Martyred cop’s family to get full pay, allowances: LHC

Published February 6, 2020
The Lahore High Court has ruled that the family of a “shaheed” (martyr) policeman is entitled to receive full pay and allowances till superannuation.  — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
The Lahore High Court has ruled that the family of a “shaheed” (martyr) policeman is entitled to receive full pay and allowances till superannuation. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has ruled that the family of a “shaheed” (martyr) policeman is entitled to receive full pay and allowances till superannuation.

Constable Syed Safdar Ali Shah had died during an encounter with dacoits in 1994 and a case was registered by the Lytton Road police station, Lahore.

Later, the family of the deceased was awarded compensation as per rules and monthly salary was being received by the martyred constable’s father till October 2013. After the death of the father, salary was disbursed in favour of the martyr’s son being legal heir of the deceased.

Under a notification of 2008, the provincial police officer of Punjab announced award of full pay and allowances to families of police officials who embraced “shahadat” till the date of superannuation with increments and full benefits of the revised rates of all pay and allowances.

However, the police department stopped provision of salary/allowances of the martyred constable to his son from June 2017 on the pretext that he was not entitled to receive the same in view of the Punjab Civil Service Pension Rules.

Therefore, Syed Farooq Ahmad Shah approached the court against the stoppage of the payments after his several requests to the department went in vain.

His counsel argued before the court that the petitioner was to receive full pay and allowances of his shaheed father till date of superannuation (2028), with increments and other benefits at revised rates of pay and allowances etc as granted by the government from time to time.

Opposing the petitioner, a government law officer argued that the disbursement of full pay/allowances to legal heirs of the martyr was also in accordance with the Punjab Civil Services Pension Rules, 1963 and petitioner being above 24 years of age, was neither entitled to receive full pay/allowance nor pensionary benefits of his father.

Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi appointed senior advocate Hafiz Tariq Nasim as amicus curiae (friend of court) seeking his assistance on the question of law involved in the petition.

Mr Nasim argued that that petitioner’s father was martyred during service, thus, his family was entitled to full pay and allowance as per 1991 regulations under head of “Continuation of Payment of Salary to the Martyr in Police Department” till the martyr’s superannuation.

He said salary and pension were two different things under the provisions of the Punjab Civil Servants Act, 1974, thus, petitioner was entitled for the pay/allowances of the martyr till his age of superannuation and pension to martyr’s family after his age of superannuation.

He further submits that notification of April 10, 2017 does not bar the petitioner to receive salary of the martyr till the age of superannuation and cannot be applied adverse to petitioner’s rights and even otherwise it cannot be given retrospective effect.

In his decision, Justice Sethi observed that the law was well settled that once a right was created by extending benefit after complying with all codal formalities, the same could not be destroyed or withdrawn as legal bar would come into play under the doctrine of “locus poenitentiae”.

The judge said, “It is clear that pay is altogether different and distinct subject from pension and it cannot be treated as pension for the purpose of its disbursement to family of a Shaheed.”

Therefore, the judge allowed the petition with direction to respondents to disburse full pay and allowances to the petitioner till date of superannuation of his father, with increments and with full benefits of the revised rates of all pay/allowances, special/ad hoc relief etc. as allowed by the government from time to time along with arrears.

Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2020

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