New Delhi, September 16 (MExN): Launching of virtual hearing in quasi-judicial cases under EPF & MP Act, 1952 has heralded an era of providing expeditious and affordable adjudication, stated an official release by Ministry of Labour & Employment.
This is part of a series of initiatives taken by Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to improve the ease of doing business, a new facility for conducting virtual hearing in quasi-judicial cases by use of secure IT applications, said the release issued via PIB Delhi on September 14.
It was launched by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (I/C), Labour and Employment in 227th meeting of Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund, conducted virtually on September 9.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and need to practice social distancing restrictions, virtual hearings are being conducted in most of the district and sessions courts in accordance with the guidelines of Supreme Court of India and the concerned High Courts to ensure timely disposal of the cases during pandemic, the release said.
In the same spirit and to provide expeditious and affordable adjudication to its establishments and subscribers, hearings under sections 7A and 14B of Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, will be conducted in virtual mode, it added.
To facilitate this, virtual hearing utilities have been integrated with EPFO’s e-Court process on Compliance e-Proceedings Portal (https://eproceedings.epfindia.gov.in).
“This will facilitate issue of e-notices, real time recording of proceedings and communication of orders. Case status including the daily and final orders will now be accessible to all parties on the portal,” the release informed.
Apart from being cost and time effective, this would reduce the number of pendency of cases and will be an effective remedy for delayed justice, it said.
In addition, unnecessary adjournments due to non-appearance of parties could now be avoided resulting in fast tracking of dispute resolution and assessment of dues of workers to generate better confidence in the quasi-judicial mechanism, it added.
The launch was made after successful pilot run of the same at two regional offices of EPFO in the months of July and August, 2020 where virtual hearing for 90 quasi-judicial cases were held.
EPFO is continuously making endeavors to use the latest trends and technologies by effectively harnessing its in-house capabilities to extend nirbadh i.e. seamless services to stakeholders during COVID-19 pandemic, it added.