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Three months on: No headway yet

Three months on: No headway yet
Not many instances you would have seen that a scam is committed and no one is held responsible for it. But, in this case, it appears so. The case relates to Rs 4.53 crore Employees’ Provident Fund scam in Hero MotoCorps in which hard-earned money of about 3,000 unskilled workers has been gulped by labour contractor – Surya Enterprises –in connivance with principal employer – Hero MotoCorps, which is owned by Pawan Munjal. The PF of all the employees is due for the period from April 2008 to January 2014.

In a classical case of guzzling, it has come to the notice that Mandeep Singh, in the name whom the labour contract has been signed by Hero MotoCorps, is not the ‘original’ proprietor of Surya Enterprises as the PF code has been issued in the name of Seema Kals, the other owner of the firm. 

When Millennium Post tried to contact Singh, he refused to disclose his name and association with the firm. Now the matter is in the court over proprietor as Mandeep Singh is ‘refusing’ to pay guzzled amount citing that he is not the owner of the firm.

“I’m telling you that I’m no more associated with the firm you are asking about. Also I’m not Mandeep Singh, but I know all about the case and whatever Singh do,” said the anonymous man, who picks every calls made on Singh’s cell phone. Interestingly, Singh speaks the truth, if a call is made (on the same mobile phone) for ‘business’ appointments.

It’s not that principal employer is not aware about the facts, the officials concerned with this contract know each and every event, but are reluctant to utter a word.

When contacted, HG Aggarwal, finance head, said, “Given that I’m finance head of the company, I look after major concerns of the company and maintaining ‘hisab kitab’ of labour contractors are not my prerogative.”

When asked why no one from Hero MotoCorps bothered to cross-check whether Surya Enterprises is depositing the EPF to the accounts of employees, Aggarwal refused to answer, which puts principal employer’s role under scanner.

An order was issued by Regional PF Commissioner Nidhi Singh on November 20, 2015 directing Mandeep Singh to pay the assessed amount under section 7A which stands at Rs 4,53,74,321 with the period of 15 days and if the establishment fails to do so, the same shall be recovered.

It’s been more than three months since the notice was issued to fake proprietor and the principal employers, but nothing has happened yet. It also appears that compliance section of PF office is not taking any criminal action for the fraud committed by the fake owner of the establishment and also not proceeding for the recovery of the amount.

On the issue, assistant commissioner (PF) SK Gupta told Millennium Post that the matter is under investigation. “We have written to principal employer (Hero MotoCorp) as well as other principal employers, who had engaged Surya Enterprises for manpower supply, to divert outstanding due of establishment to the PF accounts of employees,” Gupta said.

He further revealed that Mandeep Singh is working with other principal employers with changed name –Bharat Enterprises. “We have also written to principal employers of Bharat Enterprises to divert their payments into PF account, so that the assessed amount would be paid to workers,” Gupta said.

A case has been filed by Harpal Singh at Shakarpur police station accusing Madeep Singh, Vijay Sharma, HR head of Hero MotoCorp and Pawan Munjal for the fraud.

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