THE Supreme Court last week set aside the judgment of the Calcutta high court and held that in a case of default of provident fund contribution by an “exempted establishment”, it would be liable for legal action. The question involved in the case, Regional PF Fund Commissioner vs Hooghly Mills, was under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act whether exempted companies can be subjected to proceedings for recovery of damages if they default in the contributions. The high court ruled that such exempted employers could not be proceeded against. According to the Act, establishments which have better schemes for provident fund than the statutory one, may be exempted. The high court, by interpreting Section 17, concluded that the company was exempted. Overruling the high court, the Supreme Court stated that since it is a social welfare law, courts should interpret provisions, if there is any doubt, in favour of the beneficiaries. “The interpretation of the Act must not only be liberal but it must be informed by the values of Directive Principles of State Policy in the Constitution.”
From India, Malappuram
Thanx a lot Mr. Agrawal for bringing out the very recent judgement of the Supreme Court as regards exempted establishment. With this judgement it becomes very clear that the the exempted establishment is also to be treated like an unexempted establishment for assessing contributions remitted by the employer to the private trust as well as in recovery proceedings by the Regional PF Commissioner. So the exempted establishment is in no better position.
From India, Bhopal
Dear Agrawal ji,
Thanks for valuable information with this judgement it becomes very clear that the the exempted establishment is also to be treated like an unexempted establishment.
From India, Kakinada
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