Principals Applicable to Enquiry under Section 7a of Provident Fund Act

The purpose of proceedings u/s 7A of EPF and MP Act is to determine the amount due from any employer in respect of the employees under the scheme. The Act and Section 7A envisage compliance with the principals of natural justice. Therefore, PF Commissioner while conducting enquiry is required to follow principles of natural justice. Therefore, even in an enquiry u/s 7A contractors are parties and can be made parties, the record can be called for. The Commissioner is required to exercise his power to collect the evidence before coming to conclusion. Section 7A enquiry is quasi-judicial. Therefore, if PF Commissioner is required to issue Summonses for production of documents at the request of party. Failure to do so amounts to failure to exercise the jurisdiction.  (Refer:  HPSFC V/s RPFC 2009 1LLJ 141, BHEL V/s ESIC (issue of PF also dealt with in the same matter) 2008 AIR SC 1449 SC 2J, FCI V/s RPFC 1990 (60) FLR 15)