MANAGEMENT OF PRATAP PRESS NEW DELHI Vs. SECRETARY DELHI PRESS WORKERS UNION DELHI IN C A NO 482 OF 58 AND ITS WORKMEN IN C A NO 189 OF 59
LAWS(SC)-1960-2-5
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
Decided on February 23,1960

MANAGEMENT OF PRATAP PRESS,NEW DELHI Appellant
VERSUS
SECRETARY,DELHI PRESS WORKERS' UNION DELHI,ITS WORKMEN Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

MANAGEMENT OF WENGER AND CO VS. THEIR WORKMEN [LAWS(SC)-1962-12-38] [REFERRED TO]
MOHAN BROTHERS VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISISONER [LAWS(DLH)-2003-4-12] [REFERRED]
KAKAS RESTAURANT VS. K L SEHGAL [LAWS(DLH)-2003-4-24] [REFERRED]
C L KHANNA VS. UOI [LAWS(DLH)-2006-9-205] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. NATH TRADERS [LAWS(DLH)-2006-11-188] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. L N GADODIA AND SONS [LAWS(DLH)-2006-11-175] [REFERRED TO]
HOTEL KANISHKA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2007-5-88] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. PARK HOTEL PVT LTD [LAWS(DLH)-2009-8-122] [REFERRED TO]
NAV FINANCIERS VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-2007-3-11] [REFERRED TO]
BANGUR BROTHERS LTD VS. GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-1961-4-7] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT OF KEMPSONS FOUNDRY VS. PRESIDING OFFICER INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(KAR)-1991-4-24] [REFERRED TO]
WIPRO LTD VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER KARNATAKA BANGALORE [LAWS(KAR)-1993-9-4] [REFFERED TO]
VAN SANGATHAN ORIENT PAPER MILLS VS. INDUSTRIAL TRIBUNAL [LAWS(MPH)-1997-5-21] [REFERRED TO]
VARANASI FAN INDUSTRIES PVT LTD VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(MPH)-1998-1-12] [REFERRED TO]
BHARAT ELECTRONICS LIMITED VS. B E L HEAD OFFICE STAFF ASSOCIATION [LAWS(KAR)-2000-3-15] [REFERRED TO]
GANESHWAR TEXTILE MILLS LTD VS. APPELLATE AUTHORITY UNDER PAYMENT OF GRATUITY ACT [LAWS(KAR)-2000-11-53] [REFERRED TO]
HOTEL MAHAVEER VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMR [LAWS(KAR)-2001-7-25] [REFERRED TO]
L N GADODIA AND SONS VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(SC)-2011-9-1] [REFERRED TO]
WORKMEN OF JOINT STEAMER COMPANIES VS. JOINT STEAMER COMPANIES [LAWS(SC)-1963-4-16] [REFERRED TO]
FINE KNITTING COMPANY LIMITED VS. INDUSTRIAL COURT BOMBAY [LAWS(SC)-1962-2-26] [RELIED ON]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. RAJS CONTINENTAL EXPORT P LTD [LAWS(SC)-2007-3-60] [REFERRED TO]
NOOR NIWAS NURSERY PUBLIC SCHOOL VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(SC)-2000-12-54] [REFERRED]
WORKMEN OF THE STRAW BOARD MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED VS. STRAW BOARD MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED [LAWS(SC)-1974-3-41] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. VICTORY SERVICE STATION [LAWS(DLH)-2006-11-201] [REFERRED TO]
RASTOGI BROTHERS VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(ALL)-1998-4-23] [REFERRED TO]
PARAMOUNT LEATHERS VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(CAL)-2010-11-31] [REFERRED TO]
PARAMOUNT LEATHERS VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(CAL)-2010-12-72] [REFERRED TO]
DEVESH SANDEEP ASSOCIATES VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER BANGALOR [LAWS(KAR)-1996-6-56] [FOLLOWED ON]
SAVANI TRANSPORT PVT LTD VS. SAVANI TRANSPORT EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION [LAWS(KER)-1994-1-45] [REFERRED TO]
METAZINE PRIVATE LIMITED VS. R M GANDHI REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-1991-2-78] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL DIRECTOR EMPLOYEES VS. SATYABADI PRESS [LAWS(ORI)-1993-5-11] [REFERRED TO]
MALAYALA RAJYAM P LTD VS. BALAKRISHNA PILLAI [LAWS(KER)-1976-8-5] [REFERRED TO]
EBRAHIM CURRIM AND SONS VS. REGIONAL P F COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-1993-2-25] [REFERRED TO]
EBRAHIM CURRIM AND SONS VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER MAH AND GOA [LAWS(BOM)-1993-4-33] [REFERRED TO]
MUMBAI MAZDOOR SANGH VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMR [LAWS(BOM)-1999-10-4] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL DIRECTOR E S I CORPO MADRAS VS. ARUNA STORES PROPRIETRIX J SHANTHA [LAWS(MAD)-2004-12-179] [REFERRED TO]
NANDINEE TRAVELS PVT LTD VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-2002-6-26] [REFERRED TO]
PARANJAPE METAL SHAPERS PRIVATE LIMITED VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(BOM)-2002-10-107] [REFERRED TO]
SARVA SHRAMIK SANGH VS. JANPRABHA OFFSET WORKS [LAWS(BOM)-2007-10-41] [REFERRED TO]
NAVA BHARAT PRESS VS. P P PATIL [LAWS(BOM)-2009-6-113] [REFERRED TO]
MUMBAI MAZDOOR SANGH MUMBAI VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER MAHARASHTRA AND GOA MUMBAI [LAWS(BOM)-2010-2-96] [REFERRED TO]
INDIAN OXYGEN EMPLOYEES UNION VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(MAD)-2009-1-368] [REFERRED TO]
ALAGHU PHARMACY VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND [LAWS(MAD)-2009-6-361] [REFERRED TO]
ASSISTANT PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER VS. A C C NIHAN CASTINGS LIMITED [LAWS(BOM)-2011-7-159] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER LIMITED VS. MEMBER INDUSTRIAL COURT [LAWS(BOM)-2011-10-20] [REFERRED TO]
GOA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-2008-1-177] [REFERRED TO]
MANAGEMENT TI DIAMOND CHAIN LTD VS. PRESIDING OFFICER PRINCIPAL LABOUR COURT [LAWS(MAD)-2010-9-3] [REFERRED TO]
KHOJA LIME UDYOG VS. R P F COMMISSIONER [LAWS(RAJ)-1990-1-19] [REFERRED TO]
RENU TANDON VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(RAJ)-1992-1-69] [REFERRED TO]
GODREJ AND BOYCE MANUFACTURING CO LTD VS. EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND APPELLATE TRIBUNAL [LAWS(P&H)-2005-2-1] [REFERRED TO]
U P HOTELS LIMITED VS. STATE OF RAJASTHAN [LAWS(RAJ)-1997-12-1] [REFERRED TO]
BENNETT COLEMAN AND COMPANY LTD VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER JAIPUR [LAWS(RAJ)-2008-4-67] [REFERRED TO]
ATTUKAL BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE TRUST VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND [LAWS(KER)-2012-3-327] [REFERRED TO]
REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND VS. BOMBAY SELECTION HOUSE [LAWS(P&H)-2012-7-139] [REFERRED TO]
D.RAVIKUMAR VS. MANAGEMENT [LAWS(MAD)-2013-4-111] [REFERRED TO]
D.C.M. CHEMICAL WORKS VS. WORKMEN [LAWS(SC)-1962-3-44] [REFERRED TO]
SUMITRA NURSING VS. EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND [LAWS(ALL)-2013-7-144] [REFERRED TO]
KHANNA VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(DLH)-2006-9-210] [REFERRED TO]
GUJARAT AMBUJA CEMENTS LTD. VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(HPH)-1997-5-62] [REFERRED TO]
MARVEL GRANITES REP. BY ITS MANAGING PARTNER SRI S. KISHORE BABU S/O. VENKATESHWARA RAO VS. THE REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER, EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND ORGANISATION [LAWS(APH)-2007-10-120] [REFERRED TO]
BANGUR BROTHERS, LTD VS. GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL [LAWS(CAL)-1961-4-16] [REFERRED TO]
PANDAY (S.N.) VS. STATE OF WEST BANGAL [LAWS(CAL)-1962-4-23] [REFERRED TO]
JOINT REGIONAL DIRECTOR, ESI CORPORATION, PUNE VS. L.D. BHAVE AND SONS [LAWS(BOM)-1994-7-120] [REFERRED TO]
S.N. INDUSTRIES VS. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS. [LAWS(RAJ)-2015-3-155] [REFERRED TO]
GEORGE SONS & COMPANY VS. EMPLOYEES PROVIDENT FUND APPELLATE TRIBUNAL AND ORS. [LAWS(KER)-2015-3-150] [REFERRED TO]
CHIEF MANAGER VS. ANIL POPATLAL GHELANI AND ORS. [LAWS(GJH)-2015-6-56] [REFERRED TO]
MUMBAI MAZDOOR SANGH VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-1999-10-127] [REFERRED]
C DHANVANTRAI & CO VS. MAHESH KUMAR [LAWS(BOM)-1994-4-82] [REFERRED]
JAIN CARBIDE & CHEMICALS LIMITED VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER, RAIPUR AND ANOTHER [LAWS(CHH)-2014-10-25] [REFERRED]
PARAS FOOTWEAR PVT LTD VS. ASSISTANT REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER & A [LAWS(MPH)-2016-4-122] [REFERRED]
SHREE VISHAL PRINTERS LTD. VS. REGIONAL PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(SC)-2019-9-32] [REFERRED TO]
HINDUSTHAN UDYOG LTD VS. ASSISTANT PROVIDENT FUND COMMISSIONER [LAWS(BOM)-2021-10-68] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

Das Gupta, J. - (1.)When an entrepreneur - whether an individual proprietor or a partnership firm, or an incorporated Company - is engaged in several activities each of which comes within the definition of "industry" in the Industrial Disputes Act, the question often arises whether these several activities together form one industrial unit or are distinct separate industrial units. It seldom happens that the several ventures can show in every year equally successful results and so when a dispute arises between such an owner and the workmen engaged in one of the ventures over bonus, not only the quantum of the bonus which may be reasonably payable to workmen, but the very question whether any sum will be payable at all or not, may well depend, on whether the overall results, or the results of the particular venture where the workmen with whom the dispute has arisen are employed are taken into consideration. A proper decision of such a dispute therefore requires in the first place a determination of the question whether the several ventures in which the employer of these workmen are engaged form one industrial unit with the particular venture in which these workmen are employed. That precisely is the question which has arisen in these two appeals between the management of the Pratap Press and its workmen. This Press was started by its proprietor Shri Narendra in 1951. He started the publication of the paper Vir Arjun in April 1954. He was also one of the partners of the firm which owned another paper the Daily Pratap. A dispute over a claim of bonus raised by the workmen of the Press having been referred to the Industrial Tribunal, the workmen contended in the first place that the three activities - the Press, the Vir Arjun as also the Daily Pratap - were in reality the industrial ventures of one family consisting of Shri Narendra and his sons and the working results - whether profit or loss of these three concerns should be pooled together for the decision of the question what bonus, if any, should be paid. Their alternative contention was that the result of the Press only should be considered. The employer contended that the workmen's contention that the three concerns should be treated as one could not be accepted inasmuch as the ownership of the Daily Pratap was a partnership firm of which he was only one of the partners while the other two, viz., the Press and the Vir Arjun, were owned by him. His case was that these two, the Press and the Vir Arjun, were parts of one single industry and the total results of these two have to be considered in deciding whether bonus should be allowed or not. The Industrial Tribunal accepted the employer's contention that the results of the Daily Pratap could not be taken into consideration for the simple reason that the ownership of the Daily Pratap was different from the ownership of the Pratap Press and the Vir Arjun paper. On the next question whether the Pratap Press and the Vir Arjun form one industrial unit or two distinct industrial units its decision was however against the employer's contention. On a consideration of the materials before it held that the Vir Arjun was a distinct and separate industrial entity from the Pratap Press and so the results of the Vir Arjun could not be taken into consideration in deciding the question of bonus. It may be mentioned here that the question is of considerable importance in the facts of these appeals as admittedly if the working results of Vir Arjun are taken into consideration the position would be that Vir Arjun having incurred losses in each of these years these would wipe out the profits made by the Pratap Press in those years and no surplus profits would remain for distribution as bonus.
(2.)The question whether the two activities in which the single owner is engaged are one industrial unit or two distinct industrial units is not always easy of solution. No hard and fast rule can be laid down for the decision of the question and each case has to be decided on its own peculiar facts. In some cases the two activities each of which by itself comes within the definition of industry are so closely linked together that no reasonable man would consider them as independent industries. There may be other cases where the connection between the two activities is not by itself sufficient to justify an answer one way or the other, but the employer's own conduct in mixing up or not mixing up the capital, staff and management may often provide a certain answer.
(3.)An instance in the first class of cases is furnished by the case of Workers in Hindi Prachar Press vs. Hindi Prachar Press, 1958-2 Lab LJ 358 (Lab. Court Mad), where the question was whether the workmen of the Press were entitled to a bonus. The Tribunal found that the press was only a department or a section of the activities of an organization or an institution known as Dakshina Bharat Hindu Prachar Sabha. The main object of that institution was the propagation of knowledge of Hindi in South India. For that purpose there were several sections like library section, publicity section, book sales section, training centres for teachers who are paid stipends and are given free lodging etc. It was held that the various connected activities of the institution were carried on through various departments which are inter-dependent on one another and the income and expenditure of the institution as a whole must be taken into consideration for the purpose of ascertaining the available surplus to meet the demand for bonus made by workmen employed in one of such departments. G. G. Industries Mazdoor Union vs. G. G. Tin Factory, Agra, 1952-1 Lab LJ 507 (LATI-All), on the other hand is a case where a decision was based on the employer's conduct. The employer was the sole proprietor of the G. G. Tin Factory. He was also the sole proprietor of the G. G. Chocolate Factory, the G. G. Toy Factory, the G. C. Fruit Factory and the Krishna Ice Factory. The dispute before the Tribunal was as regards the increments in the wages of the workmen employed in the G. G. Tin factory and bonus claimed by the workmen of the said factory for the year 1949. If all the factories of which he was the sole proprietor, were to be regarded as units of the one and the same industry, the overall picture was a net loss of about Rs. 1,25,000. The Labour Appellate Tribunal however found that for each factory separate accounts were kept and separate balance-sheets prepared. The capital invested by the proprietor in respect of each of those factories had been kept distinct. In deciding that the G. G. Tin factory should be considered a separate and distinct industrial unit the Tribunal observed:- "The proprietor himself is treating each Factory as a distinct undertaking and the several factories as independent of each other."
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