(1) [The amount of contribution (that is to say the employer’s contribution as well as the employee’s contribution in pursuance of any Scheme and the employer’s contribution in pursuance of the Insurance Scheme)] and any charges for meeting the cost of administering the Fund paid or payable by an employer in respect of an employee employed by or through a contractor may be recovered by such employer from the contractor, either by deduction from any amount payable to the contractor under any contract or as a debt payable by the contractor.
(2) A contractor from whom the amounts mentioned in sub-section (1) may be recovered in respect of any employee employed by or through him, may recover from such employee the employee’s contribution [under any Scheme] by deduction from the basic wages, dearness allowance and retaining allowance (if any) payable to such employee.
(3) Notwithstanding any contract to the contrary, no contractor shall be entitled to deduct the employer’s contribution or the charges referred to in sub-section (1) from the basis wages, dearness allowance, and retaining allowance (if any) payable to an employee employed by or through him or otherwise to recover such contribution or charges from such employee.
Determination of moneys due from employers
(1) The Central Provident Fund Commissioner, any Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner, any Deputy Provident Fund Commissioner, any Regional Provident Fund Commissioner or any Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner may, by order,
(a) In a case where a dispute arises regarding the applicability of this Act to an establishment, decide such dispute; and
(b) Determine the amount due from any employer under any provision of this Act, the Scheme or the Pension Scheme or the Insurance Scheme, as the case may be, and for any of the aforesaid purposes may conduct such inquiry as he may deem necessary.
(2) The officer conducting the inquiry under sub-section 1 shall, for the purposes of such inquiry have the same powers as are vested in a court under the code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), for trying a suit in respect of the following matters, namely:
(a) Enforcing the attendance of any person or examining him on oath:
(b) Requiring the discovery and production of documents;
(c) Receiving evidence on affidavit;
(d) Issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses, and any such inquiry shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purpose of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code 45 of 1960.
(3) No order shall be made under sub-section 1, unless the employer concerned is given a reasonable opportunity of representing his case.
(3A) Where the employer, employee or any other person required to attend the inquiry under sub-section 1 fails to attend such inquiry without assigning any valid reason or fails to produce any document or to file any report or return when called upon to do so, the officer conducting the inquiry may decide the applicability of the Act or determine the amount due from any employer, as the case may be, on the basis of the evidence adduced during such inquiry and other documents available on record.
(4) Where an order under sub-section 1 is passed against an employer ex-parte, he may, within three months from the date of communication of such order, apply to the officer for setting aside such order and if he satisfies the officer that the show cause notice was not duly served or that he was prevented by any sufficient cause from appearing when the inquiry was held, the officer shall make an order setting aside his earlier order and shall appoint a date for proceeding with the inquiry:
Provided that no such order shall be set aside merely on the ground that there has been an irregularity in the service of the show cause notice if the officer is satisfied that the employer had notice of the date of hearing and had sufficient time to appear before the officer.
(5) No order passed under this section shall be set aside on any application under sub-section 4 unless notice thereof has been served on the opposite party.