Bata questioned the status of such salesman as ‘workman’ under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and consequently as ‘employee’ under the MRTU & PULP Act.

High Court of Bombay on Bata’s  status of such salesman as ‘workman’ under the Industrial Disputes Act 1947 and consequently as ‘employee’ under the MRTU & PULP Act.

Title : M/s. Bata India Ltd v. Mr. Yellappa Satyappa Patil

Decided on :01 November,2023

Case No. : W.P. No. 1815/2016



Labour Court has however held those salesmen as workmen under the provisions of Industrial Disputes Act and ‘employees’ under MRTU & PULP Act and held the complaints to be maintainable. In two sets of complaints, Bata is before this Court challenging findings on preliminary point of status of salesman as workman.

Facts of the Case

Accordingly, by Notification dated 02 February 2007, the State Government granted permission to Bata to keep its retail outlets open for 07 days in a week and during extended working hours subject to various conditions.

Bata accordingly issued notices to the employees employed in the showrooms in November 2007 giving them intimation about the permission granted by the State Government. Bata prepared a duty chart with a view to man its showrooms during the extended hours for keeping them open for 07 days in a week. It appears that some of the salesmen in the showrooms were not willing to accept the sudden change in the working hours.

Courts analysis and decision

Bata unsuccessfully challenged Labour Court’s decision in revision before the Industrial Court and upon dismissal of its revisions, has filed Writ Petition . In rest of the cases, the Labour Court not only held the Complainants to be workmen but proceeded to set aside the termination orders by directing reinstatement with 50% back wages.

Appellant Court could not find any error in the orders passed by Labour Court holding the termination of employees to be illegal. The Industrial Court has rightly rejected the Revisions filed by the Bata challenging the relief of reinstatement granted by the Labour Court.

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Written by- Nimisha Sunny

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