AFTER serving the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DESTO), Ministry of Defence, for 37 years I retired in 2003 as Senior Research Officer. During my service with DESTO, the premium for group insurance was continuously deducted from my salary.
The Pakhtunkhwa government decided to pay the amount of group insurance to its employees on retirement, but this was applicable retrospectively.
Some retired KP employees filed a petition in the High Court of Peshawar (WP No.1355-P/2013) with the prayer that the non-payment of group insurance amount to the petitioners at the time of their retirement by the respondents may be declared illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and a violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners.
The PHC held that the deductions made from the petitioners’ salaries were not denied by the respondents and the province of Balochistan has already promulgated an act in this respect. Therefore, Act No. XXVIII of 2014 and Act No. V of 2016 “are having the retrospective effect [of] being beneficial, and [the] petitioners on the face of it seem to be have been discriminated [against].”
The KP government filed a petition (CP No.11-P of 2017) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which dismissed the petition.
Under Article 189, 190 and 25, the judgments of the Supreme Court are binding, because all citizens have equal rights.
In view of the above, I along with nine retired DESTO hands filed a petition (CP No.D-7074/2019) in the Sindh High Court and notices have been issued to the Respondents. Since all of us are senior citizens and are of more than 75 years of age, we have submitted an application for an early hearing of the case. We appeal to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and of the Sindh High Court to look into the matter and the group insurance amount may be paid to us during our life time.
S. Afzal Ahmad Hydari
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2019