UNION OF INDIA Vs. GAJANAN MAHARAJ SANSTHAN
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: BOMBAY)
UNION OF INDIA
GAJANAN MAHARAJ SANSTHAN
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Rajendra Babu, J. -
(1.)These are three matters, two of which are appeals arising out of orders made by two different High Courts and the third matter is a writ petition filed by the respondent (Shree Gajanan Maharaj Sansthan) in Civil Appeal No. 2727/1998 in this Court directly under Article 32 of the Constitution.
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2727/1998
(2.)The respondent in this appeal registered as a charitable trust under the Bombay Public Trust Act filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court, Nagpur Bench, contending that Section 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) provides for definition of the expression "industry"; that this Court interpreted the said expression in Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board vs. A. Rajappa & Ors., (1978) I LLJ 349 SC : (1978) I LLJ 349 SC that separate judgments were rendered by Beg, C.J., Chandrachud, CJ. And Bhagwati, Krishna Iyer and Desai, JJ. together, while Jaswant Singh and Tulzapurkar, JJ. partially dissented; that they explained the definition of the expression "industry" in the Act; that all of them are of the view that the matter should be clarified by the Legislature by a suitable amendment; that the said definition of "industry" as interpreted by this Court would include charitable trust as well; that under the Industrial Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1982 by clause (c) thereof definition of the term "industry" has been amended and charitable organisations have been excluded from the term "industry"; that Section 1(2) of the Amending Act provides that the Act shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may by a notification in the Official Gazette appoint; that although most of the provisions of the Amending Act have been brought into effect by a notification dated August 21, 1984, clause (c), which has amended the definition of the term "industry", has not been brought into force; that thus, the definition of the term "industry" as it stood prior to the amendment is still applicable to the employees working in the appellants institution; that the Central Government has arbitrarily withheld the enforcement of the said provision for a sufficiently long time and, therefore, a writ of mandamus needs to be issued to the Central Government to notify the date for bringing the provisions into force. The Central Government took the stand that enforcing the provision under clause (c) without providing for appropriate remedies to the employees working in hospitals, schools and temples they would, therefore, be rendered without any remedy in the event the said clause is put into force without enacting an appropriate law or making certain amendments in the existing laws.
(3.)The High Court took the view that the Central Government in notifying the date when the provisions of the Act will come into force will have to examine the attending circumstances before bringing the same into force and such a power would not empower the Central Government to decide whether to bring a particular provision into force or not. However, the High Court was of the view that when the Amending Act was adopted by Parliament the difficulties put forth by the appellants were prevalent and, therefore, it authorised the Central Government to notify the appointed day. It is in these circumstances the High Court felt that it is obligatory for the Central Government to examine whether difficulties as expressed still subsist and what steps the Central Government had taken to surmount them and when more than 18 years had elapsed the appellant ought to examine and decide as to when it would be feasible to give effect to the provisions of the Amending Act. In this appeal the order made by the High Court is in challenge.
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