Shri Ambica Mills Ltd. No. 1 Vs. The
Textile Labour Association, Ahmedabad  INSC 304 (20 December 1972)
CITATION: 1973 AIR 1081 1973 SCR (3) 123 1973
SCC (3) 787
Payment of Bonus Act 1965, Second Schedule
Item 6(g) -Allowable deductions under-Subsidy' meaning of-Cash payments by way
of assistance are subsidy-Indirect assistance like Customs Drawback and relate
on Railway Freight is not 'Subsidy'-Subsidy to be allowable under Item 6(g)
must be by Govt. body or Body Corporate established by any law for the time
being in force-Distinction between Body Corporate established 'by' law and
'under' under law-Payment received for earlier year must be deemed to be income
of year of receipt especially where accounts maintained on cash basis.
There was a dispute between the appellant
mills and their workmen as to the bonus payable for the year 1967. The dispute
was referred to the Industrial Court, Gujarat under s. 73-A of the Bombay industrial Relations Act. 1946. The workmen claimed inter alia that bonus should be
paid at the rate of 6.59% of the annual earnings. The Mills on the other had
contended that bonus was payable only at the minimum rate of 4%. The Mills in
calculating the available surplus claimed deductions of certain items falling
under item 6(g) of the Second Schedule of the Payment of Bonus Act 1965, as
subsidies. The dispute centered round the meaning of the word 'subsidy' in item
6(g) of the Second Schedule to the Payment of Bonus Act. Another incidental
question was whether the Joint Plant Committee or the, Indian Cotton Mills
Federation was a 'Body Corporate established by any law for the time being in
HELD : (i) The Industrial Court was right in
holding (a) that the word Subsidy' cannot be confined only to those cases where
cash payment is made by Government in order that an industry may survive, (b)
that even if assistance is given by way of an incentive it would not cease to
be a subsidy provided it is a cash payment given by way of assistance and (c)
that certain types of assistance particularly those Which are only indirect
like rebates etc.
should be excluded. [127D] Whether the grant
is made to a single establishment or it is granted on certain terms which make
it available to all persons and establishments carrying on the same industry
does not make any difference in,; principle. The subsidy is received by the
concern or establishment carrying on that industry or activity. [129E-F] In
view of the clear provision in item 6(g) for subsidy being deducted it was not
open to the Court to consider whether it was proper to deduct the subsidy from
the allocable surplus. But the word 'Subsidy' should be restricted to the
narrowest possible limits and should take in, only, direct cash subsidies as
contemplated under item 6(g). It cannot cover indirect assistance like Customs
Drawback or rebate on railway freights. [13OA-C] The mere fact that the full
excise duty and railway freight is paid' in the first instance and part of it
is later refunded should not make 123 124 any difference to the ultimate fact
that what is paid by the management is A ,only concessional excise duty and
concessional freight. [130F] Sona Valley Portland Cement Co. v. The Workmen,
 L.L.J., 642 and Bengal Textiles Association v. I.T. Commr.
1960 A.I.R. 1320, referred to.
Accordingly, while item I claimed by the
appellant Mills i.e. the subsidy paid by the Government should be deemed to be
a permissible deduction, items 3 & 4 were not permissible deductions.
(ii) (a) The Joint Plant Committee is
certainly not a Government Body. It seems to be more or less functioning on an
informal basis. It does not seem to have any statutory powers. The decision of
the Industrial Court that the cash paid by the Body is a deductible item could
not be upheld.
Item 2 claimed by the appellant Mills was
therefore not a permissible deduction. [133C-D] (b)Item 5 claimed by the
Company was also not an allowable ,deduction because the Indian Cotton Mills
Federation which made the ,cash payment in this case was not a Body Corporate
established by any law for the time being in force. The contention that the
words 'body corporate established by any law' should be deemed to include even
a body corporate established under any law i.e. even a company, could ,not be
accepted. [133G] Majoar Sahkari Bank Ltd. v. M. N. Jujumdar & Anr. 1955 2
L.L.J. 755 applied.
(iii)The amount of Rs. 6873 due for the year
1966 but received (under item 1) in 1967 should also be deemed to be income for
the year 1967.
Consolidated Coffee Estate Ltd. v. Workmen,
1970 2 L.L.J.
576 relied on.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
Nos. 2083 and 2084 of 1969.
Appeals by special leave from the Award
Part-I dated August 13, 1969 of the Industrial Court, Gujarat in Ref. (IC) No.
110 .,of 1968.
Civil Appeal Nos. 1259 and 1260 of 1970.
Appeals by special leave from the Award Part
11 dated August 28, 30, 1969 of the Industrial Court Gujarat Ahmedabad in Ref.
(IC) No. 110 of 1968.
S.-V. Gupte, Bhuoanesh Kumari, O. C. Mathur-,
J. B. Dadachanii and Ravinder Narain for the appellant. (in C.As. Nos.
2083 & 2084/69) & for respondent (in
C.As. Nos. 1259 & 1260 of 70 ).
V.M. Tarkunde, K. L. Hathi and P. C. Kapur
for the respondent (in C.As. Nos. 2083 & 2084/69) & for the appellant
(in C.As. Nos. 1269 & 1260/70).
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
ALAGIRISWAMI, J. Civil appeals Nos. 2083 and 2084 of 1969 are by the
Management, Shri Ambica Mills Ltd No. 1, against the Award Part I dated 13th
August, 1969 and Part II dated 28th August, 1969, respectively of the
Industrial Court, Gujarat in Reference IC No. 110 of 1968. Civil appeals Nos.
125 1259 and 1260 of 1970 are by the Textile
Labour Association,. Ahmedabad, representing the workmen against the same
Shri Ambica Mills Ltd., Ahmedabad, is a
public limited company owning three textile units, viz., Shri Ambica Mills Ltd.
No. 1 and No. 2 at Ahmedabad, Shri Ambica Mills Ltd.
No. 3 at Baroda and two engineering units, viz.,
Shri Ambica Tubes at Vata, and Shri Ambica Machinery Manufacturers in the
premises of Shri Ambica Mills Ltd. No. 1 at Ahmedabad.
The last unit, i.e., Ambica Machinery
Manufacturers came into existence in the beginning of the year 1967. Shri
Ambica Mills Ltd. 2 and 3 have entered into an agreement to pay bonus on the
lines of Shri Ambica Mills Ltd. No. 1, Ahmedabad. All the aforesaid
undertakings have been treated as parts of the same establishment, namely, Shri
Ambica Mills Ltd., for the purpose of computation of bonus.
The dispute relates to the payment of bonus
for the year 1967. The demand for the payment of bonus for the year 1967 was
raised as a result of notice of change given by the Textile Labour Association
(hereinafter referred to as the Association) on 15-7-1968. The appellant mills
did not agree to the payment of bonus as demanded and conciliation proceedings
having failed, the dispute was referred under Section 73-A of the Bombay
Industrial Relations Act, 1946.
The Association requested the Mills Company
to furnish the information regarding the computation of gross profits as well
as allocable surplus to enable the Association to calculate the bonus for the
year 1967. The Mills Company supplied the said information, but it also claimed
certain deductions from the gross profit for calculating the allocable surplus.
In the statement of claim filed by the
Association it was submitted that(a)The Mills Company should be directed to pay
bonus at the rate of 6.59% of the annual earnings.
(b)The said amount should be directed to be
paid with interest at the prevailing rate.
(c)The Honble Court may be pleased to grant
any other further relief as it may deem fit.
The deductions claimed by the in calculating
the available surplus were of certain items falling under item 6(g) of the
Second Schedule of the payment of Bonus Act, 1965, as subsidies. it was
contended that only 4% bonus i.e., the minimum bonus was payable.
126 The Association accepted the facts and
figures furnished by the Mills Company and the dispute only related to the
matter of deduction in respect of an amount of Rs. 32,42,945/and whether the
whole or any part thereof was subsidy or not.
The amounts claimed as subsidies consisted of
the following .Eve different items :-(1) Rs. 8,63,194/Cash subsidy on export of
steel pipes and tubes received from Joint Chief Controller of Imports and
(2) Rs. 4,25,233/Cash by way of steel
entitlement received from the Joint Plant Committee, Calcutta.
(3) Rs. 9,33,213/Cash by way of Customs
Drawback realisation on certain types of pipes received from the Collector of
(4) Rs. 71,754/Cash by way of Railway Freight
Rebate paid by the Chief Commercial Superintendent, Western Railway, Bombay.
(5) Rs. 9,49,551/Export incentive on the
cotton textile goods exported received from the Indian cotton Mills Federation,
Out of this total amount, an amount of Irs.
9,72,986/relates to past years i.e., the year 1965 and 1966, and, according to
the Mills Company that cannot, in any event, be treated as income for the
accounting year 1967 to which the dispute relates.
The Industrial Court held that the Mills
Company was entitled to deduct the first two items i.e., cash assistance from
Jt. Chief Controller of Imports & Exports, Bombay, being Rs. 8,63.194 and
cash payment by way of steel entitlement being Rs. 4,25,233 but not items Nos.
3, 4 and
5. It further directed the parties to' file
fresh calculation on the basis of its directions in Award Part 1.
On the basis of the above directions the
Association filed the ,calculations reserving its right to appeal. The Mills
Company also submitted fresh calculations. Based on these calculations the
Industrial Court made an award directing the Mills Company 127 to pay 4.53% of wages
as bonus to all its employees in the 3 textile units and 2 engineering units.
The dispute 'thus centres round the meaning
of the word 'Subsidy' found in item 6(g) of the Second Schedule to the Payment
of Bonus Act. Another incidental question is whether the Joint Plant Committee
or the Indian Cotton Mills Federation is a "Body Corporate established by
any law for the time being in force".
The word 'Subsidy' is not defined in the Act.
The Industrial Court took into consideration the meanings of the word 'Subsidy'
given in the (i) Webster's New World Dictionary, 1962, (ii) Shorter Oxford
English Dictionary, Vol. 11, Third Edition, (iii) Chambers Twentieth Century
Dictionary, Revised Edition, and (iv) The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopaedia
Dictionary, Vol. 11 (M-Z), and came to the conclusion that the word 'subsidy'
cannot be confined only to those cases where cash payment is made by Government
in order that an industry may survive, that even if assistance is given by way
of an incentive it would not cease to be a subsidy provided it is a cash
payment given by way of assistance and that certain types of assistance
particularly those which are only indirect like rebates etc.
should be excluded.
We find ourselves in agreement with this
view. The various definitions given in the dictionaries in so far as they are
relevant, are as follows :
Webster's New World Dictionary, 1962
".....a grant of money, specifically (a) ... (b) a:
government grant to a private enterprise
considered of benefit to the public." Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
"Help, aid, assistance N. Financial aid furnished by a state or a public
corporation in furthering of an undertaking or the upkeep of a thing. . . .
" Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, Revised Edn."Assistance and
in money ... a I grant of public money in aid of some enterprise, industry
etc., or to keep down the price of a commodity. . . " The Reader's Digest
Great Encyclopaedic Dictionary, Vol. II (M-Z) "2. Financial aid given by
government towards expenses of an undertaking or institution held to 128 be of
public utility; money paid by government to producers of a commodity so that it
can be sold to consumers at a low price " In addition our attention has
been drawn to the definition given in 'Words and Phrases, Permanent Edition,
Col. 40" where subsidy is described as follows :
"A subsidy is a grant of funds or
property from a government as of the state or municipal corporation to a
private person or company to assist to the establishment or support of an
enterprise deemed advantageous to the public; a subvention." Reference is
made to 60 Corpus Juris.
Corpus Juris Secundum, Vol. 83, page 760
gives the following under the heading of Subsidy :
"Something, usually money, donated or
given or appropriated by the government through its proper agencies; a grant of
funds or property from a government, as of the state or, a municipal
corporation, to a private person or company to assist in the establishment or support
of an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public; a subvention.
Pecuniary premiums offered by the government
to persons enlisting in the public service, or engaging in particular
industries, or performing specified services for the public benefit are treated
in Bounties." The emphasis in every one of these definitions is on
something given or donated; indirect assistance is not mentioned.
Before we proceed further, it may be
necessary to refer to the history regarding the place of "subsidy" in
the payment of bonus. Under what is known as the "Full Bench"
formula, subsidy will not be a proper deduction in calculating the surplus
available for payment of bonus. 'Mere is no reason on principle why subsidies
should be kept out of account in calculating the available sum for payment of
bonus. The Bonus Commission in its report did not recommend subsidy as a
deductible item. Schedule 2 to the Bonus Act is really a copy of the schedule
found at page 30-40 of the Commission's report, with the single addition of
item (g) after item 6(f) found in the Commission's report. Even the dissenting
minute to that report did not recommend that subsidy should be a deductible
item; but then the dissenting minute was on a completely different basis from
that of the main report.
129 After the report of the Commission, the
legislation regarding bonus took the form of a Bonus Ordinance where for the
first time we come across item 6(g) in Schedule 2. The Resolution of the
Government of India which considered the recommendations of the Commission's
report and accepted it subject to certain modifications, for the first time
referred to subsidies. The particular sentence is as follows:
Further, subsidies paid by Government to certain concern like the Hindustan
Shipyard should not be taken into account in working out the gross profits for
the purpose of payment of bonus." The Press Note issued by the Government
regarding the Ordinance also contained 'a similar statement. On the basis of
these two statements and on the basis of an extract from Kothari's
"Economic Guide and Investore Handbook of India' where this subsidy to the
Hindustan Ship Yard, which was originally called the Scindia Steam Navigation
Co has been described, it had been argued before the Industrial Court, and the
same argument was repeated before this Court, that the subsidy contemplated
under item 6(g) can only be a subsidy to a particular concern or establishment.
We consider this argument as fallacious. The reference to the Hindustan
Shipyard is merely illustrative. The argument based on this that only grants to
particular establishments as such and not grants to any activity which any
establishment can carry on should be called a subsidy, is a farfetched one.
Whether the grant is made to a single establishment or it is granted on certain
terms which make it available to all persons or establishments carrying on the
same industry does not make any difference in principle.
The subsidy is received by the concern or
establishment carrying on that industry or activity.
On the other hand we realize the force of the
argument advanced on behalf of Labour that a grant, even a cash subsidy, made
in respect of the export of some commodity or other, as in the present case, is
related to the commodity itself, towards the production of which both labour
and capital have contributed and, therefore, any part of the income received in
respect of that activity should not be deducted in calculating the available
surplus, and that it would be unfair to labour to do so. The force of this
argument was appreciated and acceded to even by Shri Gupta appearing on behalf
of the Management. His sole point was that but for the introduction of item
6(g) in the Second Schedule to the Bonus Act it would not be open to him to
contend that subsidy should be deducted from the allocable surplus for the
purpose of payment of bonus. But he contended, the Act itself having made the
provision for subsidy being deducted 10-63ISuPCI/73 130 it is not open to this
Court to consider whether it was proper to deduct the subsidy from the
allocable surplus. He argued that if subsidy should not be so deductible the
remedy lay elsewhere and that it was with the Legislature and while it would be
perfectly legitimate for this Court to recommend that the deduction of subsidy
should not be permitted, the subsidy must be deducted as long as the statute
stands as it is. We appreciate the reasonableness of the stand. But we consider
that the word 'subsidy' should be restricted to the narrowest possible limits
and should take in only direct cash subsidies as contemplated under item 6(g).
It cannot cover indirect assistance like Customs Drawback or rebate on railway
It was contended that an assistance is an
assistance whether it is direct or indirect and the drawback of Central Excise
and the rebate on railway freight are indirect assistance, towards export, and
they should also be deemed to be subsidy. As pointed out earlier the
overwhelming view of the meaning of the term ',subsidy" is direct payment
and not indirect assistance. Furthermore, if instead of 'allowing a drawback in
Central Excise and a rebate on railway freight the scheme of assistance had
been on the basis that goods exported will pay only half the Central Excise Duty
and half the usual railway freight, this argument will not be available to the
Management. In that case there would have been no repayment to the Management
of part of the Central Excise Duty and part of the railway freight paid by it
and it could not have been claimed as a cash receipt. The, whole of the Excise
Duty and the railway freight originally paid has been included as an item of
expense, thus reducing the surplus and when part of it is received back it does
not stand to reason that it should not go towards reduction of the expenses and
consequently increasing the surplus. The mere fact that the full excise duty
and railway freight is paid in the first instance ;and part of it is later
refunded should not make any difference to the ultimate fact that what is paid
by the management is only concessional excise duty and concessional railway
freight and but for the mode adopted of collecting the full excise duty and
full railway freight in the first instance and refunding part of it later,
neither the sums nor the argument would be available to the management. We are,
therefore, quite clear in our mind that the drawback of Central Excise and
rebate on Railway freight should not be deemed to be a subsidy for the purposes
of this Act. The term subsidy cannot cover concessional rates of excise duty
and freight but only cash payments.
We may, perhaps refer in this connection to
certain decisions relied on by the both sides. In Sone Valley Portland Cement
Co. v The Workmen(1) this Court held that apart from legislation an incentive
bonus for increase of production, irrespective of the question as to whether
the industry was making profit or not is one that must be introduced by the
particular unit of industry, and it would be for the management to fix what
incentives should be given to different departments to step up production. It
was further held that an Industrial Tribunal would not be justified in holding
that merely because there has been augmentation in the production labour would
be entitled to make a claim to bonus because of such increase, and that labour
would undoubtedly be entitled to revision of wage scales, dearness allowance
and other terms and conditions of service as also profit bonus. This decision
is not, therefore. an authority for the proposition that a subsidy intended to
encourage export could not be taken into account for the purpose of calculating
the allocable surplus. This decision itself proceeds on the basis that in
calculating the profit bonus such amounts would have to be taken into account.
All that was held was that the amount paid as subsidy by itself could not be
considered to be one in which labour would be entitled to share.
The decision of this Court in Bengal Textiles
Association v.I. T. Commr. 2 ) though it had to consider the meaning of the
word 'subsidy' occurring in the Business Profits Tax Act 1947. would not be
relevant for deciding the question at issue. In that case it was held that the
use of the word 'bonus' or 'subsidy' connotes that the payment is in the nature
of a gift, and as the payments in that case were made by the Government to an
association to assist it in carrying on its business and for the services it
was rendering to Government, the payments were not in the nature of a gift.
This decision was relied on by Mr. Tarkunde
as supporting his argument that a payment made for a service rendered cannot be
deemed to be a subsidy. That is no doubt so, but in the present case there is
no question of any service rendered by the management to :the Government. The
mere fact that the Government is interested in encouraging exports and,
therefore. offers many incentives for export, of which any manufacturer could
take advantage, does not mean that any such manufacturer is rendering any
service to Government. These are schemes intended by the Government for the
benefit of the country and. therefore. any person would be entitled to take
advantage of that scheme and be entitled to subside or assistance promised by
the Government. Such payments do not become either payments for service
rendered or cease to be subsidy merely on the ground that any number of persons
coming under that category, would be entitled to that benefit or payment.
(1)  L.L.J. 612 (2) A.T.R. 1960 S.C.
132 It was argued by Mr. Tarkunde that if a
manufacturer takes it into his head to export all the products that he had
manufactured it would mean that all his receipts would be in the form of
subsidy, drawback on Central Excise and. rebate on railway freight, and if all
these items are to be deducted from the profits there will be nothing available
for distribution as bonus and that it will be unfair to labour to deprive it of
its share of the income from products towards the production of which it has
made its own contribution. Nationally that is possible but in actual practice
that is hardly likely. But it does not, however, take away the force of the
argument that the deduction of subsidies from the total income would be unfair
to labour in the matter of payment of bonus. As we have already pointed out the
remedy lies with the Legislature. What prompted the Government to include item
6(g) in the Second Schedule to the Bonus Act we have no way of knowing.
We thus come to the conclusion that only
direct cash payments should be deemed to be subsidies and not indirect receipts
in the form of drawn up of part of the Excise Duty and rebate on railway
freight, which are in reality not subsidies but concessional rate of Excise
Duty and railway freight. This means that item 1, i.e., the subsidy paid decree
by the Government should be deemed to be a permissible deduction but not items
3 and 4.
This leaves the question regarding items 2
and 5 for consideration. Both these items are, of course, cases of cash
payment, but only if they are payments by the Government or a Body Corporate
established by any law for the time being in force they would be permissible
As regards the Joint Plant Committee the
Industrial Court merely said that it appears to be a Government Body, and at
another place that it appears to be a Body constituted by the Government. A
body constituted by the Government is not necessarily a Government body. We
find from the brochure issued by the Joint Plant Committee regarding Indenting
Procedure and General Conditions of Sale for Iron and Steel, that it was
constituted by the Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by
Clause 17 of the Iron and Steel (Control) Order 1956 to take over the functions
previously performed by the Iron and Steel Controller in regard to planning and
distribution of indents and rolling programmes. It consisted of Iron and Steel
Controller as Chairman and one representative of each of the main steel plants,
the Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd., the Indian Iron & Steel Co. Ltd., Hindustan
Steel Ltd., Rourkela, Hindustan Steel Limited. Bhilai, Hindustan Steel Ltd.,
Durgapur, and a representative of the Railway Ministry. This was the result of
the 133 decision to abolish over-all statutory control over the prices of the
bulk of steel production and the decision to entrust freight equalisation to
the Joint Plant Committee.
Clause 17 of the Iron and Steel (Control)
Order 1956 is as follows :
"17. Pawer of Central Government to give
directions. The Central Government may give directions as to the procedure to
be followed by the authorities issuing quota certificates, permits or written
orders, referred to in Clause 4 and 5. as to the maintenance by the Controller
of records in connection with the distribution of iron or steel and generally
for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this part." From
these provisions it does not appear how exactly the funds of the Joint Plant
Committee are obtained and why or how the Joint Plant Committee makes the
payments of the kind in question. This is certainly not a Government Body. It
seems to be more or less functioning on an informal basis.
It does not seem to have any statutory
powers. The decision of the Industrial Court that the cash paid by this Body is
a deductible items cannot, therefore, be upheld.
As regards the payment made by the Indian
Cotton Mills Federation, it appears that the payment is made out of a fund
collected by it at the rate of Rs. 200/per bale of imported cotton. It means,
therefore, that when payments are made out of this fund the mill receiving that
payment is in fact getting back either the whole or a substantial part of what
it has already paid, when it purchased imported cotton. That apart, this
Federation cannot be said to be a Body Corporate established by any law for the
time being in force. It may be a Body Corporate established under the Companies
Act because it is registered under the Companies Act. The Payment of Bonus Act,
Section 2(9) defines a company as follows :
"(9) 'company' means any company as
defined in section 3 of the Companies Act, 1956, and includes a foreign company
within the meaning of sec. 591 of that Act;" A corporation is defined in
section 2 (11 ) as "anybody corporate established by or under any Central,
Provisional or State Act but does not include a company or a cooperative
society". Now it will be noticed that the definition of the term
'corporation' takes in bodies corporate established by law as well as bodies
corporate established under any law. It cannot, therefore, be said that 'when
item 6(g) in the Second Schedule uses the words 'body corporate established by
any law' it was not conscious of the distinction between a body corporate
established by law and a body corporate established under any law. This
distinction has also been 134 noticed in the decision of the High Court of
Bombay in Majoor Sahkari Bank Ltd. v. M. N. Majumdar & Anr.(1) tn.
discussing this question the learned Judges
said "But what, in our opinion , the notification contemplates is not
incorporation under any law but by, an, Indian law, which means that A special
law should incorporate the particular company or association. For instance we
have a Reserve Bank of India; we had an Imperial Bank of India; we have now
State Banks. The Act itself incorporates the bank, association or society. And
the language used is clear. It is not "incorporated under an Indian
law"; it is "incorporated by an Indian law". But what appears to
us to be fairly clear in the first part of the notification and when we look at
that it applies to the business of banking companies registered under any of
the enactments relating to companies for the time being in force. Now the
object obviously was to apply this notification not to associations of less
*than 10 persons who were doing business of banking and who could not be
incorporated but to confine the operation of this notification to ten persons
or more who could be, and would have to be registered, either under the Indian Companies
Act or some other Act relating to companies." It was argued by Mr. Gupte
that under the Act bonus is payable by a "corporation" as well as a
"company" and, therefore, the words 'body corporate established by
any law' should be deemed to include even a body corporate established under
any law i.e., even a company. But it appears to us that the words 'body
corporate established by any law' have been deliberately used. While all
companies and corporations, as defined in the Act are liable to pay bonus. the
intention seems to be that only subsidies paid by body corporate established by
any law, should, be deductible items and not subsidies paid by bodies corporate
established under any law. The above decision of the Bombay High Court referred
to the Reserve Bank of India, Imperial Bank of India and State Banks. There are
bodies corporate established by law like the Rubber Board, Coffee Board etc.,
which grant subsidies for replantation, rehabilitation etc.
The idea apparently in referring to a body
corporate established by any law was that when bodies corporate are established
by any law for the,, specific purpose of encouraging any industry and they
grant subsidies, such subsidies alone should be taken into account. We are of
the opinion. therefore. that item 5 also is not a deductible item.
(1)  2 L.L.J. 755.
135 This leaves for decision the question
whether the sum of Rs. 9,72,986 which relates to amounts received in the year
1967 but relate to earlier years, can also be deducted or not. In the view that
we have taken that only item 1 is a deductible item, the amount involved is a
small one of Rs.
6,873 due for the year 1966 but received in
the year 1967.
We are not able to agree with the contention
on behalf of labour that as the whole of the sum of Rs. 32.43 lacs has been
shown as item of income in the profit and loss account of the mills the
management cannot now contend that any part of it cannot be deducted and that
the whole of the amount should be held to be profit available for calculating
the bonus. All that section 23 of the Act Provides is for presumption of the
accuracies of the balance sheet and profits and loss account of corporations
and companies. The correctness has been accepted by both the parties. But
whether any part of that amount should be held to fall under item 6 (g) of the
Second Schedule to the Act cannot be decided on the basis that it is shown as
an income in the profit and loss account or the balance sheet. There is no
question of estoppel here. All the same we have no doubt that amounts due for
earlier years received in 1967 should also be deemed to be income for the year
1967. Otherwise it means that such sums would not have been taken into account
in the years for which they were due as also in the years when they were
received. Moreover. the accounts in this case have been maintained on a cash
basis and, therefore, the amounts received in the year 1967 should be deemed to
be the income of that year though due in respect of an earlier year. We may
also refer to the decision in Consolidated Coffee Estate Ltd. v. Workmen(1)
where it was held that even though the company had been paving bonus in the
past by negotiating with its employees, if it insisted that for the year in
question it would pay in accordance with the relevant law it could not be
prevented from having its liability for bonus determined accordingly.
In the result the appeals of the Mills
Company are dismissed. The appeals of the Association are allowed in part
holding that item 2, i.e., the sums received from the Joint Plant Committee is
not a deductible item and item I alone will be a deductible item under item
6(g) of the Second Schedule. As the Association has succeeded in five out of
six questions that had to be decided they will get their costs from the
management. The Industrial Court will have to re-calculate the bonus on this
basis. One hearing fee.
(1)  2 L.L.J. 576.