Questions related to filing a complaint
Who can file a complaint?
The law the complaint can only be filed by an aggrieved person and, in case of his death, by his legal representative.
How can complaints be filed before the Ombudsman?
Complaint on a plain paper supported by an affidavit alongwith copy of the National Identity Card may be presented either personally in the office of the Registrar at the Head Office or any of the Regional Offices in the Province depending upon the Agency to which the complaint relates and the district to which the complainant belongs. The complaint can also be sent by post, Fax or E-mail.
What types of complaints are not entertained?
The Ombudsman does not have any jurisdiction to investigate or enquire into matters which:
- are subjudice before a court of competent jurisdiction on the date of the receipt of a complaint, reference or motion by him; or
- relate to the external affairs of Pakistan or the relations or dealings of Pakistan with any foreign state or government; or
- relate to, or are connected with, the defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, the Military, Naval, and Air Forces of Pakistan or the matters covered by the laws relating to those Forces.
Similarly, the Ombudsman does not entertain any complaint by or on behalf of a public servant or functionary concerning any matters relating to the Agency in which he is, or has been, working, in respect of any personal grievance relating to his service therein.
What types of complaints are entertained?
All complaints of maladministration defined in Section 2(2) of Punjab Office of the Ombudsman Act, 1997 can be filed. The definition of maladministration is reproduced below:
decision, process, recommendation, act or omission or commission which:
- is contrary to law, rules or regulations or is a departure from established practice or procedure, unless it is bonafide and for valid reasons; or
- is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, unjust, biased, oppressive, or discriminatory;or
- is based on irrelevant grounds; or
- involves the exercise of powers or the failure or refusal to do so, for corrupt or improper motives, such as, bribery, jobbery, favouritism, nepotism and
- administrative excesses; and
neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency and ineptitude in the administration or discharge of duties and responsibilities.
Does a complaint filed in the Office of the Ombudsman cost anything?
There is no cost to a complainant either for filing a complaint before the Ombudsman or during its investigation, except where expenses are incurred when the complainant may be called for joint hearing of the case. The complaint can be made on a simple piece of paper. There are no charges for providing a copy of the findings of the Ombudsman either.
Is there any time limit for lodging a complaint?
Section 10(3) of the Act provides that a complaint shall be made not later than three months from the day on which the person aggrieved first had the notice of the matter alleged in the complaint. However, the Ombudsman can condone the time limit if he considers that there are special circumstances and the delay was justified.
Can an aggrieved person approach the Ombudsman even if a similar complaint has already been decided by some other court or is still pending adjudication before a court?
The aggrieved person can not approach the office of the Ombudsman for redressal of any grievance in respect of which suit/plaint is pending adjudication in any court of competent jurisdiction. The complaint which has already been adjudicated by a competent court can not be entertained by this Office either.