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whether a church or temple is industry?
It is not an industry under the Industrial Disputes Act. B.Saikumar HR& Labour Law Advisor Mumbai
Halsburyslaw asking this question!! Quite ironical isn't it??


The definition of the industry in section 2 (j) shows that it has been divided into two parts. The first part says what an industry means and the second part says what industry includes. Thus, the definition is exhaustive as well as inclusive.

The first part means any (i) business, (ii) trade, (iii) undertaking, (iv) manufacture or (v) calling of employers.

The second part includes any (i) calling, (ii) service, (iii) employment, (iv) handicraft, or (v) industrial occupation, or (vi) avocation of workmen.

The first part defines it in relation to the activities of the undertaking i.e. the employer while the second, in relation to the nature of the work done by the employees and gives an extended connotion through this part standing alone cannot define what an industry is. In either case the activity whether of the undertaking or the employees of that undertaking are to be determined in relation to its being a business, trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling of employers.

Your query fall under the two principles of the definition : principle of noscitur a sociis and ejusdem generis in interpreting the expression used in the definition of industry, in the leading judgment while holding that domestic employment cannot fall within the scope of "industry".

Hence keeping that in view, Krishna Iyer, J. , the learned judge stated the law relating to the domestic and private employment in the following words:-

"the image of industry or even quasi-industry is that of a plurality of workmen, not an isolated or single little assistant or attendant. The later category is more or less like personal avocation for livelihood taking some paid or part time from another. The whole purpose of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 is to focus on resolution of industrial disputes and regulation of industrial relations and not to meddle with every little carpenter in a village or blacksmith in a town whose is with his son or assistant to work for the customer who trek in. The ordinary spectacle of a cobbler and his assistant or a cycle repairer with a helper, we come across in the pavement, of cities and towns, repels the idea of "industry" and industrial disputes. For their reason, which applies along the line, to small professions, petty handicraftsmen, domestic servants and the like, the solicitor or doctor or rural engineer, even like the butcher, the baker and the candle stick maker, with an assistant or without, does not fall within the definition of "industry".

Jain Temple is NOT an industry as defined under Section 2 (j) Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. (Mahamadkha Gajika Baloch Vs Manager, Panchasara Jain Derasar 1994-II-LLJ 1051 (SC) )

The court diverting from its previous view held that Baba Balak Nath Temple Trust running the affairs of Temple is an INDUSTRY. (Jagbir Singh and ors and state of H P and ors Vs Rakesh Kumar and ors and Comm-cum-Dy Comm. Baba Balak Nath Temple Trust and ors. 1999-II-LLJ 304 (HP) )

NOW, coming to the Church part, The word 'profession' used to be confined to the three professions, the Church, Medicine and Law. (Commissioners of Inland Revenue Vs. Maxse [1919] I K.B. 647 (657) )

THESE PROFESSIONALS, would fall within the definition of "industry" if they fulfill the triple test viz,

(1) systematic activity,

(2) organized by co-operation between the employers and the employees and

(3) the production or distribution of goods and services calculated to satisfy the human wants and wishes. The only exception indicated is where a single lawyer may be plying his profession with a little assistance or a menial servant because in such an employment there would be nothing like organized labour. (B. W. S. S. B. Vs A. Rajappa's Case)

[COLOR="Cyan"]Now, you decide and tell me whether the temple or the church you are referring, fall under the definition of INDUSTRY or not ??

If you are interested in further discussions on the same, you are welcome.....[/COLOR]

Despite man's endeavor or constant search for answers that are absolute, certain questions tend to be asked again and again. Whether a church or a temple is an industry or what an industry is are such among the oft-repeated questions in legal circle because of the simple reason that there are contradictory judgments of the highest court on the same questions. Well; let's forget law and courts for some time and try our level best to interpret the terms "church" or "temple" and " industry" without any external influence whether legal or otherwise. To me, it appears, in a naked intellectual approach, that "church" or " temple" signifies a "place" of joint-worship of the community. So, its emergence and existence is the collective responsibility of the community. Once founded, some individuals disowning the so-called personal worldly attachments from among the community have to be entirely assigned for its running. Thus came the evolution of the order of priest-hood. So, whatever they started doing in their wisdom for the unabated existence of the institution attained the flavors of religiosity and charity. However, such institutions like the Basilica of Her Lady of Health and the temple of Lord Venkatesa of thirumala for instance because of their magnitude of operations and multitude of people engaged for the purpose become the targets of attack while construing the concept of "industry" as it is understood so far. Therefore, I solicit further response from the learned members.
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