1. The facts of this case are quite simple. The deceased Adimulam alias Kalappan was employed as a bricklayer by one Govindaraja Mudaliar a maistri who is himself employed by the appellant. While engaged upon a scaffolding, Adimulam fell and sustained fatal injuries. His widow claimed compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act and the Commissioner has awarded her a sum of Rs. 630. The appellant contends that he is not liable because Adimulam) was employed on work of a casual nature and otherwise than for the purposes of his (the appellant's) trade or business. The facts are that the appellant is a hotel-keeper and it appears that out of the profits of his hotel-keeping and out of his other income if any, he purchases houses, reconstructs or repairs them and lets them for rent. The contention on his behalf is that all this is not part of his business and that if he employs any one to repair or reconstruct house for him, he is not thereby doing his business. We have been referred to the case in Rabia v. The Agent, G.I.P. Railway I.L.R (1928) 53 Bom. 203 in which it has been held that it is not part of the business of a railway company to construct an overhead electric cable although the overhead electric cable may be essential for the purpose of working the railway after construction. We have also been referred to the case in Bargewell v. Daniel (1908) 98 L.T. 257 where the defendant was the owner of several houses and co-owner of three others which were let to weekly tenants. She collected the rents and generally managed the property accounting to the other co-owners for rents received on their behalf but they paid her nothing for so doing. It was held that this woman was not carrying on the business of an estate agent and that she was not liable to compensate a workman employed on work of a casual nature who met with an accident while doing some repairs to some of the houses. These cases, we do not think, are strictly applicable here. The evidence goes to show that the appellant is regularly employing his profits in the purchase of buildings and in their reconstruction and repair for the purpose of letting them. We do not see therefore why it should not be held that in repairing such buildings, he is conducting a business. There is nothing to prevent a person being engaged in more than one line of business. The hotel-keeping is the appellant's main line of business and this is a side line. It is clear enough from the evidence that this is so. The appellant himself has stated as follows:
My main business is running the Hindu Restaurant known as 'Arya Bhavn'. Buying and selling houses and shops is not a regular business but I purchase them, improve them and let out as an investment.
2. These words mean that he is making a practice of purchasing houses, improving them and letting them out as an investment. We refuse to hold that the letting of the houses alone is his secondary line of business. We consider that the improvement of them is a necessary part of this secondary line of business. The learned Commissioner held that Kalappan was not a casual labourer. It is not necessary to decide that point because we are satisfied that even if his employment was of a casual nature he was employed for the purpose of appellant's trade or business. For these reasons this appeal must fail. It is accordingly dismissed. As the respondent is not represented, there will be no order for costs.