SOUTH INDIA BANK LTD Vs. T D PICHUTHAYAPPAN
LAWS(MAD)-1953-7-23
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Decided on July 31,1953

SOUTH INDIA BANK LTD., TIRUNELVELI Appellant
VERSUS
T.D.PICHUTHAYAPPAN Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Venkatarama Aiyar, J. - (1.) The South Indian Bank Ltd., Tirunelveli, is the appellant in these appeals; the respondents were employed as clerks in the said bank. As a measure of retrenchment, the bank terminated the services of a number of employees including the respondents. Against this order, they appealed under Section 41(2) of the Madras Shops and Establishments Act, XXXVI of 1947, hereinafter referred to as the Act, to the Commissioner for Workmen's Compensation, who held by his order dated 23-7-1951 that their discharge was not for a reasonable cause. The bank thereupon filed W. P. Nos. 296 to 298 of 1951 for a writ of certiorari to quash the aforesaid order dated 23-7-1951, firstly on the ground that the provisions of the Act were discriminatory in character and, therefore, repugnant to Article 14 of the Constitution and void; and secondly, on the ground that the order in question was erroneous and without jurisdiction. Subba Rao J. who heard the petitions held that the provisions of the Act were valid and that the order in question was within the jurisdiction of the tribunal and not liable to be set aside in proceedings by way of writ. Against this judgment, the bank has preferred the above appeals.
(2.) The first contention urged in support of the appeals is that banks are not "establishments" as defined in Section 2(6) of the Act and that the Commissioner for Workmen's compensation had, therefore, no jurisdiction to entertain an appeal against the order of the appellant terminating the services of the respondents. Section 2(6) defines "establishment" as follows: " 'Establishment' means a shop, commercial establishment, restaurant, eating-house, residential hotel, theatre or any place of public amusement or entertainment and includes such establishment as the Provincial Government may by Notification declare to be an establishment for the purpose of this Act." Section 2(3) defines "commercial establishment" as follows : " 'Commercial Establishment' means an establishment which is not a shop but which carries on the business of advertising, commission, forwarding or commercial agency or which is a clerical department of a factory or industrial undertaking or which is an insurance company, joint stock company, bank, brokers' office or exchange and include such other establishment as the Provincial Government may by notification declare to be a commercial establishment for the purpose of this Act."
(3.) The point for decision is whether banks are comprised within the definition of "establishments" in Section 2(6). Section 2(3) mentions bank as within the definition of "commercial establishment" and Section 2(6) defines "establishment" as meaning a "commercial establishment". Therefore, banks are clearly "establishments" as defined in Section 2(6). Mr. K. V. Venkatasubramania Aiyar the learned advocate for the appellant contends that under Section 2(3) it is not all banks that are "commercial establishments", but only such of them as are also "establishments" and that as the appellant is a bank, but not an "establishment" as defined in Section 2(6), it is outside the mischief of the Act. This argument involves that the definition of "establishment" in Section 2(6) should bodily be imported into the definition of "commercial establishment" in Section 2(3) and that accordingly when that definition enacts that a "commercial establishment" means "an establishment which is a clerical department of a factory or industrial undertaking or which is an insurance company, joint stock company, bank, brokers' office or exchange", it should be read as "commercial establishment" means restaurant, eating-house, residential hotel, theatre or any place of public amusement or entertainment, which is a clerical department of a factory or industrial undertaking or which is an insurance company, joint stock company, bank, brokers' office or exchange. To limit clerical department of a factory or industrial undertaking or an insurance company, joint stock company, bank, brokers' office or exchange to those which are restaurants and the like would yield no sense and would render the provision altogether nugatory. It is well settled that an interpretation clause of a comprehensive character is "not to be taken as strictly defining what the meaning of a word must be under all circumstances but merely as declaring what things may be comprehended within the term, where the circumstances require that they should." 'Emperor v. B. H. Desouza', 35 Bom 412 at p. 417 (A). Vide also -- 'Ramamoorthy v. Jallu Ammanna', (B) and --'Janakiram v. Jagani Gopalan', (C).;


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