Osmania University Vs. Regional
Director, Employees State Insurance Corporation, A  INSC 225 (8 October
ERADI, V. BALAKRISHNA (J) ERADI, V.
BALAKRISHNA (J) REDDY, O. CHINNAPPA (J) KHALID, V. (J)
CITATION: 1986 AIR 466 1985 SCR Supl. (3) 589
1985 SCC (4) 514 1985 SCALE (2)696
Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 Sections
1 (4) and 2(12).
Publications and Press Department of
University - Running printing press and printing of text books, journals and
stationery items for University - Employees of such Department whether eligible
for benefits of ESI Act.
Words & Phrases `Factory'- 'Manufacturing
process'- Meaning of - Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948, Section 2(12).
The Department of Publications and Press of
the Osmania University (Appellant) runs printing presses, where the work of
printing of text books, journals and magazines as well as various items of
stationery such as admission forms to colleges, hostels and examinations, hall
tickets, answer books etc. for the University are printed. about 100 persons
are employed in connection with the said activity.
On the question : whether the provisions of
the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 are applicable in respect of the
employees working in the Department of Publication and Presses, a Division
Bench of the High Court answered the question in the affirmative, set aside the
judgment of a Single Judge, and dismissed the Writ Petition of the University.
Dismissing the Appeal of the University, this
HELD: The Department of Publications and
Press of the University is engaged in carrying on a 'manufacturing process' in
the printing of text-books, Journals, forms and other items of 590 stationery.
It is a 'factory' within the meaning of the said expression as defined in
section 2(12) of the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948. The employees are
therefore eligible for the benefits under the said Act. [592 A]
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Civil Appeal
No. 1079 of 1973.
From the Judgment and Order dated 16.11.1972
of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in Writ Appeal No. 345 of 1972.
B.R.L. Iyengar, G.N. Rao, T.C. Gupta and
Attar Singh for the Appellant.
M.S. Gujral, C.V. Subba Rao, R.N. Poddar and
Sharma for the Respondents.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
BALAKRISHNA ERADI, J. : The short question that arises for our determination in
this appeal, which has been filed on the basis of a certificate granted by the
High Court of Andhra Pradesh is whether the provisions of the Employees' State
Insurance Act, 1948 are applicable in respect of the employees working in the
Department of Publications and Press of the Osmania University. A Division
Bench of the High Court has answered the said question in the affirmative
differing from the contrary view expressed by a learned Single Judge, who had
allowed a Writ Petition filed by the University. In the light of the said
conclusion, the Division Bench set aside the judgment of the learned Single
Judge and dismissed the Writ Petition. Under clause (4) of Section 1 of the
Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 (for short `the act') the Act will apply
to all 'factories' including factories belonging to the Government other than
seasonal factories. The expression "factory" has been defined in
Section 2(12) of the Act in the following terms:- 2(12) "factory"
means any premises including the precincts thereof whereon twenty or more
persons are employed or were employed for wages on any day of the preceding
twelve months, and in any part of which a manufacturing process is being carried
on with the aid of power or is ordinarily so carried on but does not include a
mine subject to the operation of the Mines Act, 1952 (35 of 1952) or a railway
591 "seasonal factory" means a
factory which is exclusively engaged in one or more of the following
manufacturing processes, namely cotton ginning, cotton or jute pressing,
decortication of groundnuts, the manufacture of coffee, indigo, lac, rubber,
sugar (including gur) or tea or any manufacturing process which is incidental
to or connected with any of the aforesaid processes;
(and includes a factory which is engaged for
a period not exceeding seven months in a year - (a) in any process of blending,
packing, or repacking of tea or coffee; or (b) in such other manufacturing
process as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette
specify;) The expression "manufacturing process" and 'power"
shall have the meaning respectively assigned to them in the Factories Act, 1948
(63 of 1948)." Clause (k) of Section 2 of the Factories Act defines the
expression 'Manufacturing process'. For the purposes of this case we need refer
to only sub-clause (i) of the said definition clause. that sub-clause states
that Manufacturing Process means any process for "making, altering,
repairing, ornamenting, finishing, packing, oiling, washing, cleaning, breaking
up, demolishing, or otherwise treating or adapting any article or substance
with a view to its use, sale, transport, delivery or disposal".
In the connected appeal - C.A. No. 204 of
1973 filed by the same appellant, we had occasion to consider whether the
Department of Publications and Press run by the University is liable for
coverage under the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act,
1952 together with Schemes and Notifications. In our judgment in that appeal we
have taken the view that the said department is engaged in carrying on a
'manufacturing process' in the printing of text books, journals, forms and
other items of stationery.
The definition of "manufacturing
process" contained in Section 2(l-c) of the Employees' Provident Funds and
Miscellaneous Provisions Act is identical in all respects with that contained
in Section 2(k)(i) of the Factories Act.
592 In the light of the aforesaid conclusion
recorded by us in C.A. No. 204 of 1973 it must be held that the department in
question is a 'factory' within the meaning of the said expression as defined in
Section 2 (12) of the Act. The judgment under appeal does not, therefore, call
for any interference.
This appeal is accordingly dismissed with