MUMBAI: A housing society is not an industry, the Bombay high court has ruled. Justice Suresh Gupte, in an order, quashed a labour court’s order asking a housing society in Mumbai to reinstate a watchman whose services were terminated. The labour court had held that since the society earned a profit from the additional income that it earned from its members for displaying neon signs, it was an industry. The society said that the services provided by a watchman were personal in nature.
“Merely because the society levied some extra charges from a few of its members for display of neon signs, the society cannot be treated as an industry carrying on the business of hiring out of neon signs or allowing display of advertisements,” said Justice Gupte.
“The labour court appears to have been swayed by the fact that a few members of the society were carrying on businesses like coaching classes and a dispensary and the society was charging advertisement charges for the neon signs put up by the members. The labour court was of the view that since the society was earning income, it could not be termed as a mere housing society,” said the judge. The court said that when there are multiple activities carried out by an establishment, then what is to be considered is its dominant function.
Arihant Siddhi housing society in Borivli had terminated the services of its watctman when he turned 60 in 2000.