Case Law Details

Case Name : Dr. Kavita Pravin Tilwani Vs The State of Maharashtra & Others (Bombay High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No.3989 of 2013
Date of Judgement/Order :  10/07/2014
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3629) Bombay High Court (654)

In   1977   Section   2(4)   of   the   Bombay  Shops   and   Establishments   Act,  1948   has   been amended   and   the   amended   provision   reads   as  under:

“(4) “Commercial establishment” means an establishment which carries  on, any business, trade or profession or any work in connection with, or incidental or ancillary to, any business, trade or profession (and includes establishment of any legal  practitioner, medical  practitioner, architect, engineer, accountant, tax consultant or any other technical or professional  consultant   and   also   includes)   a  society   registered   under   the  Societies Registration Act, 1866 (XXI of   1860), and   charitable   or  other  trust, whether  registered or  not,  which  carries on (whether  for  purposes of  gain or   not) any  business, trade or  profession   or  work   in   connection   with   or  incidental  or  ancillary  thereto  but  does not include a factory, shop, residential hotel, restaurant,  eating house, theatre or other place  of   public   amusement   or  entertainment;”

The Apex Court in the case of Dr.  Devendra   M.   Surti   v.   The  State of Gujarat, reported in AIR 1969 SC 63 has held that private dispensaryof a doctor is not a commercial establishment. The  Apex Court in the said Judgment has observed as under:

“7. It is therefore clear that a professional activity must be an activity carried on by an individual by his personal skill and intelligence. There is a fundamental distinction therefore between a professional activity and an activity of a commercial character and unless the   profession carried on   by   the  appellant   also   partakes   of   the  character of a commercial nature, the  appellant   cannot   fall   within   the  ambit of Section 2(4) of the Act. In  National   Union   of   Commercial  Employees and another v. M.R. Meher,  Industrial   Tribunal,   Bombay,   1962  Supp (3) SCR 157 = (AIR 1962 SC 1080) it was held  by  this  Court  that  the  work of solicitors is not an industry within the meaning of Section 2(j) of  the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and  therefore  any  dispute  raised  by the  employees  of  the  solicitors  against  them  cannot  be  made  the  subject  of  reference to the Industrial Tribunal.  ……”

A similar issue had arisen before the Division Bench of this Court in the case of  Narendra Keshrichand Fuladi and Anr. v. State  of Maharashtra, reported in Mh.L.J. 1985 Page 1. There the question   which   fell   for   consideration   before  the   Court   was   whether   a   legal   practitioner  having an office can be treated on par with the  other  commercial  establishments.  The  Division  Bench held that a legal practitioner having an  office   cannot   be   said   to   be  carrying  on  commercial activity and would not fall within  the   definition   of   the   expression “commercial establishment”. This Bench also, by order dated  12.­6­.2014 passed in the petition filed vide Criminal Writ Petition No.1731 of 2002 of Dr.  (Smt.)  Shubhada  Motwani  v.  The  State  of  Maharashtra & Ors.}, has held that the amendment incorporating  medical practitioners within the  definition   of   the   expression  “commercial  establishment”   will   have   to   be   struck   down  since doctors cannot fall within the definition  of  the  said  expression.  The  writ  petition  is accordingly allowed in terms of prayer clauses  (a) and (b)  and is accordingly disposed of.

Case law Submitted by – Rajendra Popat and analysed by CA Sandeep Kanoi

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Category : Corporate Law (3329)
Type : Judiciary (9823)
Tags : high court judgments (3935)

0 responses to “Office/Clinic Of Professionals are Not Commercial Establishment – HC”

  1. shivdas says:

    good result!

  2. Varghese Mathew says:

    The Kerala High Court in the case of M/s Design combines has held that an Architects firm is a shop for applicability of ESI scheme although the word ‘ shop ‘ is not defined under ESI Act..The reason is the firm sells the services to customers.

    Varghese Mathew

  3. sudarshana says:

    This will have far reaching effect unless one more judgement comes in favour or otherwise.

  4. R.B.POPAT says:

    FOR REGISTERING CASES ON FRIVOLOUS BASIS BY CORPORATION AGAINST PROFESSIONAL SHOULD BE IMPOSED WITH HEAVY COST BY HIGH CORT AND RULE IS ALSO NOT MADE ABSOLUTE IN THE JUDGEMENT IS VERY SAD.

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