HANDOUT No. 134
Private job is not “Regular Source of Income” Ombudsman orders BISE for family pension.
LAHORE, September 23:
Ombudsman Punjab Javed Mahmood has said that self assumed interpretation of vague and ambiguous letters of rules and business by authorized officers lead to discrimination and exploitation, prohibited under the Constitution. Pension Sanction Authorities could enjoy the authority to refuse the claims on their own, therefore, such an exercise was unlawful and against the principles of equity and natural justice as announced by the superior courts and guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan. Private job can not be treated as “Regular Source of Income” as it is temporary in nature and is neither protected nor guaranteed under any law. Only job at public institutions can be taken as “Regular Source of Income” as per law, declared Ombudsman Punjab. He said that the rights of needy people were being denied and destroyed through self assumed interpretation of vague letters of rules by the Pension Sanctioning Authorities. Such a situation would result in discrimination and exploitation in respect of weaker segment of society comprising of daughters and sisters of the retired employees. In an order to sanction family pension in favour of a lady teacher of a private school and an unmarried daughter of a deceased pensioner retired from BISEC Lahore, Ombudsman Punjab directed BISE Lahore to pay pensionary benefits within one month and send compliance report to Ombudsman Office.
According to details, Ms Neelam Shafi, serving as teacher in a private school, lodged a complaint to Ombudsman Punjab that her father retired as Officer on Confidential Press at Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Lahore and died in 2011. Since I was the only daughter and unmarried but BISE authorities were not ready to sanction family pension case on the pretext that I was serving as teacher at a private school and had a “Regular Source of Income” which was a wrong interpretation of rules. Ombudsman Punjab directed Incharge Mohtasib Punjab Pension Cell, Wazir Ahmad Qureshi, to probe the issue who asked BISE Lahore, Education Department, Finance Department and Accountant General Punjab to provide officially notified definition of “Regular Source of Income” but all failed and admitted that there existed no notified criteria to determine the definition of “Regular Source of Income”. Ombudsman Punjab after consulting Black’s Law Dictionary and references of Superior Courts concluded that the complainant did not enjoy control over the source, no security and guarantee of her private job so it was not regular source of income and the same was misread and misinterpreted by the Pension Sanctioning Authority. Infact while interpreting “Regular Source of Income”, the Pension Sanctioning Authority (PSA) had created discrimination amongst the relatives of retired employees where PSAs could choose their own way of action in the absence of fixed and verifiable criteria and definition of the said phrase. Once the law has conferred and created the right of family pension it cannot be destroyed or eliminated by any executive order by the executive authority through issue of vague and non-definable instructions of general nature without enjoying the force of law, concluded the Ombudsman Punjab. The complainant is entitled to family pension from the date of death of her father and BISE is directed to submit compliance report within one month, he ordered.