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Appointment of members in EPFAT: Delhi HC pulls up Centre

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped the government for moving at a snail's pace on the appointment of presiding officer and the staff of the Employees Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal (EPFAT) which was set up in 1997.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped the government for moving at a snail's pace on the appointment of presiding officer and the staff of the Employees Provident Fund Appellate Tribunal (EPFAT) which was set up in 1997.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw directed the the Ministry of Labour and Employment to fill up all the vacancies in four weeks and inform it about the same.

"Since two and half months (filing of this PIL), nothing has happened. How long will you take to appoint the necessary staff," the bench asked.

During the hearing, the high court was informed that a Registrar has already been appointed who assumed his charge on February 2.

As far as the appointment of presiding officer and staff members was concerned, circulars have been issued and proposals in this regard have already been sent to the Ministry for consideration, the bench was told.

On December 3, the bench had sought a reply from the Ministry and the Central Provident Fund Commissioner on the allegation that there was non-compliance of the court's 2008 order directing the Tribunal to fill up vacant positions.

EPFAT was set up in July 1997 to administer a compulsory contributory provident fund scheme, pension scheme and insurance scheme.

The High Court was hearing a PIL, filed by advocate Rajiv Shukla, president of EPFAT Bar Association, alleging that the tribunal has been deficient in terms of infrastructure and staff since the time it was set up and it needed immediate attention to make it work effectively.

The facilities have been miserable at the tribunal and in 2007 a few short-listed judicial officers had even refused to accept their appointment, it had claimed.

The advocate had further said that on a PIL filed in 2008, the high court had directed that requirement of staff be considered and a decision taken on a priority basis but the order was not complied with.

From Zee News

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