Report No. 60
3.27. Section 3(17)-District Judge.-
The definition of "District Judge", in section 3(17), is as follows:-
"District Judge" shall mean the Judge of a principal Civil Court of Original jurisdiction, but shall not include a High Court in the exercise of its ordinary or extra-ordinary original civil jurisdiction."
This definition uses the words "shall mean", and not the words "includes" or the words "shall include". Therefore, if the definition, as it is worded, is taken literally, no one except "the judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction" can come within it. The use of the article "the" before the word "Judge" (in the definition) is significant. It has a specifying or particularising effect, as opposed to the indefinite and generalising force of "a", and denotes that it is not any Judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction that can be termed as a District Judge, but that only the sole presiding Judge of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction can be called a District Judge. This was the view taken in a Madhya Bharat case.1
1. Mangharam v. K.B. Kher, AIR 1956 MB 183 (187).