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Report No. 137

2.5.3. Submission of faulty papers by employers.-

The settlement of cases also gets delayed due to submission of incorrect or incomplete papers by the employers either to the Trust in case of exempted organisation, or to the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner. In this regard the case of Smt. Indrabai P. Desai can be cited as an illustration. Smt. Desai submitted her claim papers in respect of her deceased husband on November 15, 1987.

According to the RPFC, the papers were forwarded to the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner on 13-9-1988 but were not found to be in order. The same were not even attested by the employer, as a result of which the claim could be settled only in May 1989, i.e., after a lapse of about one and a half years. Thus for the fault of the employer, the innocent employee had to suffer hardship unnecessarily.

The employers under the provisions of the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and the Scheme framed thereunder are required to furnish statutory returns to the Office of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner. The returns so furnished are sometimes defective, incorrect or incomplete which results in the delay of final settlement of the claims. The case of Mrs. Lily Joseph can be quoted with benefit in this regard.

She resigned from the service of Students Academy, Mahindra Educational Society, Bombay, in June 1985. Her case could be finally settled only after a lapse of 4 years in May 1989 when the amount was paid to her. The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner stated that the delay was due to non-submission of proper returns by the employer. It is understood that a provident fund inspector should have been deputed to the establishment for securing proper returns as per standing instructions which were not adhered to.

2.5.4. Withholding payment on the unwarranted ground of pendency of disciplinary proceedings.-

An employee during the course of his service is sometimes charge-sheeted for an alleged act of misconduct. The inquiry proceedings initiated are not finalised before the retirement of the employee and are continued even beyond that. Pending such inquiry the claim regarding Provident Fund and other benefits is not settled though it is not permissible to do so under the Act and the Scheme.

Need for creating Office of Ombudsman and for Evolving Legislative - Administrative measures Inter alia to relieve hardships caused by Inordinate Delays in settling Provident Fund claims of Beneficiaries Back

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