).

It need not be emphasised that the principles underlying what is known as police power in the United States of America are not peculiar to that country, but are recognised in every modern civilized State. Professor Willis dealing with the question of classification in exercise of police power makes the following observations:

“There is no rule for determining when classification for the police power is reasonable. It is a matter for judicial determination, but in determining the question of reasonableness the Courts must find some economic political or other social interest to be secured, and some relation of the classification to the objects sought to be accomplished. In doing this the Courts may consider matters of common knowledge, matters of common report, the history of the times, and to sustain it they will assume every state of facts which can be conceived of as existing at the time of legislation. The fact that only one person or one object or one business or one locality is affected is not proof of denial of the equal protection of the laws. For such proof it must be shown that there is no reasonable basis for the classification, (Page 580 of “constitutional Law”, 1st Edition, by Prof. Willis)”.