Information about deduction made from PF amount - PIO: The recoveries were remitted to CPF trust - CIC: We would strongly advise to examine the issue of what was done with the amount that was deducted; if necessary, make an appropriate refund to Appellant
This matter, pertaining to an RTI application filed by the Appellant, seeking information on seven points regarding the option form prescribed under the GOI FPF71 Scheme, deduction of FPF amount from his emoluments and deposit of the same with EPFO; as well as some related issues, came up today. The CPIO responded to points (a), (b) and (d) of the RTI application. With regard to the remaining points, he stated that these were in the nature of queries, which did not fall within the definition of information contained in Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 1.5.2014. The FAA upheld the reply of the CPIO. Aggrieved with the response of the Respondents, the Appellant has approached the CIC in second appeal.
2. The Appellant stated that he is not being paid pension, even though deduction was made from his emoluments by way of Family Pension Fund. The Respondents stated that the FPF71 Scheme was introduced in 1971 and the employees, who were already in the service of the Respondents at that time, were given the option to become a member of the scheme, while it was compulsory for those who joined service after the introduction of the scheme. The deductions made under the scheme from the emoluments of employees were to be sent to EPFO and the family of the employee was to get pension, if an employee died before the age of 58. The scheme was not popular and not many opted for it. The Appellant’s name does not figure amongst those who opted for it. He has been shown the relevant ledgers, which establish that his name did not figure amongst those who opted. There was some gap in the service of the Appellant for the period 1977 to 1981. When he rejoined in 1981, FPF deduction was made from his salary at the rate of Rs. 10/per month for a period of eighteen months. This was a mistake. Since the Appellant had not opted for the scheme, he did not have an EPFO number and, therefore, there is no clarity regarding remittance of the above amount to EPFO. There is also no record of whether the amount erroneously deducted was refunded to the Appellant or not. The Appellant has been informed that the above deduction was made by mistake and cannot become the basis of making him or his family eligible under the pension scheme.
3. The Appellant stated that he wishes to know as to why the amount was deducted from his salary in case he had not opted for the scheme and where did this amount go.
4. We have considered the submissions of both the parties and note that with regard to the reason for deduction of the amount, the Respondents have admitted that it was made by mistake. As regards the second issue of what happened to the deducted amount, we note that in his reply to point (d), the CPIO has stated that “the recoveries made by payroll section were remitted to CPF trust.” While the Commission is not competent to give a direction to the Respondents in this regard under the RTI Act, we would strongly advise them to examine the issue of what was done with the amount that was deducted and, if necessary, make an appropriate refund to the Appellant. In so far as the remaining queries of the RTI application are concerned, we see no ground to interfere with the reply of the CPIO.
5. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Mahesh Chandra Mittal v. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., in File No. CIC/SH/A/2015/000369