Higher EPS: The High Court of Kerala directed EPFO to dispense with joint declaration document
Contents News/Article Date: 13th March 2023
Relating to which Act: The Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952;
Penalty under the Act: Delay in deposit of P.F. dues attracts penal damages. Damages are levied at the following FLAT RATES: For 0 — 2 months’ delay – @ 5 % p.a. For 2 — 4 months’ delay – @10 % p.a. For 4 — 6 months’ delay – @ 15 % p.a.
Whoever, for the purpose of avoiding any payment to be made by himself under this Act [the Scheme, the [Pension] Scheme] or the Insurance Scheme] or of enabling any other person to avoid such payment knowingly makes or causes to be made any false statement or false representation shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine of five thousand rupees, or with both].
Applicable to which State: All the establishments in the States with PF coverage
Type: Money Today News Report
Pertains to: Establishments and Members of PF Fund
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And in this instance: The High Court of Kerala has directed the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to dispense with the production of joint declaration under paragraph 26(6) of the EPF Scheme.
The court has also directed that in cases where the employees concerned are unable to upload the application for claim for higher pension online, they be permitted to submit the application in hard copies.
The court in its Interim Order dated 12.04.2023 in W.P. (C) No.8979/2023 has ordered, “Accordingly, the Employees Provident Fund Organization and the authorities under the same are directed to make adequate provisions in their online facility to enable the employees/pensioners to furnish the options in tune with the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court, without the production of the copies of option under paragraph 26(6) of the Scheme, 1952 and the details thereof, for the time being. If appropriate modifications cannot be made in the online facility, feasible alternate arrangements, including the permission to submit hard copies of the options, shall be made/granted. The facilities mentioned above shall be made available to all the employees/pensioners within a period of ten days from today.”
Subject: Higher EPS: The High Court of Kerala directed EPFO to dispense with joint declaration document
Appended is the complete news item
Kerala HC Directs EPFO to Enable Opting of Higher Pension Without Production of Copies of Option Under Para 26(6) Of EPF Scheme
The Kerala High Court has directed the Employees Provident Fund Organization to make adequate provisions in their online facility to enable the employees/pensioners to opt for higher contribution without the production of the copies of option under paragraph 26(6) of the EPF Scheme, 1952.
The bench of Justice Ziyad Rahman AA passed the Order on a batch of pleas concerning legal entitlement of the petitioners for higher pension, as per the provisions of the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. “…the Employees Provident Fund Organization and the authorities under the same are directed to make adequate provisions in their online facility to enable the employees/pensioners to furnish the options in tune with the directions of the Honourable Supreme Court, without the production of the copies of option under paragraph 26(6) of the Scheme, 1952 and the details thereof, for the time being”, the Court directed.
The Court also added that if appropriate modifications cannot be made in the online facility, feasible alternate arrangements, including the permission to submit hard copies of the options, shall be made.
The grievance raised by the petitioners was that one of the details to be furnished in the said option form was the copy of the permission under para 26(6) of the Employees Provident Fund Scheme, 1952.
According to petitioners, even though they were permitted to pay the contribution based on the salary, exceeding the ceiling limit prescribed (Rs 5,000/- and Rs 6,500/-), as contemplated under para 26(6) of the Scheme 1952, no formal option has been submitted.
According to them, submission of such an option was never necessitated or insisted upon, and instead, higher contributions were being accepted all along by the EPFO.
Therefore, they are unable to fill up the said column in the online option form.
The Court noted that “…the Honourable Supreme Court fixed the cut-off date as 3.05.2023 for submitting the options.
Now on account of the insistence from the EPFO to furnish the details of the option under para 26(6) of the Scheme, 1952, and also in view of the peculiar nature of the online facility provided for such submissions, they are now prevented from submitting the said options.”
The Court observed that if they were not permitted to submit their options before the cut-off date, they would be deprived of their opportunity to claim the benefits.
Thus the Court passed the interim Order.
Cause Title – Saheer S & Ors. v Union of India & Or