S.N. Prasad, J.
1. This writ petition is against the communication dtd.21.10.2003 issued under the signature of Asst. Provident Fund Commissioner (CCI), Orissa, Bhubaneswar whereby and where under the petitioner has been directed to deposit the short-fall dues of Rs.2,50,268/- in A/c.-I (Differential amount) due to issue of Accounts Slip @ 12%.
2. The brief fact of the case of the petitioner is that the petitioner who is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 having its Registered Office at Bhubaneswar which deals with manufacture of high density of polyethylene twine and polypropylene rope. The petitioner being a small scale industrial unit is registered with the District Industries Centre, Bhubaneswar was issued with permanent Registration Certificate and started its commercial production w.e.f. 25.2.1994. The petitioner unit was eligible for infancy benefit as per section 16 of Employees’ Provident Fund and miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (hereinafter referred to as EPF Act) and after completion of the infancy period the petitioner started deduction of contribution of employees w.e.f. March, 1997 @ 8.33% after consulting the Enforcement Officer of the locality.
The Government of India vide notification dtd.9.4.1997 in exercise of power conferred by the First Proviso to Section 6 of the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952 has amended the quantum of statutory deduction as contained in Schedule-II with effect that the proviso shall apply the words “eight and one-third percent” at both places where they occur the words “ten percent” shall be substituted.
Thereafter Sec.2 of Ordinance 17 of 1997 substituted w.e.f. 22.9.1997, the words “ten percent” and “twelve percent” for the words “eight and one-third percent” and “ten percent” respectively where-ever they occur in Sec.6. Ultimately, the same proviso was incorporated in Act 10 of 1998 w.e.f. 22.9.1997 and as such Sec.6 as amended by Act 10 of 1998 w.e.f.22.9.1997 prescribed the rate of contribution at 10%.
The case of the petitioner is that by virtue of the amendment the Central Government has not come out with a notification in pursuance to the First Proviso to Sec.6 enhancing the rate of contribution to 12% and to specify the establishment to which it will be applicable. The petitioner has sought for clarification from the opposite parties but no clarification has been given.
The petitioner in support of his argument has relied upon the judgment rendered by Privy Council in the case of Nazir Ahmad Vrs. Emperor, AIR 1936 PC 253, judgment rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai Vrs. Anjum M.H. Ghaswala and Ors, (2002) 1 SCC 633, in the case of Ram Phal Kundu Vrs. Kamal Sharma, (2004) 2 SCC 759, judgment rendered by this Court in the case of Rabinarayan Sahu Vrs. Forest Range Officer of Soroda Range & Others, 2008(2) OLR 592 and in the case of Nayak Variety Store Vrs. Commissioner of Sales Tax, CLT (2008) Supplement 398.
The opposite parties had issued a notice on 30.9.2001 U/s.7-A of the Act for determination of money due from the employer for the period from 3/2000 to 1/2001, the petitioner in response to the notice had appeared and filed his reply and taking into consideration the fact that the money as required had already been deposited by the petitioner, the proceeding U/s.7-A of the Act, 1952 has been dropped vide order dtd.15.10.2001 / 11.12.2001.
The Asst. Provident Fund Commissioner (O.P.2) had issued another letter dtd.15.11.2001 mentioning therein that the petitioner had contrib
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ted @ 10% instead of 12% w.e.f. 22.9.1997 under the amended provision of EPF Act and the Annual Statement of Accounts and requested to comply at the enhanced rate of contribution applicable to the establishment by depositing the arrear dues. The petitioner has objected to such notice on the ground that as per Sec.6 the rate of contribution applicable to all establishment is 10% and the Central Government after making such enquiry as it deems fit is authorized to issue notification specifying that the section shall be subject to modification that for the word 10% at both places where-ever they occur, the word 12% shall be substituted, hence in order to make the rate of contribution applicable to any industry at 12% the Government ought to have issued a notification as per the conditions stipulated in the First Proviso to Sec.6 after 22.9.1997 and since the Government has not come out with any notification after the said amendment, the direction of opposite parties to deposit the differential amount is absolutely without any jurisdiction and non application of mind.3. The opposite parties 1 and 2 have appeared and filed counter affidavit, inter alia therein it has been stated that no further notification was necessary after the amendment. It has been stated that the enhanced rate of contribution at 12% apply to establishments those who are paying contribution @ 10% prior to 22.9.1997, hence no further notification indicating the specific establishment / establishments is necessary.It has been stated that this writ petition is not maintainable on the ground of availability of alternative remedy of appeal as provided Under Section 7-I of the Act, 1952.4. Learned Asst. Solicitor General Mr. A.K. Bose representing opposite party no.3 – Central Government has been directed to file an affidavit, however, no affidavit has been filed, but he has argued out the case at length and has submitted that there is no requirement to come out with a fresh notification since the petitioner is required to pay contribution at the rate of 12% as the rate of contribution has been increased from 10% to 12% by virtue of amendment of Act 10 of 1998 and as such it is the mandatory duty of the establishment to deposit their EPF contribution suo motu under the Act which the petitioner has violated and there is no requirement to issue any notice to any particular establishment prior to issuance of any notification by the Central Government under the First Proviso to Sec.6 of the Act since only the rate of contribution has been changed without affecting the other provision of the Act.5. Heard the learned counsels for the parties and perused the documents on record.The opposite parties have raised the question regarding maintainability of the writ petition on the ground of availability of alternative remedy of appeal U/s.7-I of the Act, 1952, hence before entering into the merit of the issue the question is being answered first. There is no dispute about the fact that the statute provides power of appeal to be filed before the Tribunal against an order passed by the Central Government or any authority under the proviso to sub-section (3), or sub-section (4) of Section 1, or Section 3, or sub-section (1) of Section 7-A, or Section 7B except an order rejecting an application for review referred to in sub-section (5) thereof or Sec.7-A or Sec.14-B. From perusal of the record it is evident that a proceeding U/s.7-A was initiated against the petitioner but subsequently it was dropped on payment of entire dues. After dropping of that proceeding the authorities have issued a communication in the shape of demand notice dtd.21.10.2003 issued under the signature of Asst. Provident Fund Commissioner. It is further evident that the proceeding U/s.7-A has been dropped on 11.12.2001 and after lapse of about more than 2 years demand notice dtd.21.10.2003 has been issued, hence the argument advanced on behalf of learned counsel for opposite party that appeal will lie against the notice dtd.21.10.2003 is not fit to be acceptable and accordingly not accepted in view of the fact that no provision of appeal is available U/s.7-I against a demand notice issued in view of amendment in Sec.6 of the Act.6. The sole dispute raised by the petitioner in this writ petition is that whether the notification issued by the Central Government under the First Proviso of Sec.6 of the EPF Act, 1952 specifying an establishment or class of establishments to be included therein is required while there is a specific amendment made in the First Proviso amending the rate at which such establishment or class of establishment will be required to contribute the fund.The Act which is called Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, had come into force in the year 1952. The necessity arose since it was found that through with the industrial growth, big employers had introduced certain schemes of provident funds for the welfare of their workers which were private and voluntary, the workers of the small employers, remained deprived of such type of benefits and in view thereof the Government of India promulgated the EPF Act of 1952. Section 1 of the Act reads as under:-"1. Short, title, extent and application--[(1) This Act may be called the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.]2. XXX XXX XXX[(3) Subject to the provisions contained in Section 16, it applies—(a) to every establishment which is a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule I and in which [twenty] or more persons are employed, and(b) to any other establishment employing [twenty] or more persons or class of such establishments which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf:Provided that the Central Government may, after giving not less than two months' notice of its intention so to do, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply the provisions of this Act to any establishment employing such number of persons less than [twenty] as may be specified in the notification.]4. XXX XXX XXX5.XXX XXX XXXThis Act therefore, made applicable to all the factories engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I, where twenty or more persons were engaged and to other establishments which the Central Government may by notification in the Official Gazette specify in this behalf. All the establishments brought within the ambit of EPF Act can be termed as establishments constituting Category 'A'. Under the EPF Act, both the employee and the employer has to contribute in the fund which is called as provident fund. The rate of such payment is determined by Section 6 of the Act. Till the year 1962, there was a single rate of PF contribution for all the establishments covered under the Act of 1952 by virtue of Section 1(3) either by way of Section 3(a) or Section 3(b) of the Act 1952. In the year 1962, however, by the Amending Act, first proviso to Section 6 was introduced and two rates of PF contribution were introduced. Under Section 6, the rate of contribution at that time was 'six and a quarter percent'. Under the proviso, the rate of contribution was 8%. The proviso conferred power on Government to notify the establishments by way of notification after the enquiry, to which proviso to Section 6 of the Act of 1962 was applicable. The effect of introduction of this proviso was that while earlier all the establishments covered under the EPF Act were required to pay the contribution at one rate, after the amendment the establishments notified under the proviso to Section 6 of EPF Act 1962 were required to pay their contribution at higher rate. The effect of introduction of proviso to Section 6 was that certain establishments from Category-A were notified to pay their contributions at higher rate and a new Category say Category-B was created. The remaining establishments of Category A which were to pay their contribution under Section 6 of the Act of 1962 can be termed as Category C.Category C and B together form Category A. Category C were paying contributions at the rates specified under Section 6 of the Act and Category B at the rate specified under first proviso to Section 6 of EPF Act, 1962.The Central Government, in exercise of its power under first proviso to Section 6 of 1962 had been issuing notifications from time to time, by which it used to pick up establishments from Category-A and putting them into Category-B. Thereafter, the EPF Act of 1962 was further amended in the year 1988 and the rate of contribution for the establishments falling in Category C was enhanced from 'six and a quarter percent' to 8.33% and for establishments falling under Category-B from 8.33% to 10%. The Government under the first proviso to Section 6 of Amended Act of 1988 issued four notifications bearing Nos. SO 360(E) dated 17.05.1989, SO 1837 dated 29.06.1990, SO 627 (E) dated 31.08.1994 and SO 126(E) dated 01.03.1995, by which the establishments falling in Category-B were notified. The Government also issued the notification No.S-35019/1/97-SS. II, dated 09.04.1997 under first proviso to Section 6 of the Amended Act of 1988. Vide this notification, earlier notifications dated 17.05.1989, 29.06.1990, 31.08.1994 and 01.03.1995 were superseded and thereby repealed. The notification reads as under:-Appendix IIINOTIFICATIONS UNDER THE ACT AND THE SCHEMESMinistry of Labour, F. No.-S-35019/1/97-SS.II dated April, 9, 1997-- In exercise of the powers conferred by the first proviso to Section 6 of the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1958 (19 of 1952) and in supersession of the notifications specified in Schedule I to this notification except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such suppression, the Central Government after making necessary inquiry into the matter hereby specifies with effect from the first day of May, 1997 every establishment and class of establishments other than those specified in Schedule II, to which the said proviso shall apply, the words 'eight and one-third percent at both the places where they occur, the words "ten percent" shall be substituted.Schedule-I(i) S.O. No. 360 dated the 17th May, 1989(ii) S.O. No. 1837 dated the 29th June, 1990(iii) S.O No. 627(E) dated the 31st August, 1994(iv) S.O. No. 126(E) dated the 1st March, 1995Schedule-IIEstablishments to which the first proviso to Section 6 shall not apply:(i) Any establishment in which less than twenty persons are employed:(ii) Any sick industrial company as defined in clause (o) of sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act, 1985 (1 of 1986) and which has been declared as such by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction established under Section 4 of the Act, for the period commencing on and from the date of registration of the reference in the Board and ending either on the date by which the net worth of the said company becomes positive in terms of the orders passed under sub-section (2) of Section 17 of that Act or on the last date of implementation of the scheme sanctioned under Section 18 of the Act.(iii) Any establishment which has at the end of any financial year accumulated losses equal to or exceeding its entire net worth that is, the sum total of paid-up capital and free reserves and has also suffered cash losses in such financial year and the financial year immediately preceding such financial year.Explanation.--For the purposes of clause (iii) "cash loss" means loss as computed without providing for depreciation;(iv) Any establishment in the—(A) Jute industry;(B) Beedi industry;(C) Brick industry;(D) Coir industry other than the spinning sector; and(E) Gaur gum factories."7. In pursuance to the notification dtd.9.4.1997 the petitioner has been directed to deposit the differential amount vide notice dtd.21.10.2003 (Annexure-1) which is under challenge on the ground that before asking the petitioner to deposit the differential amount, it was incumbent upon the Central Government to issue notification to specify the requirement of First proviso to Sec.6 of the EPF Act and in absence of any notification the petitioner cannot be compelled to deposit the statutory deduction at the rate of 12%. As such the question of consideration, therefore, is whether after the amendment under Section 6 of EPF Act 1988 by the Amendment Act No. 10 of 1998, whereby the only amendment has been made in the rates of contribution and rate 8.33% was enhanced to 10% under Section 6 rate of 10% is enhanced to 12% under first proviso to Section 6, the Government is required to issue fresh notification under first proviso to Section 6 of Amendment Act 1998 before it can be said that the establishments notified under Section 1(3) of the Act, including the petitioner, are covered under the first proviso to Section 6 of Amended Act of 1998.Section 6 of EPF Act 1988, reads as under:-"6. Contributions and matters which may be provided for in Schemes.—The contribution which shall be paid by the employer to the Fund shall be (eight and one-third per cent) of the basic wages, [dearness allowance W.P.(C) 7342/2000 Page 17 and retaining allowance (if any)], for the time being payable to each of the employees (whether employed by him directly or by or through a contractor) and the employee's contributions shall be equal to the contribution payable by the employer in respect of him and may, [if any employee so desires, be an amount exceeding eight and one-third per cent of his basic wages, dearness allowances and retaining allowance (if any), subject to the condition that the employer shall not be under an obligation to pay any contribution over and above his contribution payable under this section.]Provided that in its application to any establishment or class of establishments which the Central Government, after making such inquiry as it deems fit, may, by notification in the Official Gazette specify, this section shall be subject to the modification that for the words "eight and one-third per cent", at both the places where they occur, the words "ten per cent" shall be substituted;]"By Amendment Act No.10 of 1998, which came into force with effect from 22.09.1997, the amendments in Section 6 were done. It reads as under:-"6. Contributions and matters which may be provided for in Schemes.--The contribution which shall be paid by the employer to the Fund shall be (ten per cent) of the basic wages, [dearness allowance and retaining allowance (if any)], for the time being payable to each of the employees (whether employed by him directly or by or through a contractor)] and the employee's W.P.(C) 7342/2000 Page 18 contributions shall be equal to the contribution payable by the employer in respect of him and may, [if any employee so desires, be an amount exceeding [ten per cent] of his basic wages, dearness allowance and retaining allowance (if any), subject to the condition that the employer shall not be under an obligation to pay any contribution over and above his contribution payable under this section.][Provided that in its application to any establishment or class of establishments which the Central Government, after making such inquiry as it deems fit, may, by notification in the Official Gazette specify, this section shall be subject to the modification that for the words ["ten per cent"], at both the places where they occur, the words ["twelve per cent"] shall be substituted;]The effect of Amendment is that Section 6 as it stood in the Amendment Act of 1988 was repealed by the Amendment of the year 1998 and the provisions of Section 6 were re-enacted. From the reading of Section 6 and its proviso of 1988 Act and the present Amended 1998 Act, it is apparent that the amendment relates only to the rates of contribution under Section 6 and its first proviso. In Section 6, the rates were substituted from 8.33% to 10% and under first proviso from 10% to 12% respectively. Besides that, no other change was introduced in the provision.Now, the question is, what is the effect of such an amendment on the notifications issued previously before the amendment under the repealed Act. This is not the case where the whole Act had been repealed. Only amendment done was in the rate of contributions.Section 6 and 6A of the General Clauses Act deals with the effect of repeal of an Act. It reads as follows:-"6. Effect of repeal.--Where this Act, or any [Central Act] or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, repeals any enactment hitherto made or hereafter to be made, then, unless a different intention appears, the repeal shall not—(a) revive anything not in force or existing at the time at which the repeal takes effect; or(b) affect the previous operation of any enactment so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder; or(c) affect any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred under any enactment so repealed; or(d) XX X XXX XXX(e) XXX XXX XXXSection 6A: Repeal of Act making textual amendment in Act or Regulation.Where any [Central Government] or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act repeals any enactment by which the text of any [Central Government] or Regulation was amended by the express omission, insertion or substitution or any matter, then, unless a different intention appears, the repeal shall not affect the continuance of any such amendment made by the enactment so repealed and in operation at the time of such repeal.]The repeal, therefore, does not affect any obligation or liability under repealed Act and the liability continues. Section 24 of the General Clauses Act further clarifies it. Section 24 of the General Clauses Act reads as under:-"24. Continuation of orders, etc., issued under enactments repealed and re-enacted.--Where any [Central Act] or Regulation, is, after the commencement of this Act, repealed and re- enacted with or without modification, then, unless it is otherwise expressly provided any [appointment notification,] order, scheme, rule, form or bye-law, [made or] issued under the repealed Act or Regulation, shall, so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions re-enacted, continue in force, and be deemed to have been [made or] issued under the provisions so re- enacted, unless and until it is superseded by any [appointment notification,] order, scheme, rule, form or bye-law, [made or] issued under the provisions so re-enacted [and when any [Central Act] or Regulation, which, by a notification under section 5 or 5A of the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874, (14 of 1874) or any like law, has been extended to any local area, has, by a subsequent notification, been withdrawn from the re-extended to such area or any part thereof, the provisions of such Act or Regulation shall be deemed to have been repealed and re-enacted in such area or part within the meaning of this section]."On conjoint reading of both the Sections, it is apparent that any order passed/notification issued under the repealed Act, if not inconsistent with the provisions of re-enacted Act, shall be deemed to have been passed or issued under the provisions so re-enacted unless and until it is superseded. This has been done in order to avoid a vacuum which could be created by repeal of an Act by an Amended Act.Learned counsel for the petitioner has failed to point that notification dated 09.04.1997 issued under the repealed Act of 1988 is in any way inconsistent to Amended Act of 1998. He has also failed to bring to the notice of this Court any provision of Amended Act of 1998, which supersedes the notification dtd.9.4.1997 or expressly de-notify or repeal notification dtd.9.4.1997. Since there is no automatic cessation of a notification issued under the repealed Act on its amendment, it cannot be said that the notification dated 09.04.1997 post its application.In this juncture reference need to be made to the judgment rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Neel alias Niranjan Majumdar vs. State of West Bengal (1972) 2 SCC 668. The relevant paragraphs read as under:-"8. Section 6(b) of General Clauses Act, however, provides that where any Central Act or regulation made after the commencement of the Act repeals any earlier enactment, then, unless a different intention appears, such repeal shall not "affect the previous operation of any enactment so repealed or anything duly done or suffered thereunder". Section 24 next provides that where any Central Act is repealed and re-enacted with or without modification, then, unless it is otherwise expressly provided, any notification issued under such repealed Act shall, so far as it is inconsistent with the provisions re-enacted, continue in force and be deemed to have been made under the provisions so re-enacted unless it is superseded by any notification or order issued under the provisions so re-enacted. The new Act nowhere contains an intention to the contrary signifying that the operation of the repealed Act or of a notification issued thereunder was not to continue. Further, the new Act re-enacts the provisions of the earlier Act, and Section 4 in particular, as already stated, has provisions practically identical to those of Section 15 of the earlier Act. The combined effect of Sections 6 and 24 of the General Clauses Act is that the said notification of 1923 issued under Section 15 of the Act of 1878 not only continued to operate but has to be deemed to have been enacted under the new Act.8. It has been urged by the learned counsel for the petitioner that the intention of the Legislature, while amending Section 6 and retaining the first proviso, is that a fresh notification was needed to be issued under first proviso to Section 6 of Amended Act of 1998 otherwise the proviso to Sec.6 will become redundant.There is no doubt that after Section 6 of the EPF Act was further amended in the year 1988, several notifications dated 17.05.1989, dated 29.06.1990, 31.08.1994 and 01.03.1995 were issued under the first proviso to Section 6 from time to time. The notification dated 09.04.1997 was also issued by the Government under first proviso to Section 6 after amendment of 1988. These notifications were issued by the Government in its wisdom as per the necessity felt. By the notification dated 09.04.1997 all the previous notifications four were repealed and after the amendment of 1998, all these establishments, paying contribution at the rate of 10% were liable to pay it now at the rate of 12%. The Government, by retaining the first proviso to Section 6 on amendment, is still empowered to issue notifications and it can still, by issuing fresh notifications, add, amend, vary or rescind, any establishment from the liability to pay enhanced rate of contribution.In the decision reported as AIR 1961 Mysore 7 Issa Yacub Bichara Vs. State of Mysore, a notification issued under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 empowered certain officers to lodge complaint under the said Act. The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act was however amended. No new notification conferring such powers on any officer was issued under the amended Act. It was thus contended that since no notification has been issued under the amended Act, and the pre-amended Act having been repealed by amendment, the notification issued under the un-amended Act would be deemed to be repealed with the then Act. The Court relying upon Section 24 of the General Clauses Act held that the notification issued under the repealed Act in so far as it is not inconsistent with the provisions of the re-enacted Act shall continue to remain in force and will deem to have been made or issued under the provisions of the amended Act.In the decision reported as 2002 (3) SCC 481 State of Punjab Vs. Harnek Singh, the Government of Punjab had issued notification under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, authorizing Inspector of Police for the time being serving in the State Vigilance Department or who may be posted in future to serve with the said agency, to investigate the offences under the said Act within the State of Punjab so long as they remain posted in the said agency. In supersession of this notification, the Government of Punjab issued another notification under Section 5A of the 1947 Act authorizing such Inspectors of Police to investigate offences under the 1947 Act even beyond the State of Punjab and the restriction of investigation within the State of Punjab was removed. The 1947 Act was repealed on September 09, 1988 by re-enacting the 1988 Act. Investigation in the offences registered under the 1988 Act, were investigated by the Inspectors of Police who had been authorized to investigate by the notifications issued under the repealed 1947 Act. The accused-respondent filed petition under Section 482 Cr.P.C. questioning the proceeding on the ground that in the absence of a notification issued afresh under the 1988 Act, the Inspectors were not authorized to investigate the cases under Section 17 of the 1988 Act. The High Court of Punjab & Haryana quashed the FIR and the subsequent proceedings. The questions before Hon’ble Supreme Court thus, were (a) whether the notifications issued by the State Government in exercise of powers conferred upon it under Section 5-A(1) of the 1947 Act (since repealed) empowering and authorizing the Inspector of Police to investigate the cases registered under the said Act, are not saved under the saving provisions of the re-enacted Act; and (b) whether the aforesaid notification being not inconsistent with the provisions of the re-enacted Act, continues to be in force and be deemed to have been issued under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 till the aforesaid notifications are superseded or specifically withdrawn. The Supreme Court while allowing the appeals answered the second question as under:-"........ We are further of the opinion that the High Court committed a mistake of law by holding that as notifications have not expressly been saved by S. 30 of the Act, those would not enure or survive to govern any investigation done or legal proceeding instituted in respect of the cases registered under the 1988 Act. There is no dispute that 1988 Act is both repealing and re-enacting the law relating to prevention of corruption to which the provisions of Section 24 of the General Clauses Act are specifically applicable. It appears that as Section 6 of the General Clauses Act applies to repealed enactments, the Legislature in its wisdom thought it proper to make the same specifically applicable in 1988 Act also which is a repealed and re-enacted statute. Reference to Section 6 of General Clauses Act in sub-section (1) of Section 30 has been made to avoid any confusion or mis-understanding regarding the effect of repeal with regard to actions taken under the repealed Act. If the Legislature had intended not to apply the provisions of Section 24 of the General Clauses Act to the 1988 Act, it would have specifically so provided under the enacted law. In the light of the fact that Section 24 of the General Clauses Act is specifically applicable to repealing and re- enacting statute, its exclusion has to be specific and cannot be inferred by twisting the language of the enactments. Accepting the contention of the learned counsel for the respondents would render the provisions of 1988 Act redundant inasmuch as appointments, notifications, orders, scheme, rules, bye-laws, made or issued under the repealed Act would be deemed to be non-existent making impossible the working of the re-enacted law impossible. The provisions of the 1988 Act are required to be understood and interpreted in the light of the provisions of the General Clauses Act including Sections 6 and 24 thereof." The Hon’ble Supreme Court in a recent decision passed in Civil Appeal No.5526 of 2005 in the case of Fibre Boards Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore Vs. Commissioner Income Tax, Bangalore dealing with the scope of Section 24 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 held: "Unlike Section 6 of the General Clauses Act, which saves certain rights, Section 24 merely continues notifications, orders, schemes, rules etc. that are made under a Central Act which is repealed and re-enacted with or without modification. The idea of Section 24 of the General Clauses Act is, as its marginal note shows, to continue uninterrupted subordinate legislation that may be made under a Central Act that is repealed and re-enacted with or without modification. It being clear in the present case that Section 280ZA which was repealed by omission and re- enacted with modification in section 54G, the notification declaring Thane to be an urban area dated 22.9.1967 would continue under and for the purposes of Section 54G. It is clear, therefore, that the impugned judgment in not referring to Section 24 of the General Clauses Act at all has thus fallen into error." 9. In the present case, the amendment in Sec.6 and the first proviso thereto by the Amending Act No.10 of 1998, is only to the extent that in Section 6 of the un-amended Act, for the words “eight and one third per cent”, the words “ten percent” were substituted. Similarly, in first proviso to Section 6 of the un-amended Act, for the words “eight and one third percent” and “ten per cent”, the words "ten per cent” and “twelve per cent” were substituted. As it has already been discussed hereinabove that it is not the case of the petitioner that the amended Act is in any manner inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Act as it stood prior to the amendment, rather the only question required is regarding issuance of notification as per First Proviso to Sec.6 and hence they are not liable to contribute @ 12% per month. Even otherwise, this Act has been enacted for the welfare of the industrial workers and it is the part of the welfare scheme of the Government and since it is a beneficial piece of Social Welfare Legislation aimed at promoting and securing the well being of the employees, the Court refrains itself from adopting the narrow interpretation which will have the effect of defeating the very object and purpose of the Act. In this connection the judgment rendered in case of Andhra University vs. Regional Provident Fund Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh and Ors: AIR 1986 SC 463 needs to be seen wherein it has been held that once any notification has been issued under the authority conferred on the Government by a statute, such notifications like statutory rules form part of the statute itself and remain on the statute till repealed. 10. In the present case, the notification dated 09.04.1997, which was issued by the Government under the authority it possessed by virtue of first proviso to Section 6 of amended Act of 1988, then on the amendment of the Act in 1998, it had become part of the amended Act of 1998 and continue to remain its part till repealed/amended by the Government in exercise of powers under first proviso to Section 6 of Amended Act of 1998. The petitioner's plea that it was never asked to pay his PF contribution at the rate of 10% after the promulgation of the impugned notification dated 09.04.1997 and at the rate of 12% after the Amendment of the Act 1998, has no force in it since under the Act it was/is the statutory duty of the petitioner to pay its contribution, as per the rules. 11. In the light of the factual aspect and the judgment rendered herein above, the judgment relied by the petitioner in the case of Nazir Ahmad Vrs. Emperor (supra) is not applicable for the reason that the facts of the said case is exactly different from the facts of this case.The judgment rendered in the case of Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai Vrs. Anjum M.H. Ghaswala and Ors (supra), Ram Phal Kundu Vrs. Kamal Sharma (supra), Rabinarayan Sahu Vrs. Forest Range Officer of Soroda Range & Others (supra) and Nayak Variety Store Vrs. Commissioner of Sales Tax (supra) are also not relevant in the present context of the case since in the said judgments the ratio has been laid down that when a statute vested certain power in an authority to be exercised in a particular manner, then the said authority has to exercise it only in the manner provided in the statute itself. There is no dispute about these legal propositions but as per the provision of Sec.6 read with Sec.24 of the General Clauses Act and as per the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Apex court in the judgments as referred herein above, the judgments relied upon by the petitioner are not applicable in the facts of this case. 11. For the foregoing reasons, I find no force in the pleas of the petitioner and find no merit in the writ petition. The petitioner is directed to deposit the entire arrears within four weeks from today and then continue to pay its contribution regularly without default. The petition is hereby dismissed with these directions.
"2016 (3) LLJ 391" == "2016 (150) FLR 659" == "2016 Lab IC 3471,"