Skip to content


Central Machine Tool Institute, Bangalore Vs. Asst. Labour Commissioner and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.P. No. 12333 of 1977
Judge
Reported in[1979(38)FLR158]; (1979)ILLJ192Kant
ActsIndian Trade Unions Act, 1926 - Sections 2 and 11; Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1947; Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 1(2), 2, 3, 6, 18, 19, 22 and 33(3); Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960; Income tax Act; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Sections 115; Constitution of India - Articles 14 and 16
AppellantCentral Machine Tool Institute, Bangalore
RespondentAsst. Labour Commissioner and ors.
Excerpt:
- [s. abdul nazeer, j.] code of civil procedure, 1908 — order 23 rule 3-b -representative suit — compromise of — leave of the court - the suit in question is a representative suit which comes within the explanation(d) of order 23 rule 3-b of c.p.c. — the explanation to order 23 rule 3-b of cpc explains the meaning of the words ‘representative suit’ employed in sub-rule (1) of order 23 rule 3-b of cpc. explanation (d) of order 23 rule 3-b of cpc states that a representative suit means, any other suit in law in which the decree passed may, by virtue of the provisions of cpc or of any other law for the time being in force, bind any person who is not named as party to the suit. bombay public trust act comes within the expression ‘any other law for.....order1. in this writ petition, the management of the central machine tool institute. bangalore, the petitioner, is questioning the legality of the registration of their employees' association as a trade union under the provisions of the indian trade unions act, 1926, on the grounds that the institute is purely a research and development organisation without any profit motive and therefore, even if it can be regarded as 'industry' within the meaning of that word as defined in the , it is not a trade or industry for purposes of trade unions act and consequently the registration of the association of the employees of the institute under the trade unions act by the 1st respondent-deputy registrar of trade unions is without authority of law. 2. case of the petitioner : the petitioner is this.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. In this writ petition, the management of the Central Machine Tool Institute. Bangalore, the petitioner, is questioning the legality of the registration of their employees' association as a trade union under the provisions of the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926, on the grounds that the institute is purely a research and development organisation without any profit motive and therefore, even if it can be regarded as 'industry' within the meaning of that word as defined in the , it is not a trade or industry for purposes of Trade Unions Act and consequently the registration of the association of the employees of the institute under the Trade Unions Act by the 1st respondent-Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions is without authority of law.

2. Case of the petitioner : The petitioner is this writ petition is the management of the Central Machine Tool Institute situate in Bangalore. It is society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. According to the objects set out in the Memorandum of the Association, the petitioner-society is a research and development organisation established for the purpose of development of machine tools, training of personnel in design, inspection, testing and production engineering methods and for doing research in the field of machine tool technology and other activities of similar nature with are in the nature of research. The Government of India has granted exemption to the petitioner society from payment of customs duty vide Ext. B. The petitioner-society is also exempted from paying applications fees for import licensees vide Ext. C. The revenue receipts of the petitioner society are not treated as in one for purposes of the Income tax Act vide Ext. D. The Corporation of the Bangalore City has also exempted the petitioner society from payment of octroi on the ground that it is an industry vide Ext. E. The petitioner society was established with the financial and technical collaboration of the Government of Czechoslovakia as a research institute with the supply of sophisticated machinery and equipment and services of experts in various disciplines and training of Indian Engineers in the services of the experts in various disciplines and training of Indian Engineers in the research institute for machine tools and machining in Prague. Government of India has also contributed to the establishment of the petitioner-society with matching contributions. The salary bill of the petitioner-society comes to about Rs. 42 lakhs. The petitioner-society receives grants from the Government of India from the Consolidated Funds of India allotted to the Ministry of Industry (Department of Heavy Industry) under whom it is functioning. There are about four hundred personnel on the establishment of the petitioner-society including the supervisory staff. The petitioner-society, therefore, is not an industry within the meaning of the word as used in the Trade Unions Act. The employees of the petitioner-society have formed themselves into an association called 'CMTI Employees' Association' under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. A communication to that effect was given to the management by the General Secretary of the Association on 10-5-1977 (Ext. G.). A further communication dated 26-5-1977 (Ext. H) was received from the Association to the petitioner-society to the effect that their association has been registered under the Trade Unions Act by respondent-1. Thereafter, the petitioner-society requested respondent-1 for cancellation of the registration certificate granted to the association under the Trade unions Act urging that the petitioner-society is not an industry and consequently the employees of the petitioner-society are not workmen within the Meaning of that word under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. Respondent-1 refused to cancel the registration. Aggrieved by the registration of the association as a trade union, the petitioner-society has presented this writ petition.

2A. On the basis of the above facts, the contentions of the petitioner-society are as follows :

(1) The registration of the association as a trade union under the Trade Unions Act by respondent-1 without giving an opportunity to the petitioner-employer to object to the registration is violative of the principles of natural justice.

(2) The registration of the association under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act by respondent-1 is without jurisdiction for the reason that the petitioner-society being purely a research institute does not fall within the meaning of three word 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act.

3. Case of respondent-2 :- The fact that the petitioner-society is purely a research and development organisation and its activities are purely of research on nature is disputed. The petitioner-society has engaged itself in systematic manufacturing activities. It has workshops and other departments wherein articles are produced, adopted and manufactured with a view to their use and sale. The activities of the petitioner society include the following :

(a) manufacture and sale of prototype for commercial exploitation;

(b) manufacture and sale of various machine tool products. A printed catalogue printed and published by the petitioner-institute giving the particulars of its various products as per Ext. - I;

(c) supplying of designs in respect of various machine tools and accessories developed by it to various machine tool manufacturers in the country for commercial exploitation. A list showing the particulars of items licensed as also the names of the licensees in respect thereof up to end of 20th November, 1975 is as per Ext. II. The particulars of licence fee charged for various items is as per Ext. III;

(d) granting of licences for manufacture of machine tool accessories, cutting tools and attachments based on the designs developed by it, for commercial exploitation. The lists giving particulars of accessories, cutting tools and attachments as also the licence fee charged for manufacture of these items, are as par Ext. IV, V and VI :

(e) undertaking of testing of various types of machine tools. The rates charged for these, tests are as per Ext. VII and VIII;

(f) bringing out various priced publications as per Ex. IX;

(g) undertaking of production advisory service as also consultancy projects on group technology for various industries. These services are paid for;

(h) undertaking of consultancy service not only for design and development but also in machine selection, maintenance and debugging of machine installation and systems, on payment of the fee charged;

(i) rendering help in setting up metal working research institutes in various foreign countries with the technical 'knowhow' developed by it. Under this project, the institute trains personnel from these countries, besides rendering other services. These projects have fetched considerable returns to the institute. In this connection, mention may be made of setting up a Metal Working Research Institute of Tabriz in Iran.

(j) undertaking of consultancy and testing in respect of various jobs entrusted to it by the industries in the field of Chemical Analysis. Metallurgy, Electricals, Hydraulics and Pneumatic Engineering, on payment of charges thereof;

(k) Data processing at the Computer Center for the benefit of various industries and organisations on payment of charges;

(l) preparation for adoption by the machine tool and engineering industries, a number of test charts and related standards pertaining to Machine Tool Elements. Accessories, Cutting Tools, etc., so as to improve materials, products, appliances, processes and methods. As on date, the Institute has prepared and published as many as 140 Standards and they are sold by the Institute at the stipulated rates. The proceeds from the sale of these Standards have steadily increased from year to year;

(m) offering of Technical Information Services like Technical Library, publication of Machine Tool Abstracts, Product information bulletin, preparation of bibliography, technical enquiry translation service, reprographic services Liaison with other organisations within the country and abroad in the fields of Machine Tools and production engineering;

(n) conducting of seminars and courses for the benefit of personnel from various industries. The participants are charged for attending these seminars and courses.

In view of the aforesaid activities, the petitioner-society is 'industry' and, therefore, the employees of the petitioner are entitled to form a trade union and have it registered under the Trade Union Act.

4. Sri K. Shivashankar Bhat, learned counsel for the petitioner, and Sri R. Chandrasekharan learned counsel for respondent-2 addressed arguments in support of their respective case.

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner did not dispute that the Institute is carrying on the various activities set out in the statement of objects which are extracted above. But he submitted that internal resources generated by such activities are only nominal and the rates charged for various services are nominal and not with any profit motive. In support of this submission the petitioner has furnished the break up of receipts under various heads and expenditure vide Ext. F. The case of the petitioner is that the said amounts are negligible compared to the expenditure of the Institute which is maintained mainly by the financial grants made by the Central Government. In support of the above submission, petitioner has also furnished the figures as to the percentage of grant received from the Central Government. The relevant figures for 1969-70 up to 1975-76 are as follows :

---------------------------------------------------------------------Total Internal Percentageexpenditure resources of grant byin lakhs. in lakhs. Central Govt.(1) (2) (3)---------------------------------------------------------------------1969-70 ... 30.26 1.56 95.161970-71 ... 32.10 2.45 92.021971-72 ... 38.26 2.98 92.031972-73 ... 46.75 5.22 92.591973-74 ... 85.99 7.07 89.401974-75 ... 76.34 6.10 93.651975-76 ... 124.14 11.82 88.41---------------------------------------------------------------------

The figures furnished above undoubtedly indicate that the institute is run mainly by the financial grants made by the Central Government and that internal resources received through sales of prototypes or designs or technical knowhow, etc., is meagre compared to the total expenditure and betrays and there is no profit motive.

6. Learned counsel for the respondent also did not dispute the correctness of the figures. He, however, submitted that the income from internal resources is steadily increasing. But the figures also discloses that there is increase in the expenditure also and compared to this it is not possible to say that the Institute is increasing its incomes year by year. But he contended that profit motive is an irrelevant test to find out whether the activities of the petitioner is an 'industry' or not. He submitted that a research Institute like the petitioner having an organized establishment rendering material service to the community is an industry irrespective of its having profit or having no profit motive.

7. Before taking up for consideration of the specific controversy arising between the petitioner society and respondent-1, namely, whether the petitioner-society is an industry for purposes of the Trade Unions Act it is convenient to dispose of the ancillary question, namely, whether the petitioner society is an industry within the meaning of that word under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act.

8. Though at the time when the writ petition was presented, there was scope for arguments that a research institute like the petitioner-society, without any profit motive does not fall within the definition of the word industry it is fairly conceded by the learned counsel for the petitioner that in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board cases, : (1978)ILLJ349SC , it can no longer be contended that the petitioner is not an 'industry' for the purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act. The relevant portion of the judgment in para 135 at page 588, reads thus :

'135. Does, research involve collaboration between employer and employee It does. The employer is the institution, the employees are the scientists, para-scientists and other personnel. Is scientific research service Undoubtedly it is. Its discoveries are valuable contributions to the wealth of the nation. Such discoveries may be sold for a heavy price in the industrial or other markets. Technology has to be paid for the technological inventions and innovations may be patent and sold. In our scientific and technological age nothing has more cash value, as intangible goods and invaluable services, than discoveries. For instance, the discoveries of Thomas Alva Edison made him fabulously rich. It has been said that his brain had the highest cash value in history for made the world vibrate with the miraculous discovery of recorded sound. Unlike most inventors, he did not have to wait to get his reward in heaven; he received it magnificently on this gratified and grateful earth, thanks to conversion of his invention into money aplenty. Research benefits industry. Even though a research institute may be a separate entity disconnected from the many industries which funded the institute itself, it can be regarded as an organisation, propelled by systematic activity, modelled on co-operation between employer and employee and calculated to throw up discoveries and inventions and useful solutions which benefit individual industries and the nation in terms of goods and services and wealth. It follows that research institutes, albeit run without profit motive, are industries.'

Therefore, by the above decision, it is settled that the petitioner-society is an 'industry' within the meaning of the term as sued in the Industrial Disputes Act. With the background I shall now proceed to consider the respective contentions urged for the petitioner society and respondent-2.

9. The case put forward by the petitioner-society, which is controverted by respondent-2, gives rise to the question, namely, whether the workmen of an establishment, which is undisputedly an 'industry' within the meaning of that word under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, are not entitled to form a trade union on the grounds that they are not workmen employed in an 'industry' for purposes of the Trade Unions Act. The answer to the above question has to be furnished by considering the following two aspects :

(1) Whether the word 'industry' as used in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act carry the same meaning as the word 'industry' as defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act

(2) If the word 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act is ambiguous, whether the definition of the word 'industry' contained in the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, which is a later enactment can be read into the provisions of the Trade Unions Act

I shall take up for consideration the above aspects one after another.

10. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the word 'industry' is not defined in the Trade Unions Act, whereas the said word is defined in the Industrial Disputes Act. The word 'industry' is used in the Trade Unions Act indirectly while defining the words 'Trade Dispute' and having regard to the context in which the said word is used in the Trade Unions Act, it should be given a restricted meaning and not the same wider meaning which is specifically given while defining the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act. In order to appreciate the above contention, it is necessary to set out side by side the definitions of the relevant words contained the Industrial Disputes Act and the Trade Unions Act.

-----------------------------------------------------------------Industrial Disputes Act Trade Unions Act-----------------------------------------------------------------S. 2(j) : S. 2(g) :'Industry' means any business, 'Trade Dispute' meanstrade, undertaking, manufacture any dispute betweenor calling of employers and employers and workmenincludes any calling, service, or between employersemployment, handicraft, or and employersindustrial occupation or which is connectedavocation of workmen. with the employmentor non-employment,or the termsof employment or theconditions of labour,of any person, and'workmen' means allpersons employed intrade or industrywhether or not in theemployment of theemployer with whomthe trade disputearises;S. 2(k) : S. 2(h) :'Industrial Dispute' means any 'Trade Union' means anydispute or difference between combination, whetheremployers and employers, or temporary or permanent,between employers and workmen, formed primarilyor between workmen and workmen, which is for the purpose ofconnected with the employment or regulating the relationsnon-employment or the terms of employment between workmenor with the conditions of and employers or betweenlabour, of any person; workmen and workmen,or between employersand employers, or forimposing restrictiveconditions onthe conduct of any trade orbusiness, and includesany federation of twoor more Trade Unions.-----------------------------------------------------------------------

11. Learned counsel for the petitioner invited my attention to the above definitions and submitted that the word 'industry' has a wider meaning under the provision of the Industrial Disputes Act, but it has a restricted meaning under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. He urged that in view of the definition of the word 'trade dispute' read with the definition of 'Trade Union' it is only the workmen, employed in trade or industry who are entitled to form Trade Unions. In other words, according to him though the petitioner-society being a research institute established for rendering technical service to the community in various fields, is an 'industry' for the purposes of Industrial Disputes Act, as it is not carrying on any trade and is not making any profit, but is rendering service to the community, it cannot be said that it is a commercial establishment and, therefore, it cannot be treated as an 'industry' for purposes of Trade Unions Act. He submitted that the word 'industry' which follows the word 'trade' in the definition of the words 'trade dispute' in the Trade Unions Act, should be understood in the context of the word trade and it should be held that any 'industry' which is not carrying on any 'Trade' with the intention of profit making, does not fall within the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act, and, therefore, the workmen of such an 'industry' cannot form a Trade Union. Elaborating his contention, he submitted that the registration of the association by respondent-2 have got certain serious consequences such as those set out in Ss. 18, 19 and 22 of the Trade Unions Act. Under Section 18 the Traded Union gets immunity from civil actions in certain cases. Under S. 19 an agreement between the members of the registered Trade Union shall not be void or voidable merely by reason of the fact that any of the objects of the agreement are in restraint of trade. Under S. 22 even out side's who are not actually working in the industry, can become office bearers of the Trade Union. Having regard to these consequences also, he urged that it should be held that the Trade Unions Act was not intended to cover the employees of a non-commercial undertaking established only for philanthropic or research purposes. In support of his submission he relied on the following decisions :

(1) Ramakrishna Mission v. State of West Bengal, [1975-I L.L.J. 291] (Cal). In this decision, the legality of the registration of the Trade Union of the employees of the Ramakrishna Mission was questioned by the Ramakrishna Mission. The Calcutta High Court came to the conclusion that the Ramakrishna Mission does not carry on an industry when they run various educational institutions for purposes of imparting education at various levels and does not produce any material goods or products available for material service. The registration of the association of the workmen of the Ramakrishna Mission was set aside. In para 5 pages 292 and 293, the Calcutta High Court held that the association could not have been registered as a Trade Union under the Trade Unions Act.

(2) Rangaswamy v. Registrar of Trade Unions, : (1961)ILLJ599Mad . The workers of Raj Bhavan, Madras, formed themselves into an union. The Registrar of Trade Unions refused to register the union of employees of the Raj Bhavan, Madras, as a Trade Union. The said decision was challenged before the Madras High Court. The Madras High Court held that a large section of employees of the Raj Bhavan are Government servants and they could not form themselves into a Trade Union as it cannot be said that they are workers employed in a trade or business, at page 234 - Para-17.

(3) N. Karappannan v. The Additional Registrar of Trade Union, (1976) L.I.C. 1388 (Mad). In this case, the employees of the Pasteur Institute of Southern India, Coonoor and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Madras claimed registration of their associations as a Trade Union. The Registrar of Trade Unions refused to register the union on the ground that it is not an industry for purposes of S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act. The writ petition filed by the union against the order of the Registrar refusing to register the Trade Union was unsuccessful. The matter came up in the writ appeal. The Division Bench in the writ appeal came to the conclusion that the nature of the work and the financing almost wholly by Government, show that these institutions are Research Institutions in the course of working of which, as detailed earlier, they can hardly be said to be engaged in any commercial enterprise in the sense of rendering material service supplying goods and others as a business or trade. The Council produces certain number of items more to service as prototypes of goods which can be produced by others utilising the processes developed by the Institutions do not fall within the definition of the word 'industry' The relevant portions are at paras 11A and 13, which read as follows :

'11A. We have given our careful consideration to the character of the Madras Complex of the CSIR and are of opinion that they are merely Research institutions engaged in Research work in order to help industries, and develop industries with their scientific and technological experience and know-how. The entire activity of the complex, as it appears to us, is, therefore, educational, and is not industry in a commercial sense. There is no trade or business involved in a commercial sense. The mere fact that royalties are collected or pilot plants are sold and a small nominal amount is released, or job work is done for a consideration, will not on a proper perspective of the character or the entire activity of the CSIR complex, make any difference to the real nature of the Complex as consisting of Educational Institutions.

* * * *13. We are not, therefore, persuaded that merely on account of the receipt of royalties or nominal price for some job work done sale of some goods in the course of Industrial Research and Development of Industries what is really an institution essentially educational in character, should be stamped as an industry in a commercial sense. We hold that the Madras Complex is not an industry either for the purpose of Industrial Disputes Act, or the Trade Unions Act'.

On the basis of the above decision, particularly the last decision of the Madras High Court, learned counsel for the petitioner strenuously urged that the petitioner society's activities are similar to the Pasteur Institute and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and it should be held that the petitioner society is not an industry at least for purposes of the Trade Unions Act.

12. Learned counsel appearing for respondent-2 submitted that the decisions on which the petitioner society has relied are of no assistance now for the reason that they were delivered at a point of time when research institutions were considered as not falling within the definition of the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act. He submitted that as it cannot be contended now that the petitioner-society is not an industry within the meaning of the said word as used in the Industrial Disputes Act in view of the latest judgment of the Supreme Court in Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Boards case, (1978-I L.L.J. 349); (1978) L.I.C. 467, no reliance can be placed on the decision rendered earlier can be placed on the decisions rendered earlier which proceeded on the basis that a research institute of the type of the petitioner-society was not an 'industry' for purposes of Industrial Disputes Act. He submitted if 'petitioner' is 'industry' for the purpose of Industrial Disputes Act, it follows it is also 'industry' for purposes of Trade Unions Act. In support of his submission he relied on the following decisions :

(1) The Registrar of Trade Unions v. M. Mariswamy, (1973) 2 Mys. L.J. 256 : (1974) L.I.C. 695. In this case, the employees of the Provident Fund Organisation formed into an union called 'the Mysore State Employees' Provident Fund Employees Union'. They made an application for its registration as a Trade Union under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. The Registrar of Trade Unions issued a certificate of registration. Thereafter the Registrar issued a notice to the secretary of the union asking him to show cause why the certificate of registration should not be withdrawn on the ground that the activity of the Provident Fund Organisation was neither a trade nor an industry and, therefore, the workmen thereof were not entitled to have their union registered under the Trade Unions Act. The Registrar, after considering the representation made by the union, withdrew the registration certificate. Against the said order of the Registrar, the workmen preferred an appeal to the District Court under S. 11 of the Trade Unions Act. The Appellate Court allowed the appeal and set aside the order of the Registrar. Against the order of the District Court a revision petition was presented to the High Court under S. 115 of the Civil P. C. Malimath, J., after considering the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha, : (1960)ILLJ251SC and also the subsequent decisions of the Supreme Court in Management of Safder Jung Hospital v. Kuldip Singh Sethi : (1970)IILLJ266SC . Secretary, Madras Gymkhana Club Employees' Union v. Management of the Gymkhana Club, : (1967)IILLJ720SC and Management of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry v. Their Workmen, : (1971)IILLJ630SC , concluded as follows (at p. 699 of 1974 L.I.C.) :

'.... As the activity of the Provident Fund Organisation is 'industry' the members of the union, who are its employee have to be regarded as workmen. As the union was formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between the workmen and its employer, it is a Trade Union as defined in S. 2(h) of the Act'.

The order or the District Court in appeal was upheld and the revision petition was dismissed.

(2) Registrar of Trade Unions v. M. K. Gooha, : (1963)ILLJ100Cal . In this case the question which arose for consideration was as to whether employees of Employees' State Insurance Corporation could form themselves into a Trade Union On an application made by them, the Registrar of Trade Unions registered the said union under the Trade Unions Act. However, thereafter, he issued a notice to the secretary of the union proposing to cancel the registration. The union furnished its reply. Thereafter the Registrar canceled the certificate. Against the cancellation the union preferred an appeal before the High Court of Calcutta. The matter came up before a single Judge. He allowed the appeal and set aside the order of registration. Against the said decision the Registrar of Trade Unions preferred Letters Patent Appeal before the Division Bench of the same court. The Division Bench following the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha (supra) held as follows (at page 61 of A.I.R. Cal) :

'In my opinion, this test may well be applied to the expression 'industry' as also 'trade' or 'business' as used in the Trade Unions Act. In this Act also, the profit motive is not essential and the providing of amenities or services to the community or a substantial portion of it would be sufficient to satisfy the test. The fact that such services are to be rendered by a statutory Corporation makes no difference. The fact that a large number of employees are employed by an employer, to render services for a particular class of persons, in an organized manner, is quite sufficient to bring the Corporation are workmen as defined in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act and are entitled to form a Trade Union and get it registered. The learned Judge below had come to the right conclusion and rightly set aside the order of cancellation passed by the Registrar, Trade Unions'

The order of the learned single Judge was upheld and the appeal was dismissed.

(3) Registrar of Trade Unions v. Fire Service Workers' Union, [1963-I L.L.J. 167] (Cal). In the said case, the employees of the Fire Brigade Services formed their union and got it registered under the trade unions act. After having registered the union, the Registrar canceled the registration certificate after notice to the union. Against the order of cancellation, the workers preferred an appeal to the High Court of Calcutta under S. 11 of the Trade Unions Act. The appeal was allowed by the single Judge, who set aside the order of cancellation of registration certificate by the Registrar of Trade Unions. Against the order of the single Judge, the Registrar of Trade Unions preferred Letters Patent Appeal to a Division Bench of the same High Court. The sole ground on which the registration certificate was canceled was that Fire Brigade Services has no profit motive and, therefore, it is no 'industry' and, therefore, they are not entitled to form themselves into a Trade Union. Rejecting the above contention, the Division Bench held as follows :

'.... A fire brigade or a fire service organized under the Fire Services Act must be necessarily consist of an organised body of employees. Between the employer and the employees, an organization is set up, at public expenses, to render services to the community at large or to a substantial portion of it. In such cases the profit-motive is absent, but it is now well-established that a profit motive is not essential. In my opinion, therefore, the tests are amply passed and it must be held that workmen employed in the Fire Services are entitled to form a Trade Union and to get it registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926. That being so, the cancellation of the certificate of registration by the Registrar of Trade Unions, West Bengal, cannot be supported and has been rightly set aside'.

(4) Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam v. The Commr. of Labour, (1978) L.I.C. NOC 102 p. 63 (Andh Pra). In this case the workers in various departments attached to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam formed themselves into a workers' union and the same was registered under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. The legality of the registration was questioned before the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The case is not fully reported in (1977) Andh. LT 605. From the short notes published, it is seen that the Andhra Pradesh High Court held that in order to cater to the thousands of pilgrims who visit the temple, the temple authorities run several canteens, dispensaries and also it has departments dealing with supply of electricity, water and the like, and these activities though conducted by the religious institution, it falls within the definition of the word 'industry' contained in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act and the said definition would be relevant for purposes of the Trade Unions Act also.

13. It is no doubt true that as pointed out by the learned counsel for the petitioner society the word 'industry' is defined in the Industrial Disputes Act and it is not defined in the Trade Unions Act. He also agreed that the light of the Bangalore Water Supply case, (supra) the petitioner-society is an 'industry' as defined under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act. The question is can there be an 'industry' as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, whose workmen are not entitled to form Trade Union under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act on the ground that it is not an 'industry' for purposes of the Trade Unions Act I am unable to comprehend such a situation. An establishment could be either an industry for purposes of both the Acts or could not be treated as an industry for purposes of both the Acts. It is not possible to visualize a situation where a particular establishment comes within the definition of the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act and does not come within the definition of the same word, though not defined elaborately, under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. As can be seen from the definition of the words 'trade dispute' contained in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act, the said definition is almost similar to the definition of the words 'industrial dispute' under S. 2(k) of the Industrial Disputes Act. However in the definition of the words 'trade dispute' is also included the definition of the word 'workmen' which means persons employed in trade or industry.

14. It is now well-established that the words 'trade' or 'industry' even without the elaborate definition of the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act, are by themselves sufficiently wide enough to bring the petitioner-society, which is a research institute, within the definition of the word 'trade' or 'industry' notwithstanding the fact that it has no profit motive Explaining the meaning to be given to the words 'trade' and 'business' in the case of State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha, : (1960)ILLJ251SC , the Supreme Court observed as follows :

'(11) Besides, it would be relevant to point out that too much reliance cannot be placed on what are described as the essential attributes or features of trade or business as conventionally understood. The conventional meaning attributed to the words 'trade and business' has lost some of its validity for the purpose of industrial adjudication. Industrial adjudication has necessarily to be aware of the current of socio-economic thought around; it must recognise that in the modern welfare State healthy industrial relations area matter of paramount importance and its essential function is to assist the State by helping a solution of industrial disputes which constitute a distinct and persistent phenomenon of modern industrialised States. In attempting to solve industrial disputes industrial adjudication does not and should not adopt a doctrinaire approach. It must evolve some working principles and should generally avoid formulating or adopting abstract-generalisations. Nevertheless it cannot harp back to old age notions about the relations between employer and employee or to the doctrine of laissez faire which then governed the regulation of the said relations. That is why, we think, in construing the wide words used in S. 2(j), it would be erroneous to attach undue importance to attributes associated with business or trade in the popular minds in days gone by.

* * * *(16) In considering the question as to whether group of hospitals run by the appellant undoubtedly for the purpose of giving medical relief to the citizens and for helping to import medical education are an undertaking or not, it would be pertinent to enquire whether be an undertaking if it is carried on by a private citizen or a group of private citizens. There is no doubt that if a hospital is run by private citizens for profit it would be an undertaking very much like the trade or business in their conventional sense. We have already stated that the presence of profit motive is not essential for bringing an undertaking within S. 2(j). If that be so, if a private citizen runs a hospital without charging any fees from the patients treated in it, it would nevertheless be an undertaking under S. 2(j). Thus, the character of the activity involved in running a hospital brings the institution of the hospital within S. 2(j). Does it made any difference that the hospital is run by the Government in the interpretation of the word 'undertaking' in S. 2(j) In our opinion, the answer to this question must be in the negative. It is the character of the activity which decides the question as to whether the activity in question attracts the provision of S. 2(j); who conducts the activity and whether it is conducted for profit or not do not make a material difference.'

From the above decision it is clear that the words 'trade' or 'business' do not necessarily mean that an undertaking must be of a commercial nature. The profit motive is also not a relevant factor to conclude whether the activities of a particular undertaking constitutes trade or business. Therefore, even on the basis that the word 'industry' should be understood in the light of the word 'trade' preceding it in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act as contended for the petitioner it is not possible to give any restricted meaning to the word 'industry' for the purposes of Trade Unions Act by holding that profit motive is an essential attribute of 'industry' for the purposes of Trade Unions Act. Therefore, notwithstanding the fact that there is no profit motive in the activities of the petitioner-society so long it is a research institute meant for rendering material service to the community, its activities clearly fall within the meaning of the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act.

15. The decisions on which the learned counsel for the petitioner society has relied in support of his submission are also not helpful to the petitioner-society. In the Ramakrishna Mission's case, [1975-I L.L.J. 291] (Cal). the Calcutta High Court held that the employees of the educational Institutes run by the Ramakrishna Mission were not entitled to form a Trade Unions on the ground that the Ramakrishna Mission in running the institution is not carrying on an industry. In the said case, it was not held that the educational institutions run by the Ramakrishna Mission constituted an industry for purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act and not an industry for purposes of the Trade Unions Act. No such contention was also advanced in the said case. The Calcutta High Court held that the activities of the Ramakrishna Mission in running the educational institutions is not an industry and, therefore, the employees of those institutions cannot form into a Trade Union. As it is not disputed that petitioner-society is an industry, the above decision is not in any way helpful to the petitioner-society.

16. The next decision relied on for the petitioner-society is the decision of Madras High Court, : (1961)ILLJ599Mad concerning the employees of Raj Bhavan. The Madras High Court held that the employees of Raj Bhavan are Government servants and therefore, cannot form themselves into a Trade Union, as it cannot be held that they were employed in a trade or business carried on by an employer. In the said case also no distinction was sought to be made between the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act and the words 'trade' or 'industry' within the meaning of the Trade Unions Act. The Madras High Court came to the conclusion that the workers employed in Raj Bhavan are not persons employed in Madras High Court came to the conclusion that the workers employed in Raj Bhavan are not persons employed in a trade or business. In coming to the said conclusion, the Madras High Court proceeded on the assumption that the definition of the word 'industry' in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act can be read into the provisions of the Trade Unions Act and even on the said basis, the Court came to the conclusion that the workers of Raj Bhavan cannot be said to be workers employed in a trade or business. In other words the conclusion of the Court was that the employees of Raj Bhavan, Madras, did not constitute industry within the meaning of that word in the Industrial Disputes Act and, therefore, the employees cannot form a Trade. Union in the present case, as there is no dispute that the petitioner-society is an industry for purposes of the Industrial Disputes Act, the above decision of the Madras High Court does not in any way advance the case of the petitioner society.

17. In Karappannan's case, (1976) L.I.C. 1388 (Mad) which is the nearest to the case of the petitioner-society, the question before the Madras High Court was whether the employees of the Pasteur Institute of Southern India, Coonoor and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Madras, could form themselves into a Trade Union. As can be seen from the extracts of the judgment set out earlier, they were also research institutes, whose activities are almost similar to the petitioner-society. The decision arrived at by the Madras High Court was that the aforesaid institutes were not industries either for purposes of the Industrial Disputes Act or the Trade Unions Act. The Madras High Court having come to the conclusion that the institutes concerned in the said case did not constitute 'industry' for purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act, also concluded that they cannot be considered as 'industry' for purposes of Trade Unions Act also. Therefore, it follows that if their Lordships of the Madras High Court had come to the conclusion that those institutes fell within the definition of the word 'industry' in the Industrial Disputes Act, they would have also held that those institutes were also 'industry' for the purposes of Trade Unions Act and that the employees were entitled to have their union registered under the Trade Unions Act. Now in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board's case (supra) the research institute which were concerned in the above Madras case, fall within the definition of the word 'industry' under the Industrial Disputes Act. Therefore, the petitioner cannot derive any sustenance from the aforesaid decision of the Madras High Court which is no longer good law on the above question.

17-A. Now I proceed to consider the various decisions on which reliance was placed on behalf of the 2nd respondent. In the case of Registrar of Trade Unions v. M. Mariswamy, (1974) L.I.C. 695 (Mys), which is a decision of this Court, Malimath, J. held that the activity of the Provident Fund Organisation, which concerns itself with the social security programmes for the benefit of the employees engaged in the industries and other establishments to which the Industrial Disputes Act applies, results in material services. In that it provides financial security to the workers and, therefore, said activity falls within the definition of the word 'industry' and the union formed by the employees of the Provident Fund Organisation for purpose of regulation their relations with their employer is also a Trade Union as defined in S. 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act. The effect of the said decision, is that if the activity of an organisation or establishment falls within the definition of the word 'industry' under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, the workmen thereof are persons employed in a trade or industry and, therefore, entitled to form a Trade Union. It is no doubt true, as pointed out for the petitioner-society that the distinction which is sought to be made for the petitioner-society in this case, namely, that an activity which is to be treated as industry or trade for purposes of the Trade Unions Act, was not specifically advanced in the said case. But it should be pointed out that no such distinction can be made having regard to the wide meaning attributed to the word 'trade' by the Supreme Court in Hospital Mazdoor Sabha's case : (supra) Further I fail to see as to how after taking the view that a particular activity is an industry for the purposes of the Industrial Disputes Act it can still be held that the same activity does not fall within the meaning of the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act. Therefore, even after considering the distinction sought to be made for the petitioner-society, I come to the same conclusion as was reached by Malimath, J. in the aforesaid case with which I am in respectful agreement.

18. The next two decisions on which reliance was placed by respondent 2 are -

(i) Registrar of Trade Unions v. M. R. Gooha, : (1963)ILLJ100Cal ; and

(ii) Registrar of Trade Unions v. Fire-service Worker's Union [1963-I L.L.J. 167] (Cal).

In both these cases a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court came to the conclusion that the meaning given to the word 'industry' as deafened in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act equally applies to the expression trade as also 'industry' as used in the Trade Union Act and the profit motive is not an essential attribute of a trade or industry. I am in respectful agreement with the views expressed by Their Lordships of the Calcutta High Court in these two decisions.

19. The next decision relied upon for the 2nd respondent is Tirumala Tirupati Davasthanam v. Commissioner of Labour, (1978) L.I.C. N.O.C. 102. The Andhra Pradesh High Court held that the various services under the management of the temple such as electricity, water supply transport, etc., fall within the meaning of the word 'industry' as used in the Industrial Disputes Act and the definition of the word 'industry' as contained in the Industrial Disputes Act would be relevant for the purpose of the Trade Unions Act also. It is held that the employees engaged in such of those activities under the management of the temple, which fall within the definition of the word 'industry' as contained in Industrial Disputes Act, are entitled to form a trade union, as the same meaning has to be extended to the words 'trade disputes' in the Trade Unions Act. I respectfully agree with the view expressed by Their Lordships.

20. In the light of the above discussion, I hold that the meaning of the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in the definition of the words 'trade disputes' in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act, is as wide as the word 'industry' as defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act. Therefore, I conclude that petitioner-society which is an 'industry' within the meaning of that word as defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act is also a trade or industry within the meaning of those words as used in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act, and consequently the workmen of the petitioner-society are workmen employed in trade or industry and they are entitled to form a trade union and have it registered under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act.

21. The next aspect for consideration is, even on the assumption that the words 'trade' and 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act are ambiguous, whether the definition of the word 'industry' contained in the Industrial Disputes Act, which is a later enactment can be read into the provisions of the Trade Unions Act.

22. Learned counsel for the 2nd respondent submitted that when two enactments are pari materia, it is open for the Court to read the provisions of the later enactment into the provisions of earlier enactment if the words used in the earlier enactments are ambiguous. In support of this submission, learned counsel for the 2nd respondent relied on the following portions contained in Craies on Statute Law (seventh edition) at pages 135 and 146;

'(1) Statutes in pari materia :

Where Acts of Parliament are in pari materia, that is to say, are so far related as to form a system or code of legislation, the rule as laid down by the twelve Judges in Palmamer's case, [1785] I Leach C.C., 4th Ed. 352 (355), is that such Acts 'are to be taken together as forming one system, and as interpreting and enforcing each other.' In the American case of United Society v. Eagle Bank [1829] 7 Conn. 457, 470 Hosmer, J. said : 'Statutes are in pari materia which relate to the same person or thing, or to the same class of persons or things. The word 'par' must not be confounded with the word similis. It is used in opposition to it, as in the expression magic pares sunt quamsimiles, intimating not likeness merely, but identity. It is a phrase applicable to the public statutes or general laws made at different times and in reference to the same subject.'

As Knight Bruce, L.J. said in Ext. p. Copeland, [1852] 22 L.J. Bcy. 17, (21), upon a question of construction arising 'upon a subsequent statute on the same branch of the law, it is perfectly legitimate to use the former Act, though repealed.' 'For this,' continued he, 'I have the authority of Lord Mansfield, who in R. v. Loxdale, [1758] I Burr 445, 447, thus lays down the rule, 'where there are different statutes in pari materia, though made at different times, or even expired and not referring to each other, they shall be taken and construed together as one system and as explanatory of each other.'

* * * (3) Subsequent statutes relevant only as 'Parliamentary expositions' of prior statutes which are ambiguous :

It is not strictly permissible to interpret a statute by reference to what has been done in subsequent statutes; but sometimes light may be thrown upon the meaning of an Act by taking into consideration enactments contained in subsequent Acts. Sometimes an Act is passed for the express purpose of explaining or clearing up doubts as to the meanings of a previous Act, and is called 'An Act of explanation.' As to such Acts, Lord Code said, in Butler and Baker's case, [1591] 3 Co. Rep 25 a, that such an Act 'should not be construed by any strained sense against the letter of the previous Act, for if any exposition should be made against the direct letter of the exposition made by Parliament, there would be no end of expounding.'

'Except as a parliamentary exposition, subsequent Acts are not to be relied on as aid to the construction of prior unambiguous Acts. A later statute may not be referred to interpret the clear terms of an earlier Act which the later Act does not amend, even although both Acts are to be construed as one unless the later Act expressly interprets the earlier Act, but if the earlier Act is ambiguous, the later Act may throw light on it, as where a particular construction of the earlier Act will render the later incorporated Act ineffectual.'

He also relied on Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes (11th edition) at pages 32 and 33.

'Probably the rule as to the exposition of one Act by the language of another is satisfactorily and most comprehensively laid down in the broad statement of Lord Mansfield, that 'Where there are different statutes in pari materia, though made at different times, or even expired and not refereeing to each other, they shall be taken and construed together, as one system and as explanatory of each other.' I see no reason for thinking that there is not implicit in the legislation of 1939 the principle .... which Parliament proclaimed as just in 1666.'

Where a colonial Legislature has passed an Act in the same terms as an imperial statute, and the latter has been authoritatively construed by a Court of Appeal in England, such construction should be adopted by the Court of the colony.'

Not only may the later Act be construed by the light of the earlier, but it sometimes furnishes a legislative interpretation of the earlier, if it is in pari materia and if (but only if) the provisions of the earlier Act are ambiguous.'

From what is stated above in the aforesaid two authoritative works, two conditions are necessary for interpreting the provisions of an earlier enactment in the light of the provisions of a later enactment. They are :

(1) The two Acts of the Legislature must be in pari materia, that is to say that they form a system or code of Legislature; and

(2) The provisions in the earlier Act is ambiguous;

23. I have already come to the conclusion that the meaning of the words 'trade' or 'industry' used in the Trade Unions Act, 1926, is as wide as the word 'industry' which word is elaborately defined in the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, which is a later enactment on the basis of the judgment of the prime Court in Hospital Mazdoor Sabha, case (supra) in which the words 'trade' and 'business' were interpreted. But as can be seen from various decisions the words 'Trade and Industry' are capable of different interpretations. However, for the purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act the controversy is set at rest by the decision of the Supreme Court in Bangalore Water Supply case, (supra) As regards the meaning of the word 'industry' in order to remove any ambiguity, under the Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1947 (Act XLV of 1947) a definition to the word 'industry' was sought to be included in the Trade Unions Act, which is word to word identical with the definition of the word 'industry' as used in the Industrial Dispute Act. Though the said Act was passed by the Parliament, sub-s. (2) of S. 1 of the Act states that it shall be came into force on such date as the Central Government may appoint. Till today for the reasons best known to the Government of India no date has been appointed and consequently the Act has not come into force. Nevertheless the fact remains that the Parliament thought fit to define the word 'industry' in the same terms as that word is defined in the Industrial Disputes Act. It follows that the word 'industry' used in the Trade Unions Act in the absence of the definition is ambiguous requiring interpretation by Courts. Therefore, while it is open for the Courts to construe the word 'industry' as used in the trade unions in the light of the object and purpose of the Act and also the expanded meaning, that word has secured in recent time it is permissible to understand such an 'ambiguous word' by looking into the definition of the same word in a later law if both the laws are pari materia.

The next question for consideration is whether it can be said that the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, and the Trade Unions Act, 1926 form a system or code of legislation. I am of the opinion that the two enactments are pari materia, in that both the enactments put together form one system of legislation and, therefore, the definition of the word 'industry' contained in the later enactment; Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, can be looked into for understanding the words 'trade' or 'industry' used in the Trade Unions Act, for the following reasons :

(1) The subject matter of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and the subject-matter of Trade Unions Act, 1926 fall within the same legislative topic, namely, Entry 22 in List II (Concurrent List) 7th Schedule to the Constitution, namely, Trade Unions, Industrial and Labour Disputes.

(2) Both the enactments concern the same class of persons, namely, employers and employees of an industry.

(3) The aim of both the enactments is to provide for the procedure and machinery for settlement of industrial disputes and to give effect to the principle of 'collective bargain.' The provisions contained in both the enactments are complementary to each other. It is only through concerted effort through a well organised trade union, the workmen can secure to themselves various benefits conferred on them under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act by ensuring effective enforcement of those provisions.

(4) The various provisions contained in the Industrial Disputes Act also specifically refer to the Trade Unions Act which also indicates that both the enactments are part of single legislative scheme. For instance, S. 3 of the Industrial Disputes Act which provides for the constitution of the works committee, provides for consultation with the trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act. Similarly S. 33(3) of the Industrial Disputes Act prohibits imposition of any penalty against a protected workman when an industrial dispute is pending save with the express permission of the authority before whom any industrial dispute is pounding and according to the explanation under the said sub-section a protected workman means a workman, who is a recognized officer of a registered trade union connected with the establishment. Section 36 of the Act which provides for representation of a workman before a Labour Court provides that a workman, who is a party to the dispute shall be entitled to be represented in any proceedings under the Industrial Disputes Act by an officer of a registered union of which he is a member. The reference to the Trade Union or office bearer of trade union in the aforesaid provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act in connection with the implementation of the beneficial and protective provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act in favor of the workmen gives the clearest indication that effective enforcement of the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, is impossible without an organised trade union of the workmen in the concerned industry. Therefore, I hold that these two are cognate enactments forming one system or code of legislation.

24. In these circumstances, it should be held that the two enactments, namely, the Trade Unions Act, 1926 and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, are in pari materia and, therefore, it is permissible to read the definition of the word 'industry' contained in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act to understand the same word used in the Trade Unions Act. If so read, the conclusions inevitable that the words trade or industry contained in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act should carry the same meaning as the word industry defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act. Further as undisputedly the petitioner-society falls within the definition of the word 'industry' as defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, in the light of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board case (supra) the workmen of the petitioner-society are workmen employed in a trade or industry for purpose of Trade Union Act also and consequently they have a right to form a trade union and get it registered under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act.

24-A. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, strenuously contended that the definition contained in one enactment cannot be used for interpreting the same or similar word contained in another enactment. In support of this, he relied on a decision of the Supreme Court in D. N. Banerji v. P. R. Mukherjee, : [1953]4SCR302 . The relevant portion on which he relied reads as follows :

'(12) These remarks are necessary for a proper understanding of the meaning of the terms employed by the statute. It is no doubt true that the meaning should be ascertained only from the words employed in the definitions, but the set-up and context are also relevant for ascertaining what exactly was meant to be conveyed by the terminology employed. As observed by Lord Atkinson in Keats v. Lewis Merthyr Consolidated Collieries Ltd., (1911) A.C. 641. 'In the construction of a statute it is, of course, at all times and under all circumstances permissible to have regard to the state of things existing at the time the statute was passed, and to the evils, which as appears from its provisions, it was designed to remedy'. If the words are capable of one meaning alone, then it must be adopted, but if they are susceptible of wider import, we have to pay regard to what the statute or the particular piece of legislation had in view. Though the definition may be more or less the same in two different statutes, still the objects to be achieved not only as set out in the preamble but also as gatherable from the antecedent history of the legislation may be widely different. The same words may mean one thing in one context and another in a different context. This is the reason why decisions on the meaning of particular words or collection of words found in other states are scarcely of much value when we have to deal with a specific statute of our own; they may be helpful, but cannot be taken as guides or precedents.'

The principles laid down by the Supreme Court in the above case is a general principle, namely, that the words found in one statue are of no assistance for interpreting the same or similar words contained in other statutes by the rule of pari materia as laid down in Cries and Maxwell, the relevant portions of which are given earlier, is an exception to the above general principle which can be invoked subject to two conditions, namely, that both the enactments form one system or code of legislation and the word in the earlier enactment is ambiguous. Is these two conditions are satisfied it is open for the Court to give a meaning to the ambiguous word used in an earlier enactment, the clear meaning which is given to the same word in a later enactment. As held by me earlier, in this case it is permissible to invoke the Rule of pari materia. Therefore, I am unable to agree with the submission made for the petitioner that it is not permissible to read the definition of the word 'industry' as used in the Industrial Disputes Act to understand the same word used in the Trade Unions Act.

25. One more circumstances, which also favours the acceptance of the arguments advanced on behalf of the 2nd respondent that the word 'industry' used in the Trade Unions Act should be given the same meaning as contained in the word 'industry' as used in the Industrial Disputes Act, is the definition of the word 'industry' given in the Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1947, though the Act has not been given effect to. In this behalf, the Madras High Court in Registrar of Trade Union v. Government Press Employees Union, (1976) Lab I.C. 280 at p. 282 observed as follows :

'On the contrary, an amendment made by Parliament in 1947 would serve to emphasis the legislative intention to bring even an industry run by the Government within the ambit of the Trade Unions Act, 1926. I refer to Central Act 45 of 1947 called the Indian Trade Unions Amendment Act, 1947, which received the assent of the Governor General on 20-12-1947. In S. 3 clause (b) sub-clause (b) of the Amending Act, the word 'employer' has been defined to mean 'in relation to the industry carried on by or under the authority of any department of the Central Government or a Provincial Government the authority prescribed in this behalf or where no authority is prescribed the head of the Department'. This amendment reflects the undoubted intention of Parliament to bring an industry carried on by or under the authority of the Central Government or Provincial Government within the province of the Trade Unions Act, 1926. Learned counsel for the appellant contends that the amendment Act of 1947 would come into force only on such date as the Central Government may by notification in the official Gazette appoint and inasmuch as the Central Government has not since 1947 made any notification in this behalf, the Court ought not to have any regard for the provisions contained in the amendment Act while construing the Trade Unions Act, 1926. I am unable to agree. It may be that several new provisions contained in the Amending Act would not have come into force because the Central Government has not chosen to appoint a date by notification. But the Courts cannot close its eyes to the fact that Parliament has expressed unambiguously its intention by enacting Act 45 of 1947 and making it clear in its definition of 'employer' that even an industry run by the Government is subject to the provisions of the Trade Unions Act. As I have already pointed out even without invoking Act 45 of 1947 the only reasonable construction to put upon the several provisions of the Trade Unions Act, 1926 is that all workmen employed in any trade or industry regardless of the fact whether the trade or industry is being conducted by a Government or by a private agency are entitled to combine themselves into a trade union and to get their trade union registered under S. 6 of the Act. This conclusion which can be independently arrived at is reinforced by the amending Act of 1947.'

I am in respectful agreement with the above view. Learned counsel for the petitioner, however, argued and the very fact that the word 'industry' used in the Trade Unions Act, was sought to be given as wide a definition as given to that word in the Industrial Disputes Act, by the aforesaid 1947 amendment which has not come into force, shows that the word carried a restricted meaning but for that amendment. I do not agree. I am of the opinion that the definition of the word 'industry' which was sought to be introduced in the Trade Unions Act by the Indian Trade Unions (Amendment) Act, 1947 was only to make the meaning of the word 'industry' unambiguous and was not intended to enlarge the meaning on the basis that it had a restricted meaning earlier. The amendment though not given effect to only reinforces my earlier conclusion as to the meaning that should be given to the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in the Trade Unions Act even without the aid of the definition contained in the aforesaid Amendment Act of 1947.

26. In view of my conclusion as above, it is unnecessary for me to express any opinion on the question as to whether having regard to the principles of natural justice, the 1st respondent ought to have given an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner before registering the union.

27. Before concluding it is necessary to refer to another submission made on be half of the petitioner using to give a restricted meaning to the word 'industry' in the Trade Unions Act. He submitted trade union activity, which also brings in outsiders to participate in it coupled with the provisions which give certain immunities are not conducive to the calm and serene atmosphere which is of utmost importance for the smooth and efficient functioning of the Research Institute in which scientists are working. He said that trade union activity is detrimental to the interest of such an Institution. I am not impressed by this submission more than one reason viz. :

(1) The contentment among the employees is of utmost importance of the smooth and efficient functioning of the Institute. Therefore unless here is a forum in which the employees can have their grievances redressed, it is sure to lead to discontentment among the employees which in turn is bound to adversely affect the efficiency and smooth functioning of the Institute. The Institute though fully financed by the Central Government is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act. Therefore, it is not a State within the meaning of that word as defined in Art. 12 of the Constitution and consequently not bound by Arts. 14 and 16 of the Constitution. The conditions of service of its employees are not governed by any statutory provisions, hence is not amenable to writ jurisdiction of the High Court. Therefore, the only method by which the employees of the Institute can seek effective enforcement of their conditions of service which is in the interest of the Institute also, as pointed out earlier, is through the machinery provided under the Industrial Disputes Act through the agency of a trade union.

(2) Further I fail to understand how a trade union activity can be considered as an activity detrimental to the interests of the Institute. Such a feeling emanates from the assumption that employees who are part and parcel of the Institute are going to misuse the trade union and will conduct themselves in a manner detrimental to the interests of their Institute. There is no basis for such an assumption. The management should proceed on the basis that the employees would conduct themselves in a responsible manner and would do nothing improper or illegal which would be injurious to the interests of the Institute which in turn would be injurious to National interest. The employees also should have the interest of the Nation and the Institute first and should conduct their Trade Union activity with necessary discipline and decorum without affecting the interests of the Institute. Therefore, the solution to the problems arising between the management and employees does not lie in not allowing Trade Union activity but it lies in proper conduct of such activity.

(3) Further it is not for the Court to consider the question as to whether the research Institute like the petitioner should be kept outside the purview of the Trade Unions Act and Industrial Disputes Act. Such a question is purely one of legislative policy and can only be tackled by the Legislature if it so desires, The Courts have no alternative than to give effect to the provisions of the law as it stands.

28. In the light of the above discussion, my conclusion are as follows :

(1) There is no difference between the meaning of the word 'industry' as defined in S. 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act and the words 'trade' or 'industry' as used in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act. Therefore, if an establishment or activity falls within the meaning of the word 'industry' as defined in Industrial Disputes Act, the workmen thereof are also workmen employed in a trade or industry as specified in the definition of the words 'trade dispute' contained in S. 2(g) of the Trade Unions Act and consequently they are entitled to form a trade union.

(2) The registration of the Central Machine Tool Institute Employees' Association under the provisions of the Trade Unions Act by the 1st respondent is legal and valid.

29. For the reasons stated above, I make the following order :

(i) Rule is discharged.

(ii) The writ petition is dismissed.

(iii) No costs.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //