Test of a Reasonable man - Change
Gaurav Mittal 25 Jan 2021

Test of a Reasonable man - Change

t is well known that reasonable means what a reasonable man thinks. But always the man may not think reasonably. According to Gujarat HC Court, reasonable means what the Court thinks reasonable as the Court cannot think unreasonably as reasonable thinking is part of the duty of the Court while rendering justice to the justice seeker who approaches the Court as an institution but not as an individual judge.

The meaning of the word " reasonable" has also been considered by the Apex Court in Municipal Corpn. of Delhi v. Jagan Nath Ashok Kumar, (1987) 4 SCC 497 wherein it is stated that " it would be unreasonable to expect an exact definition of the word " reasonable". Reasons varies in its conclusion according to the idiosyncrasy of the individual, and the times and circumstances in which he thinks. The reasoning which build up the old scholastic logic sounds now like the jingling of a child's toy. But mankind must be satisfied with the reasonableness within reach; and in cases not covered by authority, the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge sitting as a jury usually determines what is " reasonable" in each particular case. The word "reasonable" has in law prima facie meaning of reasonable in regard to those circumstances of which the actor, called on to act reasonably, knows or ought to know. Again the Apex Court in Collector v. P. Mangamma, (2003) 4 SCC 488, restated the word " reasonable" and while restating the same, in addition stated that " it is impossible a priori to state what is reasonable as such in all cases. You must have the particular facts of each case established before you can ascertain what is reasonable under the circumstances. Therefore, the reasonableness of an action also vary, man to man, time to time, fact to fact of the case, as the same is not static. What is reasonable to "X" may not be reasonable to "Y". Therefore, the views of this Court that reasonable means what the Court thinks sitting in a Bench while determining an issue is reasonable as stated supra get support from the decision of the Apex Court as stated supra.

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