ISLAMABAD, Mar 30 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi has upheld the order of the Wafaqi Mohtasib directing a university to pay the pension share to its former professor who had served the university for 14 years.
The president said that pension was a hard-earned right that accrued to an employee by dint of his long, continuous and faithful service, and the deprivation or delay in the grant of this right could not be permitted, except in accordance with the law.
As per details, Professor Dr Ali Asghar Chishti (the complainant) had served at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) from June 1985 to August 1999 as a faculty member and he joined Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) after applying through the proper channel.
After his retirement from AIOU in 2020, he made the request to IIUI for the transfer of pension shares but the same was not done despite the issuance of a letter of liability in his favour. Subsequently, he approached the Wafaqi Mohtasib (WM) for relief, which passed the order in his favour as during the hearing, IIUI admitted his claim and assured him to redress his grievance. Later, IIUI chose to file a representation with the President against the orders of WM.
The president upheld the order of Mohtasib directing IIUI to transfer the pension share of the complainant as per his request and based his order on a decision of the Supreme Court.
He stated that it was an admitted fact that pension was not a bounty but rather an employee earned it by dint of his long, continuous and faithful service. He added that the hard-earned right, that accrued to an employee, was in the nature of “property”, and constituted a fundamental right to livelihood under Article 9 of the Constitution of Pakistan. He stressed that the deprivation, even a part of this amount, could not be permitted, except in accordance with the law.
The president also cited another judgement of the Supreme Court, dated 21.02.2013, wherein Government Departments, Agencies and Officers had been directed to not cause unnecessary hurdle or delay in finalizing the payment of pensionary/retirement benefits in future.
In its judgement, the Court had stated that any violation of these directions shall amount to criminal negligence and dereliction of duty, and if any delay in the finalization of pension benefits cases of government servants, widows or orphan children was brought to the notice of the Court, the head of the concerned department would also be held liable for the contempt of the Court and would be dealt with strictly in accordance with the law.
The president concluded that since IIUI had conceded the entitlement/claim of the complainant before the Wafaqi Mohtasib, therefore, it had no legal or moral justification to backtrack or seek reversal of the Mohtasib’s orders. He directed IIUI to comply with the Ombudsman’s order and rejected the representation.