LAHORE, April 24: Punjab Ombudsman Javed Mehmood has ordered double pension to all pensioners crossing the age of 75 years without any discrimination.
He has also ordered restoration of commuted portion of pension with all increases deducted at the time of retirement.
The ombudsman has also ordered the provincial Finance Department to issue instructions to the Punjab Accountant General for making fresh entries in pension books of pensioners crossing the age of 75 years.
According to a handout issued on Wednesday, the ombudsman issued this order on the applications received from various pensioners in this regard.
The pensioners, who have crossed the age of 75, submitted applications to the ombudsman that at the time of retirement their 50 per cent amount was deducted as commutation for 15 years whereas half of the amount had been paid and it was promised to restore the deducted amount after 15 years.
They said this amount remained in the government treasury and it was against the demands of justice not to restore an equal amount after 15 years. He directed ombudsman office consultant Wazir Ahmad Qureshi to inquire into the matter. He sought a reply from the provincial Finance Department and the Punjab Accountant General.
The Finance Department was told that the Supreme Court had issued clear-cut instructions in this regard, but it refused to provide relief to pensioners and did not present its stance at the time of joint hearing.
The ombudsman wrote in his order that the LHC, the Punjab Services Tribunal, the Federal Services Tribunal and the Supreme Court had accepted the right of double pension of retired employees in their decisions and the Additional Advocate General of the Punjab government had also accepted this right of petitioners unconditionally before the LHC as a result of which only those pensioners were given double pension who had filed cases in the high court.
He said the Constitution was very clear and the decision of the SC in legal matters applied to all subordinate courts, federal and provincial governments and all departments were bound to implement it.
The ombudsman said providing relief to only few pensioners by ignoring all pensioners tantamount to discriminatory attitude and was totally against the decisions of the court and the equality guaranteed in the Constitution.
He ordered the Finance Department to restore the commutation amount of all pensioners with all increases who had crossed the age of 75 years and issued instructions to the Punjab Accountant General for making fresh entries in pension books of pensioners and informed the ombudsman office about implementation of this order within a month.