The Constitution of India while ensuring under Article 19(1)(g) to all citizens the right to practice any trade, business or profession has maintained a clear distinction between carrying on a trade or business as against practicing a profession. What a practicing professional renders to his client is his services essentially based on his qualification, personal skill and intellectual capacity and is dependent on their professional equipment, knowledge and efficiency. A profession is a vocation or occupation requiring special usually advanced education and skill. The work and skill involved in a profession is predominantly mental or intellectual rather than physical or manual.
Office of a professional does not conform to section 2(4) of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 and is not a commercial establishment and user of residential premises just to provide a professional service does tantamount to change of user and restraining the same rather amounts to an unreasonable restriction violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.
Thus, a profession is a profession and it is not a business. A professional does not deal with production or sale of commodities. No exchange of goods, production of property of any kind or buying, selling and exchanging of article happens in the office of a professional that can be described as “commerce”.
- Prashant Bhat, Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
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