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Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

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A punishable offence

With the reduction in the rate of interest on EPF, the performance of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is under scrutiny of the Parliament. It is meaningless to blame the EPFO alone.

When an unscrupulous employer fails to pay the workers' share of the EPF contributions, it is considered as `breach of trust' as defined under Section 405 of IPC, punishable under Section 406 and 409 of IPC. It is an effective tool to check defaults by employers. Unfortunately, the police authorities went easy on PF defaults.

As per the recent report of the Standing Committee on Labour, Lok Sabha, out of 6,199 complaints filed by the EPFO under section 406/409 IPC against defaulters, the police authorities have filed prosecution cases in 500 cases only. It is high time the authorities realised the seriousness of EPF related offences and took stringent action.

C. Ramesh

Keeramangalam (TN)

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