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Partner in the Employment Practice at the Bangalore office of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Abe has over 18 years of experience and has advised both domestic and international clients on various employment and labour law issues including on employment benefits, overseas employee stock option plans and agreements issued by overseas entities to employees of subsidiary/branch entities in India and the connected regulatory issues, as well as advised on grievance redressal mechanisms, anti-harassment issues and termination laws.

Abe has, along with Ms. Rashmi Pradeep, co-authored the article on “Employee hiring structures in India and applicable law” which was published by the India Business Law Journal. He has also co-chaired panel discussions on employment issues which were conducted by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India as well as conducted a workshop on behalf of the In-House Counsel group and HR Sutra. Abe was recognized by Legal500 in the 2019 rankings for Labour and Employment practices.  He can be reached at

EPFO tightens norms around Provident Fund inquiries under Section 7A

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has recently issued Guidelines for Initiation of Inquiries under Section 7A (“Guidelines”) of the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (“EPF Act”)[1]. Section 7A is the provision under which PF commissioners (who are vested with the powers of a civil court), can initiate an inquiry, by order, to determine (i) the applicability of the EPF Act to an establishment in case of a dispute; and (ii) to determine amounts due from any employer under the EPF Act and its schemes.

The EPFO has recognised that currently, assessing officers are following different yardsticks for initiating inquiries under Section 7A, which often leads to inquiries being initiated for wholly insufficient and untenable grounds, causing general resentment among the employers on one hand and prolonged pendency of inquiries on the other. The Guidelines have been issued to prevent such deleterious effect.
Continue Reading EPFO tightens norms around Provident Fund inquiries under Section 7A