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Delton Infra Pvt. Ltd vs. State Of J&K And Another - (High Court of Jammu and Kashmir) (16 Jun 2023)

Once the employer is contributing EPF under the Central Act, the same cannot be compelled to make contribution under the State Act



The Petitioner-company claims to have obtained the registration under Central Employees Provident Fund Act and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and further claims to have been regularly depositing the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) in respect of all its 107 employees including 54 working in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir in connection with maintenance and operation of Vodafone sites. The case projected by the Petitioner in the present petition is that, Respondent No. 2 without holding any further enquiry into the matter and affording any opportunity of being heard to the Petitioner, on its own, worked out the arrears payable by the Petitioner on account of EPF contribution, administrative charges and damages etc. and served the Petitioner-company with the notice for payment of Rs. 16,17,565 and a similar communication was also issued to Vodafone Essar Space Tel Ltd. Jammu. The Petitioner has impugned both the communications addressed to the Petitioner-company and to the Principal Employer of the petitioner.

The Petitioner argued that, the Petitioner cannot be forced to pay the amount for the employees working for the Petitioner in respect of whom the Petitioner-company has already been depositing the contribution in the account of its 107 employee including 54 working in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. He further argued that without conducting any enquiry, the impugned communications have been issued.

Once the Petitioner is making contribution under the Central Act, then the Petitioner-company cannot be compelled to contribute for same employee under the State Act of 1961.This Court is of the considered view that once the employer is contributing EPF for a particular employee under either of the Acts, then the employer cannot be compelled to make contribution under the other Act, as the employer would then make contribution twice for the same employee.

The officer duly authorized by the Government can determine the amount due from an employer and for that purpose, may conduct an enquiry. In the present case, no such enquiry was conducted by the Respondents. The Petitioner-company is right in submitting before this Court, that the petitioner has been condemned unheard.

The impugned communications are quashed. The Respondents shall pass fresh order after taking note of the contributions made by the Petitioner under the Central Act. The Petitioner cannot be compelled to make contribution under both the Acts for the same employee.


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