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Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Limited v/s The Regional Provident Fund Commissioner & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- PUNJAB AGRO INDUSTRIES CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51219CH1966SGC002630

Company & Directors' Information:- K. N. C. AGRO LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01500WB2005PLC102657

Company & Directors' Information:- F AND K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01111PN1980PTC014563

Company & Directors' Information:- R K B AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = L17100KA1979PLC003492

Company & Directors' Information:- R T AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15400MH1988PTC122934

Company & Directors' Information:- N M AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15209DL2000PTC103461

Company & Directors' Information:- K F AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01132PB1998PTC021937

Company & Directors' Information:- T K M AGRO LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01119TZ2000PLC009159

Company & Directors' Information:- J R AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15342UP1982PTC005792

Company & Directors' Information:- B M AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PLC049988

Company & Directors' Information:- R S AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15319DL1998PTC097025

Company & Directors' Information:- S N T AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01122DL1997PTC086925

Company & Directors' Information:- M S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403WB2011PTC163653

Company & Directors' Information:- S K K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01110DL2007PTC163157

Company & Directors' Information:- D D AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24219PB1999PLC022487

Company & Directors' Information:- P N AGRO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01401WB1992PTC056261

Company & Directors' Information:- B R V AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15139UP2007PTC034299

Company & Directors' Information:- A A AND A AGRO LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U01111DL1986PLC025101

Company & Directors' Information:- S S D AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15100MH1998PTC113744

Company & Directors' Information:- B. P AGRO INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15132DL2019PTC357421

Company & Directors' Information:- M Y AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51221DL2011PTC215043

Company & Directors' Information:- S. A. B. INDIA AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403UP2009PLC038365

Company & Directors' Information:- U K AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15114UP2003PTC028107

Company & Directors' Information:- H R D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15490PB2006PTC030412

Company & Directors' Information:- R. K. AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U15410WB2012PTC180269

Company & Directors' Information:- C F L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01409KA2001PTC028797

Company & Directors' Information:- R J AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15311KA2005PTC035485

Company & Directors' Information:- S O I AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15310GJ2010PTC059966

Company & Directors' Information:- L K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15140MH1998PTC115185

Company & Directors' Information:- H D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01111MH1996PTC097451

Company & Directors' Information:- P C L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC049537

Company & Directors' Information:- A S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC040467

Company & Directors' Information:- S N N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01114JH2016PTC008919

Company & Directors' Information:- R R S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15139DL2010PTC209756

Company & Directors' Information:- S I P AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01403WB2012PLC188362

Company & Directors' Information:- AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51101KA1962PTC001475

Company & Directors' Information:- S. S. AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15490PN2013PTC146574

Company & Directors' Information:- D. J. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01112DL1994PTC057414

Company & Directors' Information:- G A AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01229KL2002PTC015736

Company & Directors' Information:- M K B AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01100MH1996PTC101802

Company & Directors' Information:- T D K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29190BR1991PTC004486

Company & Directors' Information:- S G AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01122KA1995PTC017091

Company & Directors' Information:- J J AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15130MH1980PTC023302

Company & Directors' Information:- A R AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1992PTC050526

Company & Directors' Information:- AGRO INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01407AR2013PTC008381

Company & Directors' Information:- U & V AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403TZ2015PTC021823

Company & Directors' Information:- B A B AGRO LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U24231MH1993PLC073114

Company & Directors' Information:- G S AGRO INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01132WB1990PTC049960

Company & Directors' Information:- D V AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1993PTC051892

Company & Directors' Information:- B A B AGRO LTD [Active] CIN = U24233WB1987PLC043179

Company & Directors' Information:- B C M AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01119WB1999PTC090308

Company & Directors' Information:- K. K. AGRO PVT. LTD. [Strike Off] CIN = U51420WB1987PTC042090

Company & Directors' Information:- H & W AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01400MH2012PTC238144

Company & Directors' Information:- K D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP] CIN = U15312DL2005PTC131996

Company & Directors' Information:- H R AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01119PB1995PTC016403

Company & Directors' Information:- C K N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01300KL2020PTC064742

Company & Directors' Information:- P AND G AGRO INDUSTRIES P LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999UP1985PTC007509

Company & Directors' Information:- R. K. G. S. AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U15100UP2017PTC097391

Company & Directors' Information:- A Q AGRO PVT LTD [Under Process of Striking Off] CIN = U51209WB2006PTC109930

Company & Directors' Information:- S E AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52500AP2016PTC103446

Company & Directors' Information:- S U B AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24129PN2000PTC015404

Company & Directors' Information:- A S G AGRO LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01119HR2004PLC035459

Company & Directors' Information:- T & T AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01132WB1999PTC090368

Company & Directors' Information:- C L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74120UP2012PTC051898

Company & Directors' Information:- P M S AGRO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29211PB1994PTC014448

Company & Directors' Information:- B R K AGRO PRIVATE LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29211PB1994PTC014302

Company & Directors' Information:- R E I AGRO LTD. [Active] CIN = U01111WB1994PLC065082

Company & Directors' Information:- V G AGRO INDUSTRIES LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01400DL1993PLC051666

Company & Directors' Information:- P & S AGRO INDIA LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01403MH2011PLC214782

Company & Directors' Information:- D N D AGRO (INDIA) LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01403PN2011PLC139235

Company & Directors' Information:- L C A AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01112UP2005PTC029657

Company & Directors' Information:- V M G AGRO INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01100MP2011PLC026434

Company & Directors' Information:- G D AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U24122UP1993PTC015164

Company & Directors' Information:- P B AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Amalgamated] CIN = U26960MH1990PTC057137

Company & Directors' Information:- R A P AGRO INDIA PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U14200WB2006PTC107514

Company & Directors' Information:- G T AGRO INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL2005PTC142577

Company & Directors' Information:- F AND K AGRO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U29248PN1980PTC022759

Company & Directors' Information:- T S AGRO INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U15209UP1987PTC008974

Company & Directors' Information:- E M AGRO (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U02001UP1997PTC022261

Company & Directors' Information:- J S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01300PB1993PTC013943

Company & Directors' Information:- A N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01119DL1996PTC081855

Company & Directors' Information:- V R L AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U85110KA1999PTC024717

Company & Directors' Information:- B AND P AGRO INDUSTRIES PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01110MH1972PTC015574

Company & Directors' Information:- P. S. R. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U24248UP1974PTC004017

Company & Directors' Information:- O N AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74899DL1988PTC031986

Company & Directors' Information:- P V R K AGRO INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U01119AP1988PTC008395

Company & Directors' Information:- K R S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01400PN2011PTC141711

Company & Directors' Information:- J K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74900PY2011PTC002548

Company & Directors' Information:- W B S AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01122PB2003PTC025879

Company & Directors' Information:- K R P AGRO INDUSTRIES PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U01110MH1991PTC062304

Company & Directors' Information:- G T M AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U01100MH2005PTC150816

Company & Directors' Information:- Y K AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Converted to LLP and Dissolved] CIN = U74999DL2013PTC250398

Company & Directors' Information:- N P M AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U15494DL2011PTC214942

Company & Directors' Information:- B L B AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51200DL2012PTC244511

Company & Directors' Information:- D A AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U74900DL2015PTC288168

Company & Directors' Information:- D. B. AGRO PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U01100MP2010PTC025035

    LPA No. 1881 of 2014 (O & M)

    Decided On, 03 December 2019

    At, High Court of Punjab and Haryana

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. RAVI SHANKER JHA & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE RAJIV SHARMA

    For the Appellant: Mrigank Sharma, Dr. Puneet Kaur Sekhon, Advocates. For the Respondents: R1 & R2, Rajesh Hooda, Advocate.



Judgment Text


Ravi Shanker Jha, CJ.

1. This appeal is filed by the appellant-Punjab Agro Industries Corporation Limited being aggrieved by order dated 19.5.2014 passed in CWP No. 13909 of 2010, whereby the petition filed by the petitioner-appellant against the order dated 15.4.2005 passed by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner-II, Punjab, show cause notice dated 8.2.2007 issued under Section 8 of the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (hereafter to be referred as 'the 1952 Act') by the Recovery Officer and the order dated 19.5.2010 passed by the Appellate Tribunal constituted under the 1952 Act, has been dismissed.

2. Learned counsel for the petitioner-appellant submits that the appellant along with respondent no. 3 constituted a joint venture company -M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited. M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited was required to comply with the provisions of the Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. As the liability under the aforesaid Act relating to the provident fund, etc. was not discharged by the M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited, proceedings under the 1952 Act were initiated against M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited and ultimately by order dated 15.4.2005 passed by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, recovery of Rs. 4,09,760/- was sought to be made from M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited through Shri Vikas Singh, Collaborator. As Shri Vikas Singh Collaborator remained ex-parte throughout the entire proceedings and as no recovery could be made by the authorities, a notice dated 8.2.2007 for recovery of Rs. 8,41,689/- was issued to the petitioner-appellant, who immediately filed the appeal before the Appellate Tribunal, which was dismissed vide order dated 19.5.2010 on the ground that no appeal against the proceedings under Section 8F of the 1952 was maintainable before the Appellate Tribunal. The petitioner-appellant being aggrieved filed a petition before this Court assailing the order dated 15.4.2005 passed by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, notice of recovery dated 8.2.2007 and the Appellate Tribunal order dated 19.5.2010. It is admitted and undisputed fact that the petitioner-appellant did not challenge the final order dated 20.2.2007 passed in the recovery proceedings.

3. The petition filed by the petitioner-appellant has been dismissed by the learned Single Judge mainly on the ground that the petitioner-appellant was having 26% equity contribution in the company concerned and in such circumstances the petitioner-appellant was not required to be impleaded as a party in the proceedings under Section 7A of the 1952 Act by the respondents. That final order passed in recovery proceedings on 20.2.2007 was not challenged by the petitioner-appellant and that no notice was required to be issued to the petitioner-appellant before passing any order under Section 7A of the 1952 Act as the authorities are only required to determine the liability under the said provisions.

4. Learned counsel for the petitioner-appellant submits that no order under Section 7A of the 1952 Act could have been passed without impleading the petitioner-appellant and giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner-appellant. It is further submitted that as there was no liability or quantification made by the authorities against the petitioner-appellant in the proceedings under Section 7A of the 1952 Act vide order dated 15.4.2005, notice of recovery of any kind issued against the petitioner-appellant is not sustainable. It is further submitted that the petitioner-appellant had assailed the notice dated 8.2.2007 issued for recovery mainly on the ground that the said notice was totally misconceived as no recovery could be made against the petitioner-appellant in the absence of any quantification or determination of liability under Section 7A of the 1952 Act against the petitioner-appellant.

5. Learned counsel for the petitioner-appellant further submits that the learned Single Judge in view of the aforesaid undisputed and admitted facts has erred in law in recording the findings that the petitioner-appellant was not to be given opportunity of hearing in the proceedings under Section 7A of the 1952 Act and has also erred in law upholding the recovery proceedings against the petitioner-appellant even in the absence of the petitioner-appellant being a party or any determination of the liability against it under Section 7A of the 1952 Act.

6. Learned counsel for respondent nos. 1 and 2 in counter submits that the petitioner-appellant did not assail the order passed by the authorities under Section 7A of the 1952 Act. It is submitted that the petitioner-appellant has also not assailed the final order of recovery dated 20.2.2007. It is further submitted that in such circumstances no fault can be found with the order passed by the learned Single Judge in dismissing the writ petition filed by the petitioner-appellant. It is further submitted that the learned Single Judge has rightly recorded the findings that the petitioner-appellant was not required to be heard or impleaded in the proceedings under Section 7A of the 1952 Act as the petitioner-appellant was a part of the joint venture and had 26% equity contribution in the company, namely, M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited.

7. We have heard learned counsel for the petitioner-appellant as well as respondent nos. 1 and 2 at length.

8. From a bare perusal of the provisions of the 1952 Act, it is apparent and evident that the determination of liability and money due from the employer has to be made by the authorities after giving reasonable opportunity of representation to the employer. Section 7A(3) of the 1952 Act specifically makes and provides for such an opportunity. Section 2(e) of the 1952 Act defines an "employer". In the instant case, it is undisputed that the employer was the M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited. It is also an undisputed fact, which is also admitted by the respondents as well, that even if the petitioner-appellant was treated or could have been treated as an employer for the purpose of the Act, the petitioner-appellant was not impleaded as such in the proceedings under Section 7A of the 1952 Act nor was it given any opportunity of hearing as required under Section 7A(3) of the 1952 Act. It is also evident from the perusal of Section 8 of the 1952 Act that the proceedings for recovery, etc. could be initiated against an employer or from any person against whom money is due or may become due from the employer or from the establishment or from any person who holds or subsequently held money on account of the employer. Admittedly and apparently, the petitioner-appellant does not fall in any of the aforesaid categories and it is in such circumstances that the petitioner-appellant had rightly assailed the recovery notice dated 8.2.2007.

9. From a bare perusal of Section 7A of the 1952 Act, it is also evident that the employer has to be heard before the amount due from the employer can be determined by the authorities under the Act. Admittedly, no such hearing or opportunity has been given to the petitioner-appellant. At this stage, it is stated that the amount has already been recovered from the petitioner-appellant and is with the respondents.

10. In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances and keeping in mind the memorandum of understanding entered into between the petitioner-appellant and the collaborator for constituting and creating M/s Punjab Biotech Sugar Limited in consonance with the provisions of Section 7B of the 1952 Act, we are of the considered opinion that the authorities before proceeding against the petitioner-appellant were/ are required to hear the petitioner-appellant and th

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ereafter take a reasoned decision in accordance with law and therefore while setting aside the order passed by the respondent authorities in the recovery proceedings initiated in view of the notice dated 8.2.2007, the matter is disposed of granting liberty to the petitioner-appellant to move an application under Section 7B of the 1952 seeking review of the order passed by the authorities under Section 7A of the 1952 Act. As the proceedings remained pending before various authorities in the interregnum period, therefore, the said application for review shall be dealt with by the authority concerned on merits and shall not be dismissed on the ground of limitation. The authorities after hearing the parties shall take a decision in accordance with law and the provisions of the 1952 Act. 11. With the aforesaid directions, the appeal stands disposed of.
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