A joint team of the CBI and the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation vigilance cell conducted searches at two EPFO offices in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city following some complaints of irregularities against EPFO employees, officials said on Wednesday.
The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) anti-corruption branch in Nagpur and the EPFO’s vigilance team from Mumbai started the searches on Tuesday morning in the EPFO offices located at Tukdoji square and Umred road here and continued till late night, they said.
“Several incriminating documents were seized during the searches,” an official said. A large number of files and PF entries were checked, according to sources.
It is mandatory under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act for firms having 20 or more workers to subscribe to social security schemes run by the retirement fund body EPFO.
The search team on Tuesday found that some EPFO officials had issued notices to schools and private companies, having 40 to 50 employees, for filing of the PF, but no further action was taken in such cases.
It is suspected that the owners of such firms had convinced the EPFO officials that their companies were operating with just 18 employees, and the cases were settled, an official said. The CBI and the EPFO’s vigilance department are investigating the reasons for closure of such files by the EPFO staff without a proper enquiry, he said.
The CBI sleuths also questioned the EPFO employees about the reason for closing various files. Some EPFO officials are also likely to be called for further enquiry, sources said.