New Delhi: As many as 1,401 prosecutions were launched against the employers till September end this fiscal, who defaulted on payment of PF contribution to the retirement fund body EPFO, Parliament was informed on Monday.
Under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952, 1,401 prosecutions were launched till September in the current fiscal, Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
According to the reply, 1,491 prosecutions were launched under the Act for default in payment of PF contributions by the employers in 2014-15 whereas the number of such cases were 414 and 317 in 2013-14 and 2013-12 respectively.
Regional offices of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) are required to take action against defaulting firms by causing inspection for securing compliance and launching other stringent action.
Besides taking action against such employers under the Act, the EPFO takes action under Section 406/409 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for non-payment of employees’ share deducted from the wages but not deposited, the minister said.
Section 406 provides that whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 409 provides provision regarding Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent.
Under this clause the convict shall bee punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
In a separate reply to the House, the minister stated that as many as 1,348 cases were filed in the Appellate Tribunal under the Act till November 23 this years. The number of such cases were 1,384 and 884 in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The minister also informed that 1,237 case were pending in the appellate authority while the number of such cases were 921 and 525 in 2014 and 2013 respectively.