Guidelines for Inquiry Initiation under Section 7A of the EPF Act

linked in
By Bhuvana Anand
1 minute read ● February 24, 2020
Section 7A of the EPF Act

EPFO in its circular no. C-II/20/76/Misc./2020/CBE/TN/027 dated 14.02.2020, has issued guidelines for initiation of inquiries under section 7A of the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 in order to bring uniformity in the procedure followed.

Instructions in the Circular

Inquiries u/s 7A shall for limited purposes only i.e.

  • dispute regarding the applicability of the EPF Act and/or
  • determination of dues.

Therefore, grounds such as non-submission of returns, non-production of records, non-cooperation in inspections, etc. are not reasons within the sphere of section 7A and do not constitute a sufficient basis for initiating proceedings under this section.

The minimum standard of evidence for the commencement of any legal proceedings is the ‘existence of a prima-facie case’(i.e. there should be a case appears on the face of given facts and circumstances) and the same applies to proceedings u/s 7A.

Procedure for Initiation

A mere complaint in itself does not constitute prima-facie evidence; sufficient to initiate an inquiry u/s 7A as complaint and is only a source of information and not legal proof of the allegations. Therefore, any complaint is required to be investigated by an Enforcement Officer under section 13(1) of the Act and substantiated on the basis of admissible evidence gathered during an investigation.

Scope and Time Frame

The assessing officers prior to initiating an inquiry, have to record the intended period of inquiry-based on the evidence available. Subsequent to the initiation of an inquiry, the issues and the period of default specified thereunder cannot be extended and records sought from the respective employer must be reasonably limited to such scope. Any new issue or period of default arising/found subsequently may be inquired only upon issuance of a separate notice to that extent.

All inquiries initiated shall be provided with computer-generated diary numbers from the compliance e-proceedings portal and any notice served without this diary number will be treated as non-est.

To read the notification, click here.

Related Posts

Info Tile Image
19/11/2020 | Bhuvana Anand

Central & State Notifications - COVID 19 (Sep-Oct 2020)

Here are the links for those notifications published by the Central and State governments in the month of September and October 2020. Read on greytHR blog.
Statutory Compliances

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay on top of latest updates from greytHR on HR trends, statutory compliances updates and more.
  • HR & Payroll Administration
  • What is HRMS?
  • What is Payroll?
  • What is Statutory Compliance?
  • Guide to Leave Management
  • Guide to Attendance Management
  • Holiday Lists 2023
  • Holiday Lists 2024
  • Product
  • HR Software
  • Payroll Software
  • Leave Management System
  • Attendance Management System
  • Performance Management System
  • Employee Self Service
  • greytHR Service Status
GDPR Compliant certification badge
Soc2 certification badge
ISO Certification Badge
© 2024 Greytip Software Pvt. Ltd.
Privacy PolicyTerms of Use