ISLAMABAD: An amount equal to one year’s salary under the Leave Encashment Rule is yet to be disbursed among over 400 retired police officials and officers even the police were given a last opportunity a year ago by the federal ombudsman before initiating contempt of court proceedings against them.
Officers of the capital police told Dawn on condition of anonymity that leave encashment/leave preparatory to retirement payment was yet to be made to the officials and officers from the rank of constable to the deputy superintendent, who retired between 2016 and 2022.
The government had released Rs200 million for the payment and the fund would lapse on June 30 if it was not disbursed before the end of the current financial year.
According to the Leave Encashment Rules, officials or officers can avail the opportunity of leave with pay in the last year of their services (59 years to 60 years), they said. An amount equal to one year’s salary will be paid to those who continued working till the date of their retirement.
From 2016 to 2022, over 400 police officials and officers worked with the capital police till the date of their retirement, and they were eligible to get an amount equal to their one-year’s salary. However, not a single penny has been given to them.
A year ago, a retired deputy superintendent of police approached the federal ombudsman seeking orders to the police to pay the amount to him and other retired officials and officers. After hearing and issuing orders to the police, a final notice was served on the Inspector General of Police and the Senior Superintendent of Police in April 2022 to pay the amount.
According to the final notice of the ombudsman, the report provided by the police was not satisfactory. It said the president’s order No 1 of 1983 empowered the ombudsman to punish any person for contempt as available to the Supreme Court and take action under the civil procedure code for implementation of his decision as vested with a civil court.
The final notice also stated: “It was intimated that before any action under all or any of the above provisions of law could be initiated, the last opportunity afforded to implement the recommendation(s) in letter and spirit, otherwise action shall be initiated under the statutory provisions of law. In case of failure to provide a compliance report or to attend the hearing on the date fixed, apart from the above, disciplinary action under the law will also be initiated against the defaulting officer.”
In response, the then IGP approached the ministry of the interior and sought funds for the payment under the directives of the ombudsman, the officers said, adding due to change of government in April 2022, the senior command of the police was also replaced.
However, the interior ministry got released the funds from the finance ministry and the same was given to the police for disbursement among the retired officers and officials.
During the last a couple of months, several requests were made to the police chief to approve the disbursement, but all in vain, the officers said, adding the last request was made on May 16 by the senior superintendent of police headquarters.
A revised encashment list for payment was also attached with the request, they said, adding but so far no decision has been taken.
The officers said the current financial year would end on June 30. The entire process will be initiated again from the beginning to get release funds if the Rs200 million available with the police was not disbursed before June 30.
In-charge of the Police Public Relations Branch Deputy Inspector General of Police Headquarters Awais Ahmed was approached for comments.
In response, he said on Wednesday: “I would ask IGP for policy on it and get back.” On Thursday, he told Dawn that he would get back. However, later he was not available for comments.
Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2023