1. The petitioner is an institution established under a Trust Deed of late V. Krishnaswami Iyer, a Judge of this Court, dated 22nd November 1905. It is alleged in the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition, that this Institution is purely an educational institution, whose main object is to impart Ayurvedic medicinal system and give practical training in the preparation of medicines to the students in the Ayurvedic College. It is further alleged that the dispensary is run mainly to impart practical training analogous to house-surgeoncy in the regular allopathic medicine and in the course of the practical training medicines are prepared under the advice and guidance of doctors teaching in the college and such medicines are given to the patients who come to the dispensary for treatment. It is further alleged in the affidavit that such medicines are given freely to the patients and only those who can afford can pay for it. With various other allegations, the petitioner has prayed for quashing the order of the first respondent passed in S. No. 35011/75/71-PFII on the petition filed by the petitioner under S. 19-A of the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). On this petition the first respondent, apart from various other things, found that he manufacture of ayurvedic medicine by the petitioner will attract the provisions of the Act since such manufacture will fall under the caption 'Heavy and fine chemicals, inclusive of medical and pharmaceutical preparations' mentioned in the First Schedule to the Act. After so observing, the first respondent has dismissed the petition filed by the petitioner. Aggrieved by this order, the present writ petition has been filed.
2. I have carefully gone through the order of the first respondent and also the pleadings in this case. For the purpose of disposing of the writ petition, it is unnecessary to find out as to whether the petitioner is running a commercial establishment for preparing and selling ayurvedic medicine. In order to attract the provisions of the Act, it is necessary to find out as to whether the establishment such as the petitioner comes under any one of the categories mentioned in the First Schedule to the Act. S. 1(3)(b) of the Act reads as follows :
'Subject to the provisions contained in S. 16, it applies :-
a. xx xx xx b. to any other establishment employing twenty or more persons or class of such establishments which the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, specify in this behalf.'
The Central Government Notification added several items in the First Schedule to the Act. One such item added by Notification S.R.P. No. 2026, dated 3rd September, 1956 reads as follows :
'Heavy and fine chemicals including -
(iv) Medical and Pharmaceutical preparations,
(v) Toilet preparations,
(viii) Intermediates, dyes, colour lacs and toners,
(ix) Fatty acids, and
(x) Oxygen, acetylene and carbon-dioxide gases industry.'
In Gangatharan Vaidyan v. Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Kerala 1966 II L.L.J. 216 the Kerala High Court had occasion to consider the item 'Heavy and fine chemicals including medical and Pharmaceutical preparations, mentioned in the First Schedule to the Act. The Kerala High Court dealing with this aspect of the case held as follows :
'The petitioner's argument was that manufacture of ayurvedic preparations would not fall within the entry in the schedule, 'heavy and fine chemicals 'not even within the inclusive part of it, 'medical and pharmaceutical preparations.'
After referring to the arguments of the Government Pleader, and also to the dictionaries, the Kerala High Court came to the conclusion that medical and pharmaceutical preparations would take in Ayurvedic medicines also. This decision squarely applies to the facts of the present case. In my view, the same will apply to the present case if it attracts. S. 1(3) read with the First Schedule to the Act referred to above. The question as to whether the petitioner is a charitable institution or a commercial institution is outside the purview of discussion while deciding the applicability of the Act. It is clear from the facts of the present case, as admitted by the petitioner himself in the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition, that there is a dispensary mainly run to impart practical training analogous to house surgeoncy, in the regular allopathic medicines, that in the course of the practical training, medicines are prepared under the advice and guidance of doctors teaching in the college and that such medicines are given to patients who come to the dispensary for treatment. It is further admitted in the affidavit that such medicines are given freely to the patients and only those who can afford can pay for it. This is enough to judge as to whether the Act is attracted to the petitioner's institution. As I have stated in paragraph supra, the petitioner is an establishment attracting the provisions of S. 1(3)(b) of the Act. The First Schedule to the Act clearly takes in the ayurvedic medicines prepared by this institution Hence, it is clear that the provisions of the Act are attracted to the petitioner's institution also. Therefore, I am in complete agreement with the findings of the first respondent herein.
3. For all these reasons, the impugned order passed by the first respondent is confirmed and the writ petition is dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.