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Coverage under the Act - Liability to pay P.F - The Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

The petitioner obtained a building on lease from his father and established a hotel in December, 1989. It is alleged by the petitioner that due to labour problems he closed the establishment in 1991. Authority under the Act visited the establishment and found that it had 22 employees. Therefore, on 5.2.1990, issued a provisional coverage notice under section 1 (3)(b). The petitioner replied to the notice. Afterwards the Authorities issued notice initiating proceedings under section 7-A of the Act. Eventually, APFC passed an order holding that petitioner is liable to pay contribution towards PF. The petitioner filed O.P. No.1087/1997. The Court directed the petitioner to assail the order under Section 7-1 of the Act before Appellate Authority which the petitioner filed. Appellate Authority dismissed the appeal which has resulted into the present writ petition.

The Court examined the issue whether the petitioner-establishment was liable to contribution to PF. The Court held that the petitioner has not produced any proof that he paid the amount. Petitioner became owner of the building after the death of his father. He has given names of persons allegedly running the business as his lessees. The Authority was justified in drawing adverse inference and in proceeding further. The Authority gave ample time to the petitioner to appear and defend himself but the petitioner did not avail the opportunity. If petitioner had nothing to do with new establishment, Court fails to understand how he signed as its proprietor using that establishment's letter head. Impugned order does not suffer from any infirmity. Writ Petition dismissed.  

-H.C. Ker. 2018-IC.P. Paul, Nechupadam v. R.P.F.C. 


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