S. Maharajan, J.
1. This Civil Revision Petition is directed against the judgment of the Principal District Judge of Pondicherry, which was rendered under the following circumstances.
2. The Employees of the Pondicherry Government Press constituted themselves into the Government Press Employees' Union and under Section 5 of the Trade Unions Act, applied to the Registrar of Trade Unions, Pondicherry, for registration of the trade union. The Commissioner of Labour, Pondicherry, who happens to be also the Registrar of Trade Unions, sent a communication to the Secretary of the Government Press Employees' Union on 1st July, 1971, regretting his inability to register the trade union under the Trade Unions Act, 1962. The ground given by the Registrar for refusing to register the application was, 'the present functions of the Government Press, Pondicherry, do not come within the meaning of trade or business'. Aggrieved by this order, the Secretary of the Government Press Employees' Trade Union filed an appeal with the District Judge, Pondicherry, in C.M.A. No. 45 of 1971, impugning the order of the Registrar. It was argued before the learned District Judge that the Government Press had been printing challans, gazettes and calendars, which were being sold to the public for a price and that the Government Press was also printing budget papers and papers for the various Departments of the Government thereby rendering service either to the public at large or to a section of the public. This description of the functions of the Government Press, Pondicherry, was not disputed by the counsel appearing for the Registrar of Trade Unions. But, it was contended on the basis of certain decisions, that the employees in the Government Press, being Government servants, were disentitled to form a trade union and therefore; their association was ineligible for registration under the Trade Unions Act. The learned District Judge, upon a consideration of the provisions of the Trade Unions Act, came to the conclusion, having regard to the nature of the activities of the Government Press, that it partook of the character of business and industry and that the workers employed in this industry were entitled to have their union registered under the Trade Unions Act, 1926. Consequently, the learned District Judge set aside the order of the Registrar of Trade Unions and allowed the appeal with costs. It is against this judgment that the Registrar of Trade Unions, Pondicherry, has preferred this petition. The Trade Unions Act, 1926, as can be gathered from the preamble thereto, was intended to provide for the registration of trade unions and in certain respects, to define the law relating to registered trade - unions. Under the Pondicherry Laws Regulation, 1963, this Act was extended to Pondicherry with effect from 1st October, 1963. Clause (h) of Section 2 of the Trade Unions Act, defines a trade union to mean, 'any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers or between workman and workman, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more Trade Unions'. The term 'workman' employed in Clause (h) has been defined in this latter part of the earlier Clause (g) of Section 2. Clause (g) runs as follows:
'Trade dispute' means any dispute between employers and workmen or between workman and workman, or between employers and employers which is connected with the employment or non-employment, or the terms of employment or the conditions of labour, of any person, and ' workmen' means all persons employed in trade or industry whether or not in the employment of the employer with whom the trade dispute arises.
The question arises whether the workmen represented by the Government Press Employees' Union, Pondicherry, are persons employed in 'trade'' or 'industry'. If they are so employed, there can be no difficulty in holding that their trade union shall be entitled to registration under the Trade Unions Act, 1926. It is contended on behalf of the appellant that the Government Press, Pondicherry, cannot be legitimately, regarded as indulging in trade because, it is being conducted without any profit motive. It is true that when the Government Press prints budget papers and papers for the various departments of the Government, it does so without any profit motive. But, in view of the admission that the Government Press has also been printing challans, gazettes, and calendars and has been selling the same to the public for a price it is difficult to eliminate altogether the profit motive from this enterprise of the Government. Even assuming that the Government Press is not a trading venture, the more important question that would arise is whether it is not an 'industry within' the meaning of Clause (g) of Section 2 of the Act.
3. Learned Counsel for the respondent would invoke the definition of the word 'industry' contained in Clause (g) of Section 2 of the Industrial Disputes Act and ask me to give the same meaning to the word 'industry' used in Clause (g) of Section 2 of the Trade Unions Act. The Trade Unions Act was passed in 1926 and I think it rather artificial and unrealistic to give to the word used in an Act of 1926 the extremely wide-ranging meaning, which Parliament has chosen to assign to the word 'industry' in the Industrial Disputes Act, which was passed 21 years later in 1947. No doubt, in Section 2 (j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, ' industry ' has been defined to mean : 'any business, trade, undertaking, manufacture, or calling of employers and includes any calling, service, employment, handicraft, or industrial occupation or avocation, of workmen.' But then, this sweeping definition does not seem to me in accordance with the Dictionary meaning of the word 'industry'. This is a definition which it was open to Parliament to adopt for the specific purposes of the Industrial Disputes Act. I think it, therefore, wrong to interpret the word 'industry' used in the Act of 1926 in the light of the widely extended meaning given to it by a statute of 1947. What, then does the word 'industry' under the Act of 1926 connote According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 'industry' means:
(1) diligence; (2) habitual employment in useful work; (3) branch of trade or 'manufacture'. 'Manufacture' according to the same dictionary, means : ' making of articles by physical labour or machinery especially on a large scale; branch of such industry, as woollen, etc' It would be clear from this dictionary meaning of the words, 'industry' and manufacture', that no profit motive is necessarily involved in an industry. There can be little doubt that the Government Press has been manufacturing, with the aid of the printing press, as well as by physical labour, and on a large scale, such articles as challans, gazettes, and calendars, budget papers, etc. It would, therefore, undoubtedly, be an 'industry' within the meaning of the Trade Unions Act, and the respondents, being persons employed in such an industry, must be, rightly, regarded as workmen' within the meaning of the Act. Any combination formed primarily for the purpose of iregulating the relations between these workmen and their employers world, then, be a trade union within the meaning of Clause (h) of Section 2 of the Act. Learned Counsel for the appellant would, however, contend that the workmen in the employ of the Government Press, Pondicherry, being Government servants, their trade union is disentitled to registration under the Trade Unions Act, I have scrutinized, in vain, the various provisions of the Act to discover whether workmen employed under the Government have been expressly or by necessary implication, put out of the pale of the Trade Unions Act. We are familiar with a number of special enactments which make it clear that they would have no application to Government concerns. No such provision has. been made in the Trade Unions Act. On the contrary, an amendment made by Parliament in 1947 would serve to emphasize 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 XLV of 1947 called the Indian Trade Unions Amendment Act, 1947, which received the assent of the Governor-General on 20th December, 1947. In Section 3, Clause (b), Sub-clause (6) 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 or 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, have not come into force because the Central Government has not chosen to appoint a date by notification. But the Court cannot close its eyes to the fact that Parliament has expressed, unambiguously, its intention by enacting Act XLV 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 XLV 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 Section 6 of the Act. This conclusion, which can be independently arrived at, is reinforced by the amending Act of 1947.
4. Reference is next made to a ruling of a Division Bench of this High Court consisting of Ananthanarayanan, J. (as he then was) and Venkatadri, J., in The Tamil Nadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union, Madras v. The Registrar of Trade Unions, Madras : (1962)ILLJ753Mad . As both learned Counsel would appear to rely upon this ruling in support of their contradictory positions, it is necessary to set forth in some detail, the facts of that case and the proposition of law laid down in that case by their Lordships. The Tamil Nadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union, which included among its members Sub-Magistrates of the Judiciary, Tahsildars entrusted with the powers of enforcement of the tax machinery and officers in charge of treasuries and sub-treasuries applied to the Registrar of Trade Unions, Madras, for registration of their union as a trade union under Section 5 of the Trade Unions Act. The Registrar, in that case rejected their application after holding that the association of ministerial employees of the Administrative department or office of the Government Press, Madras, could not claim to be a trade union, at all, and was not eligible for registration under the Act. Against the order declining registration, the Tamilnadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union preferred an appeal under Section 11 of the Act and this was registered as an Original Petition and heard by Ramachandra Iyer, J. (as he then was). The learned Judge dismissed the appeal and against his judgment, an appeal was preferred to the Division Bench. Their Lordships referred to the fact that the Supreme Court had approved of the dictum that those activities of the Government which should be properly described as 'regal or sovereign activity' were outside the scope of 'industry' because , those are functions which a constitutional Government can and must undertake for governance and which no private citizen can undertake, State of Bombay v. Hospital Mazdsor Sabha : (1960)ILLJ251SC , These functions were primary and inalienable functions of a constitutional Government. Examples of such functions are the legislative function, the administration of laws and the exercise of judicial power. In these circumstances, the Supreme Court declared:
It could not have been, therefore, in the contemplation of the Legislature to bring in the regal functions of the State within the definition of 'industry', and thus confer jurisdiction on Indus-trial Courts to decide disputes in respect thereof.
It was in this light that the Division Bench examined the character of the members of the Tamil Nadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union, which purported to include among its members Sub-Magistrates, Tahsildars, Officers in charge of Treasuries, Officers of Civil Court establishments and all the Heads of Department of the Government. These were all officers who were civil servants engaged in performing the sovereign and regal functions of the Government, which are Government's inalienable functions. They could not, therefore, be included within the 'definition of workmen' in an ''industry', to whom either Section 2 (g) or (h) of the Trade Unions Act could properly apply. It was pointed out before the Division Bench, that the Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union included also members of the State Transport Organisation, Cinchona factory of Government, etc., who could well be regarded as persons working as ''workmen' in an 'industry' since they were specific industrial undertakings of Government not partaking of the character of the Government's sovereign and real functions. The Division Bench without rejecting this part of the argument, held that inasmuch as the Tamilnadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union had a wide and unqualified basis and included Sub-Magistrates, Tahsildars, Treasury Officers, etc., it could not claim to consist exclusively of workmen in an industry. In arriving at this decision the Division Bench expressly held as follows:
We consider that the appellant, union is not entitled to succeed, at least with reference to the members of the civil service who form part of the essential and regal administrative machinery of the Government.
So far as the members of the Tamil Nadu Non-Gazetted Government Officers' Union, who were employees of industries conducted by the Government were concerned, the Division Bench expressly left the question open after making the following observation:
It is not necessary for us to express any view whether in the event. of the employees of these branches of Government which do partake of the character of 'industry' organising themselves into an Association of this kind, they would be eligible for registration as a Trade Union or otherwise.
It appears that, in that case, the learned advocate-General conceded that there are three categories to be regarded, the middle of which shares the characteristics of the other two and hence debatable in its scope. In the first category was the core of the civil services integrated with the inalienable and regal functions of the Government. They could, certainly, not be regarded as 'workmen' within the meaning of the Act. In the third category were those independent Corporations which are quasi-Government agencies or subsidized undertakings which are purely industrial in character such as Machine Tools Factory, Insurance Corporation, etc. The Division Bench held that there was little doubt that these are industrial undertakings whose employees, are workmen at least as defined in the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and it would be difficult to say that such workmen could not form trade unions for the conduct of industrial disputes. The intermediate category was, according to the learned Advocate-General, a kind of penumbra where light and shadow are mixed and here, according to the Division Bench, differences of view were, certainly, possible. Certain welfare, educational, or ameliorative departments of Government, according to the Division Bench, might or might not be regarded as liable to exclusion : the employees in those departments might or might not be regarded as 'workmen' in an 'industry'. But, in the intermediate category, there could also be persons who are workmen in an industry conducted by the Government and the definitions in Section 2 (g) and (h) could obviously, apply to them. From a scrutiny of the Division Bench judgment, two things become clear:
(1) that the Division Bench, deliberately,, refused to decide whether the workmen in an industry conducted by the Government would be governed by the Trade. Unions Act, 1926 and
(2) if workmen in a Government undertaking like the Government Press of Pondicherry, had exclusively and without joining hands with the civil service exercising sovereign and regal functions,, formed an Association, the Division Bench would have regarded them a* 'workmen' within the meaning of the Trade Unions Act entitled to have their Trade Union registered under Section 6 of the Act. It is, therefore, wrong for learned Counsel for the appellant to contend that there is anything in the ruling' cited supra which constrains this Court to. hold that the workmen of the Government Press are outside the ambit of the Trade Unions Act, merely because they also happen to be Government servants. For the reasons which 1 have already-stated, I have little hesitation in holding that the respondent (Government Press, Employees' Union) is an Association of workmen employed in an 'industry', no matter whether it is an industry conducted by the Government or by the private sector and is, therefore, entitled to registration under Section 6 of the Act.
5. Learned Counsel for the respondent placed strong reliance upon a Division Bench ruling of the Calcutta High Court in Registrar of Trade Unions, West Bengal' v. Mihir Kumar Gooha : (1963)ILLJ100Cal . That was a case where the employees of the State Insurance Corporation resolved to form a trade union of their own and the Registrar of Trade Unions rejected their application for registration under the Indian Trade Unions Act, 1926. The matter came up before the Calcutta High Court and the Division Bench held that the Employees' State Insurance Corporation carried on' a 'trade' or 'industry'' and the employees thereof were 'work-men' as defined in Clause (g) of Section 2 of the said Act.
In support of this proposition, the learned Judges gave their reasons as follows (at page 58):
It will be observed that in the definition of the expression 'trade dispute', the words 'trade' and 'industry' occur'. 'Workmen' according to this definition, mean all persons employed in a trade or industry. In the definition of the expression 'trade union', the words 'trade' and business appear. It follows that there may be 'trade union' within the meaning of the said Act, not only , in connection with a 'trade' or 'industry' but also with a 'business'.
Again, their Lordships, have observed at page 59, as follows:
It is obvious that the words 'trade', 'industry' and 'business' have been used indiscriminately and are all within the scope of the Act, which was intended to be wide in scope. The argument put forward on behalf of the respondent is that the expression 'workmen' in Section 2(g) relates to 'trade' or industry', whereas the Employees' State Insurance Corporation is neither a 'trade' nor an industry....
6. I am afraid, with great respect to the learned Judges, it is not permissible to invoke the subordinate clause in the definition of 'trade union' and use the, phrase 'trade or business' employed in that subordinate clause for the purpose of expanding the meaning of 'workmen' defined in Clause (g) of Section 2 The word 'business' employed in Clause (h) of Section 3 has to be understood in a restricted sense with reference to the company of words in which it occurs. As the Division Bench of our High Court has pointed out, if the extended meaning given by the Calcutta High Court were to be adopted, even Government servants exercising sovereign and real functions like Sub-Magistrates would have to be regarded as workmen' falling within the mischief of the Trade Unions Act, in which case, it would militate against the ruling of the Supreme Court that it could not have been in the contemplation of the Legislature to bring in regal functions of the State within the definition of 'industry' and thus confer jurisdiction on industrial Courts to decide disputes in respect thereof. Therefore, I refuse to adopt the extended meaning given by the Calcutta High Court. I am clear, in my mind, that the workmen employed in an industrial undertaking, like the Government Press, Pondicherry, are 'workmen' entitled to the benefits of the Trade of 1926. Consequently, Unions Act confirm the judgment of the Court below and dismiss this petition with costs.
Advocate's fee fixed at Rs. 250.