V. Khalid, J.
1. The petitioner seeks the issuance of an appropriate writ to quash Exts. P1 and P2. Exhibit P1 is a demand made by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner under Section 14B of the Employees Provident Fund Act. Exhibit P2 shows the amounts defaulted and interest on them. The challenge is based on the mechanical manner of calculation of the damage without taking into account the circumstances under which the petitioner could not make the payment in time.
2. The upper limit of interest chargeable is 25 per cent on the arrears. Exhibit P2 shows, that except in two cases interest is calculated at 25 percent. It is now settled law, that in quantifying damages under Section 14B, the concerned authority has to pay due regard to the various circumstances under which the default was committed. The same petitioner had come before this Court earlier in O.P. No. 2789 of 1967. Isaac, J., while disposing of the said writ petition, observed that it was not possible to discern from the chart, how the amount of damages was fixed. The learned Judge, therefore, directed the officer concerned to adjudicate afresh the quantum of damages payable by the petitioner after taking into account the relevant facts and giving the petitioner reasonable opportunity of being heard.
3. The petitioner's counsel brought to my notice a Supreme Court decision reported in C.M.P.F. Commr. v. J. Lala 1976 KLT. 224, a single Bench ruling of this Court reported in Bharath P. & T.P. Ltd. v. E.P.F. Commr. 1976 KLT. 210, and a Mysore decision reported in R. Fernandes v. State of Mysore A.I.R. 1969 Mysore 196. The principle enunciated in these decisions is that, while quantifying damages, regard should be had to the circumstances under which the default in question was committed. I do not think it necessary to consider the judgments mentioned above in detail. Suffice it to say that, Exts. P1 and P2 do not reflect the basis on which the percentage of interest was adopted in computing the damages payable. Exhibit P2 related to the period from April, 1971 to April, 1973. Therefore, reconsideration need be limited only to this period. I say so since according to the petitioner's counsel the damages come to more than Rs. 12,000. From Ext. P2 it is seen that under Account No. I the amount payable is Rs. 4,214.10 and under Account No. II, Rs. 97.15. I quash Exts. P1 and P2 and direct the 3rd respondent to quantify the damages afresh, after giving the petitioner an opportunity of being heard and after examining all the circumstances that led to the default in question.
4. The petitioner's counsel contended that an amount of Rs. 1,200 for the period from April, 1959 to November, 1966, was also attempted to be collected from him. He relied upon the decision reported in Amin Chand v. State of Punjab, A.I.R. 1965 Punjab 441, to plead that inaction, on the part of the authority concerned, should not adversely affect the petitioner. If the petitioner was told in time about the default, he would not have repeated the default. The contention appears to be well-founded. But, the difficulty is, whether the amount mentioned above takes in the period with which we are concerned in Ext. P2. Obviously it does not. However, I would like to make it clear, that if the petitioner had made any payments towards the period in question also, credit will be given to such payment by the 3rd respondent when actual quantification is made pursuant to the direction contained in this judgment.
5. The original petition is disposed of as above. The 3rd respondent is directed to dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible after giving a notice to the petitioner.