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The Management of Thiru Arooran Sugars Limited Vs. the Industrial Tribunal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLabour & Industrial
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1972)1MLJ128
AppellantThe Management of Thiru Arooran Sugars Limited
RespondentThe Industrial Tribunal and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....in any agriculture. the activity is therefore a business activity, which necessarily covers the growing of sugarcane as raw material which goes into the manufacture of sugar. in order to get the raw material, the company has taken the power to acquire the land and also to engage in the growing of sugarcane. we are unable to separate the farm activity from the main objective of the company, namley, the manufacture of sugar. the two go together. the farm is integrated with the factory and constitutes one activity, namely, to carry on the business of manufacture of sugar. the farm section is, therefore, part of the industry.4. the appeal is dismissed with the costs of the fourth respondent. counsel's fee rs. 200.
Judgment:
ORDER

K. Veeraswami, C.J.

1. We think that the conclusion of the learned Judge, who agreed with the Tribunal, that the farm Section of the appellant company is an industry, within the definition of the Industrial Disputes Act, is correct. The dispute related to certain issues touching revision of the dearness allowance, categorlsation of the farm workers and the scales of wages for the categories. But, as a preliminary point as to jurisdiction, on behalf of the management, it was contended before the Tribunal, but without success, that the farm Section was not an industry so as to attract the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act and justify the reference of the dispute for adjudication. The Tribunal has also decided on the merits of the dispute. But no point about it has been raised either before the learned Judge or before us.

2. The company is a limited liability one incorporated sometime in July, 1954, with the primary object of manufacturing sugar from sugarcane. The factory was established at Vadapathimangalam in Tanjore District which is predominantly a paddy producing area. A large area of nanja lands, about 6,200 acres, had been acquired for the company for the purpose of raising sugarcane to feed the factory. It appears that the sugarcane produced even from this large area was insufficient, so that the company had to go in for outside purchase of sugarcane in order to meet its needs. The farm Section is in charge of a Chief Sugarcane Officer. A single balance sheet or profit and loss account, as would be expected, has been prepared for the company, including the farm Section. One provident fund account for all the workmen, the same regulations governing the staff and the issue of orders of employment to the workmen of the farm Section by the Administrative Manager of the company, and transfer of workmen from the farm Section to other Sections, including the factory, are the other facts.

3. 'Industry' has been defined by the Act to mean 'any business, trade, under taking, manufacture or calling of employers, and includes any calling, service, employment, handicraft or industrial occupation or avocation of workmen'. This definition shows that whether a given activity of an employer is an industry or not will depend on the nature of such activity. The question has to be looked at from the standpoint of the employer, his intention, the circumstances surrounding it, which will throw a light on the character of the activity itself. The nature of the activity, in order to make it an industry, must be a business activity or trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling. The language of the definition is capable of a wide scope of activity. So far as the facts of this case are concerned, it will suffice to say that the activity of the company is clearly an industry. Its primary objective is to engage in the manufacture of sugar. Its intention is not to engage in any agriculture. The activity is therefore a business activity, which necessarily covers the growing of sugarcane as raw material which goes into the manufacture of sugar. In order to get the raw material, the company has taken the power to acquire the land and also to engage in the growing of sugarcane. We are unable to separate the farm activity from the main objective of the company, namley, the manufacture of sugar. The two go together. The farm is integrated with the factory and constitutes one activity, namely, to carry on the business of manufacture of sugar. The farm Section is, therefore, part of the industry.

4. The appeal is dismissed with the costs of the fourth respondent. Counsel's fee Rs. 200.


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