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It is a question very often coming to the fore of everyone's mind but remains unasked simply because of the hazy and usual answer that it is a matter of compliance with the particular weekly closure provision of the States' Shops and Establishments Act in force. Even there was a verbal duel in the late1980's between a leading advocate and the then Commissioner of Labour in TamilNadu in this regard inter alia the very applicability of the Act to shops and establishments run by the owners themselves with/without the assistance of their family members. Shops and establishments play a vital role in the functioning of the society as the conduits of domestic distribution of goods and services across the length and breadth of the country. With the distinct change in the demographic patterns in tune with the process of urbanisation in the wake of industrial revolution, shops and establishments became to be a major source of local employment to unskilled labour force. But, there was no Law earlier to regulate the conditions of employment in shops and establishments other than the Weekly Holidays Act,1942 the main objective of which was ensuring grant of weekly holidays only. So emerged the States' Shops and Establishments Acts gradually since 1947. The provision for compulsory weekly closure in the Acts is the reproduction of Sec.3(!)(2) of the wWeekly Holidays Act,1942. In Sadasivam v.State of Madras[ 1957(1)LLJ.524 ], the hon'ble High Court of Madras observed as follows: " the avowed object of the Act can be gathered from the statement of objects and reasons, the preamble to the Act and the circumstances underwhich the Act came to be passed which have all been set out above and show that this Act came to be passed in order to prevent sweating of labour and any possible evasion thereof and to provide for compulsory rest for the unexempted shop employer also in the interest of efficiency and conducive to the public welfare." In Manoharlal v. State of Punjab [ 1961(2) LLJ 67 ], the hon'ble Supreme Court said upholding the Constitutional validity of Sec.7(1) of the Punjab Trade Employees Act,1940, " The legislation is in effect the exercise of social control over the manner in which business should be carried or regulated in the interest of the health and welfare not merely of those employed in it but of all those engaged in it." So, you can not keep a shop open for business even if you have no employees.