Updated: September 25, 2021 8:16:13 am
THE DELHI High Court has extended the date for completing the seeding of Aadhaar numbers with employees’ Universal Account Numbers (UAN) till November 30 and ordered that the employers in the meantime be permitted to deposit provident funds for those employees whose seeding has not taken place yet. No coercive action shall be taken against them for non-seeding of Aadhaar numbers with UANs, the court added.
“Insofar as the employees qua whom Aadhaar numbers have already been provided to the EPFO are concerned, the provident fund shall be permitted to be deposited by the employers without awaiting verification from the Unique Identification Authority of India. The process of verification shall however continue,” said Justice Prathiba M Singh in an order.
The court said that employers can contact the Grievance Redressal Officer to ensure that the deposits are not delayed, and are made in a timely manner. The deadline earlier was September 1, except in certain cases where extension has been granted till December 31.
The order was passed in a petition filed by Association of Industries and Institutions against a circular making it mandatory to seed Aadhaar number with the UANs. Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation in a reply earlier told the court that 29,26,479 UANs are yet to be seeded with Aadhaar.
Justice Singh said the court would have to examine whether the seeding of UAN with Aadhaar achieves the objectives which are being stated by the EPFO – to plug leakages and to ensure that the welfare schemes properly reach the concerned population.
“Considering that the legal issues which have been raised above are yet to be examined and adjudicated by this court, as per the judgment of the Supreme Court, exclusions cannot be permitted, especially from benefits under a social welfare legislation such as the EPF act and benefits thereunder,” said the court.
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