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Delay in deposit of EPF Dues cannot be allowed to be linked with the financial crisis that too over different points of time. - The Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner on application of mind and perusal of records found a fit case for levying damages as per EPF Scheme with interest of 12% p.a. under Section 14-B and 7-Q of the Act, respectively. Appeal filed, by the appellant, against the order of the EPF Authority, failed. In writ petition, the writ court observed that the only contention of the petitioner before the EPF Authorities was financial constraints and unavoidable circumstances due to which the petitioner did not deposit its contribution of the provident fund of its employees. This aspect has been considered by the EPF Authority vide order dated 01.09.2016 indicating that delay was for the period from 01.09.2013 to 05.02.2016 in which impugned order has been passed on 28.02.2017 by the EPF Appellate Tribunal that no documents was placed on behalf of the appellant which could reveal the mitigating circumstances due to which the establishment had been restrained from timely compliance of the provisions of the Act. On the other hand, the stand of the EPF Authority is that the Act is a social welfare legislation and is to serve the purpose for which it has been enacted. It is settled position of law that delay in deposit of EPF dues being an unqualified statutory obligation cannot be allowed to be linked with the financial crisis that too over different points of time.

-M/s. Kee Pharma Limited vs. Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner. 2017 LLR 871 (Delhi H C.)


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