Decided on September 22,1995



- (1.)This petition u/s 482 Cr. P.C. has been filed by the petitioner Niranjan De for quashing of the prosecution filed against him by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner for violation of various provisions of Employees Provident Fund and miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952; (hereinafter called, the Act) and Scheme framed thereunder, known as Employees Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, (hereinafter called the Scheme, and thus having committed offences punishable u/s 14(1A), 14(2), 14A(1), and 14 AA of the Act The petitioner is Managing Director of a company, called Messrs. Favourite Small Investment Ltd., to which the provisions of the Act and the Scheme were applicable. The prosecution was started by a complaint filed by Provident Fund Inspector, West Bengal with the previous sanction of the Regional Provident Commissioner as required u/s 14AAC of the Act for failure of the company to pay the employees' share as well as employers' contribution to the provident fund for the month of September, 1988 as per requirement of the Act and the Scheme and also for failure to pay the administrative charges for the same month and, thus, contravening the various provisions of the Act and the Scheme and having also failed to submit return for the same month and, thus, contravened the provisions of Para 38(2) of the Act read with Section 14(2) of the Act. The amount of the alleged default was as under for this month :-
i) Employees' share of PF contribution - Rs. 242119/-

ii) Employees' share of PF contribution -- Rs. 242119/

iii) Employees' share of PF contribution -- Rs. 39499/-

iv) Employees' share of PF contribution -- Rs. 39499/-

v) Administrative charges -- Rs. 23032/-.

(2.)It had been urged in the complaint that Niranjan De was during the relevant period, in-charge of the Establishment and was responsible to it for the conduct of its business and so was liable to be punished as an accused. The accused were summoned on this complaint to stand trial for the alleged offences by Order, dt. 14-1-94 of the Metropolitan Magistrate, 6th Court, Calcutta.
(3.)In the present petition u/s 482 Cr. P.C., Niranjan De urges that during the relevant period, that is September, 1988 or thereafter, during the period when the contributions of any type or administrative charges for the month of September, 1988 were to be deposited with the Provident Fund Commissioner in the relevant account by the Company, the Board of Directors did not have any control over the affairs of the company or its finances. The management of the company had been taken over by special officers under the orders of the High Court. It is asserted that by order, dt. 8th June, 1987 passed by this High Court in company petition No. 275 of 1987, the management of the company was taken over by special officer appointed by this Court. Then by Order, dt. 19th July, 1988, in appeal, the Board of Directors of the company were superseded and the special officer appointed by this Court was invested with the powers of the Board in the same company petition. The High Court observed on 27th July, 1990;
"It is on record that provident fund dues of the company could not be deposited since 1988. Such a default in deposit cannot be attributed to Board of Directors of the company in view of the fact that the company was in the control and management of joint special officers appointed by this court since June 1987."
It was only by Order, dt. 5th July, 1990 in appeal No. 4988 that the special officers were discharged by the Court. Another point taken is that there was no sanction recorded by the concerned authority u/s 14AAC of the Act and no proper mind was applied for filing of the complaint or for giving sanction. It is urged that in this circumstances, the prosecution of Niranjan De is without basis and discloses no offence against him and is also without proper sanction.

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