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Employee's Provident Funds Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

14B. Power to recover damages

Where an employer makes default in the payment of any contribution to the Fund [, the [Pension] Fund or the Insurance Fund] or in the transfer of accumulations required to be transferred by him under sub-section (2) of section 15 [or sub-section (5) of section 17] or in the payment of any charges payable under any other provision of this Act or of [any Scheme or Insurance Scheme] or under any of the conditions specified under section 17, [the Central Provident Fund Commissioner or such other officer as may be authorized by the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, in this behalf] may recover [from the employer by way of penalty such damages, not exceeding the amount of arrears, as may be specified in the Scheme:]

PROVIDED that before levying and recovering such damages, the employer shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard:]

PROVIDED FURTHER that the Central Board may reduce or waive the damages levied under this section in relation to an establishment which is a sick industrial company and in respect of which Scheme for rehabilitation has been sanctioned by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction established under section 4 of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (1 of 1986), subject to such terms and conditions as may be specified in the Scheme.]

Comment: "Nor can it be accepted that there are no guidelines provided for fixing the quantum of damages. The power of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner to impose damages under Section 14-B is a quasi-judicial function. It must be exercised after notice to the defaulter and after giving him a reasonable opportunity of being heard. The discretion to award damages could be exercised within the limits fixed by the Statute. Having regard to the punitive nature of the power exercisable under Section 14-B and the consequences that ensue there from, an order under Section 14-B must be a 'speaking order' containing the reasons in support of it."  AIR 1979 SUPREME COURT 1803, Organo Chemical Industries v. Union of India

Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 Back

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