Nagpur: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Vigilance Department of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation on Tuesday jointly raided the two offices of EPFO in Nagpur. The searches were conducted following complaints that some EPFO officials were giving favours to private firms, according to reports.
The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of CBI Nagpur and EPFO Vigilance team from Mumbai started the searches at EPFO’s Tukdoji Square office and Umred Road office from the morning hours. According to sources the CBI officials had prohibited exit of EPFO officials from the office during the searches. A vast number of files and entries of Provident Funds (PF) were checked by the joint team during the searches.
According to reports, several documents were seized during the searches. Filing of PF is compulsory for a company with more than 20 employees. Some of the officials of Nagpur EPFO office had issued notices to schools and private companies for filing of PF in the past as the firms were having more than 20 employees. However, after receiving the notices the cases were allegedly resolved ‘amicably’.
The joint teams officials were shocked to find that despite issuance of many such notices no action was taken against the firms. The officials are suspecting that the matters were settled and the firm owner managed to convince the EPFO officials that the firm was operating with just 18 employees. The notices were issued by EPFO officials for the firms with more than 40 to 50 employees, sources claimed.
The joint team officials are investigating the reasons for closing of files without proper inquiry by the EPFO officials. The CBI also questioned the EPFO officials about the reasons for closing the files. Sources said that the searches were going on till late Tuesday night and the joint team of officials were likely to call some EPFO officials for inquiry in the coming days. The searches were conducted under the guidance of CBI SP Salim Khan.