Kerala High Court
Joseph vs Regional Provident Fund ... on 30 August, 1961
Equivalent citations: (1962) ILLJ 745 Ker–
Author: C Vaidialingam
Bench: M Menon, C Vaidialingam—
JUDGMENT C.A. Vaidialingam, J.—
1. In both these writ petitions, the question that arises for consideration is as to whether the provisions of the Employees' Provident Funds Act (Central Act XIX of 1952), will apply to an establishment, notwithstanding the fact that there has been a reduction in the number of employees in the said concern.—
2. Before we consider the legal contentions that have been raised by Sri T.N. Subramonia Ayyar, learned Counsel for the petitioners, and the learned Government Pleader appearing for the respondents, It is desirable to state a few facts.—
3. So far as O.P. No. 1362 of 1959 Is concerned, the petitioner which is a rubber estate, seeks to have two orders quashed, namely, Exs. A and B, dated 15 April 1959 and 8 October 1959, respectively. Under Ex. A, the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Trivandrum, declines to grant the exemption asked for by the petitioner from the provisions of the Employees' Provident Funds Act, 1952, on the ground that there has been a partition of the estate into eight shares in June 1957. Under Ex. A, the officer informs the petitioner that the Employees' Provident Funds Act, 1952, and the Employees' Provident Funds Scheme, 1952, do not permit the Murukkummood estate being left out of the ambit of the Act and the scheme due to partition. Again, the petitioner seems to have made a fresh application to the same authority for reviewing the order Ex. A. That request was again turned down by the subsequent order, Ex. B, dated 5 October 1959. Under Ex. B, which again is a communication sent by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner to the petitioner on 5 October 1959, the former Informs the latter that the petitioner's contention that the Provident Funds Act and the scheme should not at all apply to the estate inasmuch as it was partitioned in 1958 and each of the subdivided units employs less than fifty workmen, cannot be accepted. The officer further expresses his view that the estate, which had originally employed more than fifty workmen, has come within the purview of the Act and the scheme in April 1957 itself and therefore he further states that no change in conditions seems to have taken place to justify the claim that the Act and the scheme are no longer applicable.°
4. Apart from these two communications, we may also advert to certain other correspondence that appears to have passed between the petitioner and the department. In June 1957, there was a partition of this estate, and it is the case of the petitioner that after the partition of the estate into eight shares, the extent of the property in his hands is considerably less and the number of workmen employed by him is less than ten; and therefore he informed the department stating that in view of the partition, the estate in his hands is not liable to make any contribution under the Act. There was a reply from the department under Ex.
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