All India Radio Vs. Shri Santosh Kumar & Anr,
 INSC 72 (5
Majmudar, M. Jagannadha Rao
5TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1998 Present Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.B. Majmudar Hon'ble Mr.
Justice M.Jagannadha Rao Ms. K.Amareswari, Sr. Adv., A. Subba Rao, Hemant
Sharma, S.K.Dwivedi, P.Parmeswaran, C.V.Subba Rao, Advs, With her for the
appellant R. Venkataswami, Sr. Adv., Ms, K.Sarada Devi, Ranbir Yadav, M.P.Jha,
Ram Ikbal Roy, Advs. with him for the Respondents.
O R D
following order of the Court was delivered:
granted in the S.L.Ps.
this group of appeals, the common question which arises for our consideration
is to the effect whether the appellant. All India Radio and Doordarshan, as the
case may be, are `Industries' within the meaning of the said term as defined by
Section 2(j) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (`the Act' for short).
respondent-employees were either clerks or linemen/watchmen and other casual
workers working at the relevant time as employees of either All India Radio or Doordarshan
kendras. In Civil Appeal No. 2423 of 1989 respondent no.1 was Grade-II Clerk in
Chattarpur Station of All India Radio. In Civil Appeal No. 2135 of 1993
respondent-workman was casual Fitter-cum-Watchman working at Doordarshan Kendra
T.V. Relay Centre Dwarka, Gujarat, while
the contesting respondents in civil appeal arising out of S.L.P,(c)
Nos.7722-7722A of 1993 were daily-rated workmen working at Doordarshan Kendra, Ranchi. They had challenged their orders
of termination or non-regularisation before the authorities constituted under
the Act. Their termination orders were set aside and regularisation was
granted, as the case may be, to the concerned respondents with consequential
benefits. The writ petitions filed before the High Court by All India Radio or Doordarshan
Kendra, as the case may be, were dismissed and that is how they are before us
in these appeals.
solitary contention canvassed before us by the learned senior counsel for the
appellants is to the effect that All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra
discharge sovereign functions of the State and they are not industries within
the meaning of Section 2(j) of the Act. Now, it has to be kept in view that as
held by a Constitution Bench of this Court consisting of seven learned Judges
in the case Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Bank etc v. A Rajappa and
others etc. reported in (1978) 2 SCC 213, save and except the sovereign
function, all other activities of employers would be covered within the sweep
of term `industry' as defined under Section 2(j) of the Act. The functions
which are carried on by All India Radio and Doordarshan cannot be said to be
confined to sovereign functions as they carry on commercial activity for profit
by getting commercial advertisements telecast or broadcast through their
various kendras and stations by charging fees.
to the functions of Doordarshan and its set up, as seen from Annexure-1
(annexed to S.L.P. (c) Nos. 7722-7722A OF 1993), being the extracts from Doordarshan
Manual Vol.I, it cannot be said t hat the functions carried on by them are of
purely sovereign nature. Day in and out advertisements are being telecast and
even serials are being telecast on payment of appropriate charges and on which
there cannot be any dispute. Same is the position with All India Radio.
learned senior counsel for the appellants vehemently relied upon a decision of
this Court in the case of Bombay Telephone Canteen, Employees' Association, Prabbadevi
Telephone Exchange v. Union of India and another [(1897) 6 SCC 723]. It is true
that in that case a Bench of two learned Judge took the view that the telephone
exchanges run by the Central Government were discharging sovereign functions
and, therefore, the employees working in the canteen run by such telephone
exchanges cannot be said to be working in `industry' as defined under Section
2(j) of the Act. However, the said decision has been expressly over- ruled by a
judgment of a three Judge Bench of this Court in the case of General Manager,
Telecom v. A. Srinivasa Rao and others [(1997) 8 SCC 767]. In that case, Chief
Justice Verma speaking for the three Judge Bench in paragraph 7 of the Report
has expressly over-ruled the said decision. In that decision other decision in
Sub-Divisional Inspector of Post v. Theyyam Joseph and others [(1996) 8 SCC
489] is also over-ruled. It has been held in the said decision that the ratio
of the Constitution Bench judgment in Bangalore Water Supply(supra) holds the
field and the amendment to the definition of Section 2(j) as made in 1982 is
not still brought in force and so long as the amending definition does not come
into force the decision in Bangalore Water Supply (supra) will hold the field.
Consequently, it must be held that the appellant-All India Radio as well as Doordarshan are
industries within the meaning of Section 2(j) of the Act and the Said
definition is operative being applicable at present and as existing on the
Stature Book as on date.
mention that so far as the question of illegality of the orders of termination
is concerned, on the facts found by the authorities below it is to be held that
the termination orders were violative of Section 25-F of the Act and on which,
in fairness to the learned senior counsel for the appellants, no submission was
raised before us for consideration. Similarly regularisation of services was
also not challenged on merits. As a result of this discussion the appeals are
dismissed. Interim stay orders are vacated. The respondents concerned will be
reinstated in service with all the benefits available to them under the
appellants shall reinstate the respondents concerned within six weeks from
today and implement the orders passed by the authorities below within that
time. It is obvious that the reinstatement will be on the same post in which
the respondents were working prior to the impugned termination orders.