Miss A. Sundarambal vs. Government of Goa, Daman & Diu Case Summary 1987 SC

Miss A. Sundarambal vs. Government of Goa, Daman & Diu Case Summary 1987 SC

Miss A. Sundarambal vs. Government of Goa, Daman &Diu dealt with the issue that whether a teacher working in a school will be considered a Workman or not under Section 2(s) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. It also focuses on the issue that whether the school falls under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 as Industry.

BENCH: JUSTICE A.P. SEN, JUSTICE V. BALAKRISHNA ERADI

MISS A. SUNDARAMBAL JUDGEMENT DATE: July 27TH, 1988

MISS A. SUNDARAMBAL CASE CITATION: AIR 1988 SC 1700

MISS A. SUNDARAMBAL CASE FACTS:

  • Miss A. Sundarambal, the appellant, in this case, was a teacher in the school of the Society of Franciscan Sisters of Mary at Caranzalem, Goa. On 25th April 1975, management ended her services.
  • Then she raised an industrial dispute before the conciliation officer but the procedure failed because of the reports of the government which stated that the appellant was not a workman under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 which is necessary to consider a dispute as an industrial dispute so the reference was declined by the conciliation officer.
  • Then the appellant filed a writ petition before the High Court of Bombay to determine the validity of her termination of services, but the High Court dismissed it stating that the appellant was not a workman under Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
  • Then the appellant filed the appeal by special leave in the Supreme Court

ISSUES:

  • Whether the school will be considered an industry or not under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947?
  • Whether the appellant will be considered a workman or not under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947?

RATIO DECEDENDI:

The Bench of Judges, in this case, comprises the following Justices:

  1. A.P. Sen
  2. V. Balakrishna Eradi
  • The Bench stated by referring to the case of the University of Delhi & Anr. VS Ram Nath, [1964] 2 S.C.R 703 in which the judges held that the University of Delhi and Miranda House, college is not considered as an industry under Section 2(j) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 but this case was referred with Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board VS R. Rajappa & Others [1978] 3 S.C.R. 207 where the court overruled the decision of this case and stated that an educational institution will be considered as an industry under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
  • The Bench further stated by referring to the Bangalore Water Supply case that whether the teacher working in an educational institution will be considered as workman or not under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947 so it was held in this case that the person can be a workman if he is doing any skilled, unskilled, manual or clerical work for hire or reward. So the court held that the nature of the duty of a person is more important than the designation of a person. It also states the exceptions in Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, which will be considered being a workman under this act. So the Bench, in consideration of the above points, stated that the teacher will not be a workman even though she is working in an industry under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

DECISION:

  • The court dismissed the appeal of the appellant by stating that the appellant will not be considered a workman under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. The court referred to the precedents in order to establish the fact that the appellant is not a workman, even though she is working in the industry under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.
  • The court further directed the learned counsel of the respondent to pay Rs. 40,000 to the appellant in order to settle all her claims.

CONCLUSION:

We can conclude by stating that an educational institution will be considered an industry under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947, as established by the Triple Test in the Bangalore Water Supply case. It is further stated in this case that the teacher will not be considered a workman under Section 2 (s) of the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947. So we can say that even though a school or an educational institution is an industry, the teacher employed in it will not be considered a workman under the Industrial Dispute Act, 1947.

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Ankit Kumar

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