Man to get Rs 1L for missing EPF account

A Bengaluru-based company's employee, whose provident fund money went missing on his transfer to Delhi, has been awarded a compensation of Rs 1 lakh by the Delhi High Court for “trauma and mental agony” suffered by him.

L D Joshi, who joined Bosch Ltd at Bengaluru in 1984, was transferred to Delhi in 1988. In February, 2008, when he applied for transfer of his employee provident fund account to Delhi, it was not done despite several reminders and personal visits to the Bengaluru office. His EPF account was not transferred to Delhi till September 2011. As he quit the job in 1989, there was no contribution to the account thereafter.

In 2014, his Delhi account, which vanished, was traced and money was transferred to his account.

In a writ petition, Joshi contended that he suffered a lot of mental agony and had incurred heavy expenditure on running from pillar to post to have his grievances redressed. He sought directions to the Central Provident Fund Commissioner and others to pay the interest on Rs 3,45,106 from 2011 till date. Besides, he also sought Rs 5 lakh compensation for his “unnecessary harassment, mental agony and undue expenditure”.

Agreeing to his plea, Justice Anu Malhotra said, “To ensure that justice is meted out fairly and properly, taking the factum into account that the petitioner was paid his EPF dues only on 07.04.2014...it is considered appropriate to direct the commissioner to pay a sum of Rs 1 Lakh for the trauma and mental agony caused to the petitioner.”

The high court, however, did not agree to his request for grant of interest as his EPF account at Bengaluru and at Delhi had become inoperative.

The court did not consider it “appropriate” to direct any investigation into his “missing EPF account” saying the same may have been a technical lapse.

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