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Hospital Employees Union, Bikaner Vs. State of Rajasthan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour and Industrial
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Writ Petn. No. 793 of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Raj66; [1971(22)FLR237]
ActsIndustrial Disputes Act, 1947 - Sections 2
AppellantHospital Employees Union, Bikaner
RespondentState of Rajasthan and ors.
Appellant Advocate Marudhar Mridul, Adv.
Respondent Advocate S.K. Tewari, Dy. Govt. Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredIn Harinagar Cane Farm v. State of Bihar
Excerpt:
.....officer submitted his failure report because the college authorities are said to have shown a non-co-operative attitude towards the conciliation proceedings. 3. a reply has been filed on behalf of the respondents wherein the position taken by the government has been adhered to and it is claimed that the hospitals attached to the teaching institutions like medical colleges do not fall within the term 'industry' as defined in section 2(j) of the act. thus the manner in which the activity in question is organised or arranged, the condition of the co-operation between employer and the employee necessary for its success and its object to render material service to the community can be regarded as some of the features which are distinctive of activities to which section 2(j) applies......attitude towards the conciliation proceedings.thereafter, the union approached the state government and requested that the dispute may be referred to the industrial tribunal for adjudication but the government relying on the supreme court authority in the university of delhi v. ram nath, air 1963 sc 1873 rejected the union's demand of referring the matter to the tribunal on the ground that the hospitals attached to the medical colleges are teaching hospitals and they do not fall within the category of an 'industry'. having felt aggrieved by this order of the government, the union has filed this writ application in this court.3. a reply has been filed on behalf of the respondents wherein the position taken by the government has been adhered to and it is claimed that the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. The Hospital Employees union, Bikaner (hereinafter referred as the Union) has filed this writ application challenging the correctness of the order of the State Government refusing to refer the dispute raised by the union to the Industrial Tribunal on the ground that the hospitals attached to the Medical Colleges, which are usually termed as teaching hospitals, will not fall within the category of 'industry' as defined in Section 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). This order of the Government Is dated 27-5-1966 and is annexed to the writ petition as Ex. 3.

2. There is a Medical College established at Bikaner which is known as Sardar Patel Medical College. The main hospitals in the associated group of hospitals under the management of the Principal of the said Medical College are attached to the Medical College, Bikaner. The workmen of the said hospitals raised certain demands with regard to the confirmation of the employees of thehospitals and the enforcement of the Provident Fund Scheme and also an increase of Rs. 5 in Dearness Allowance from. February, 1964 instead of March 1964, and for the grant of grade increments. These demands were sent to the Conciliation Officer, Bikaner with a request that he may commence conciliation proceedings but it appears that the Conciliation Officer submitted his failure report because the College authorities are said to have shown a non-co-operative attitude towards the conciliation proceedings.

Thereafter, the union approached the State Government and requested that the dispute may be referred to the Industrial Tribunal for adjudication but the Government relying on the Supreme Court authority in The University of Delhi v. Ram Nath, AIR 1963 SC 1873 rejected the union's demand of referring the matter to the Tribunal on the ground that the hospitals attached to the Medical Colleges are teaching hospitals and they do not fall within the category of an 'industry'. Having felt aggrieved by this order of the Government, the union has filed this writ application in this Court.

3. A reply has been filed on behalf of the respondents wherein the position taken by the Government has been adhered to and it is claimed that the hospitals attached to the teaching institutions like Medical Colleges do not fall within the term 'industry' as defined in Section 2(j) of the Act.

4. The main question for determination in this petition is whether the hospitals attached to the medical colleges are industries or not.

5. In the State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdoor Sabha, AIR 1960 SC 610 the Supreme Court declared the hospitals as industry. In that case also, the hospital was attached to the medical college but this question was not raised whether the hospitals attached to the medical college fall within the definition of 'industry' or not. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court while considering the attributes the presence of which brings an activity or undertaking within Section 2(j), on the ground that it is analogous to trade or business, observed as follows:

'It is difficult to state these possible attributes definitely or exhaustively as a working principle it may be stated that an activity systematically or habitually undertaken for the production or distribution of goods or for the rendering of material services to the community at large or a part of such community with the help of employees is an undertaking. Such an activity generally involves the co-operation of the employer and the employees; and its object is the satisfaction of material human needs. It must be organised or arranged in a manner in which trade or business is generally organised or arranged. It must not be casual nor must it be for oneself nor for pleasure. Thus the manner in which the activity in question is organised or arranged, the condition of the co-operation between employer and the employee necessary for its success and its object to render material service to the community can be regarded as some of the features which are distinctive of activities to which Section 2(j) applies. Judged by this test there would be no difficulty in holding that the State is carrying on an undertaking when it runs the group of Hospitals in question.'

6. In Harinagar Cane Farm v. State of Bihar, AIR 1964 SC 903 the learned Judges further pointed out while upholding the judgment in AIR 1960 SC 610 that 'one of the considerations which weighed with this Court in dealing with the dispute raised by the appellant in that case was that in the First Schedule to the Act which enumerates industries which may be declared as public utility service under Section 2(a)(vi), three entries had been added by Act 36 of 1956. One of these was services in hospitals and dispensaries, and so, it was clear that after the addition of the relevant entry in the First Schedule it would not have been open to anybody to suggest that service in hospitals does not fall under Section 2(j).'

7. In view of these clear observations of the Supreme Court, it is difficult for me to uphold the view taken by the Government that the group of hospitals because they are attached to a teaching institution cannot fall within the definition of 'industry' as given in Section 2(j) of the Act. The Government did not correctly understand the import of the judgment of the Supreme Court in AIR 1963 SC 1873. The running of hospitals cannot be compared with the functioning of the universities where the only work done is imparting of education. There the employees employed by the universities, except the professors and the lecturers, do not in any manner serve the community directly in imparting education. Their function is to help those functionaries of the university who impart education but that is not so in the hospitals.

Every nurse, whether male or female, compounder, doctor, ward boy etc., they all render cumulative service to the community and, therefore, while applying the test laid down by the Supreme Court in AIR 1960 SC 610, hospitals do fall within the purview of the expression 'industry' as defined in Section 2(i) of the Act whereas university stands on a different footing. It is in this manner that the distinction between AIR 1960 SC 610 and AIR 1963 SC 1873 can conveniently be drawn. If a hospital is attached to a medical college then the functions of the employers and employees are not changed and the principles that have been laid down by the Supreme Court in declaring the hospital or the group of hospitals as 'industry' would not be altered simply because those hospitals are attached to the educational institutions.

8. For the reasons mentioned above, the hospitals at Bikaner, though attached to the Sardar Patel Medical College, fall within the definition of 'industry'. In this view of the matter, the order passed by the Government cannot stand and it is, therefore, set aside. The writ petition is accordingly decided. The petitioner shall get costs from the State Government.


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