M.M. Ismail, J.
1. This writ petition is for the issue of a Writ of mandamus directing the respondents herein to forbear from collecting damages under Section 14-B of the Employees Provident Funds Act from the Petitioner for delayed payment of contributions under the said Act and the scheme framed thereunder for the period May,. 1966 to July, 1966.
2. From the Very nature of the case the question whether damages should be claimed at all and, if so, what should be the quantum of the damages is one which can be decided only after notice to the person concerned. Apart from that, Section 7-A (3) provides that no order determining the amount due from any employer shall be made under Sub-section (1) of Section 7-A, unless the employer is given a reasonable opportunity of representing his case. Sub-section (1) of Section 7-A states that the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, any Deputy Provident Fund Commissioner or any Regional Provident Fund Commissioner may, by order, determine the amount due from any employer under any provision of the Act or of the scheme, and for this propose may conduct such enquiry as he may deem necessary. The damages payable under section. 14-B of the Act is undoubtedly an amount payable under a provision of the Act. Therefore, both section. 7-A (1) and Section 7-A (3) will apply to such a case. It is admitted before me that no opportunity as contemplated by Section 7-A (3) has been given to the petitioner in this case before making the demand for payment of damages. On this simple ground the writ petition is allowed. The result of this will be that if the respondents want to levy damages and claim the same from the petitioner, they will have to proceed against the petitioner after giving the opportunity contemplated by Section 7-A (3) of the Act. There will be no order as to costs.