LAHORE - The Pensioners Association Punjab has accused the Punjab government of defying court orders regarding restoration of full pension to the pensioners aged 75 and above as decided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

On retirement, the government pensioners are entitled to get pensions and gratuity. Whereas 50 per cent pension is allowed to them on monthly basis, the remaining 50 per cent is paid in lump sum for a period of 15 years. After the expiry of 15 years or at the age of 75 they are entitled to restoration of full pension.

The restoration formula became a subject of dispute between the pensioners and govt and as a result the parties approached the superior courts. The matter was decided by the Lahore High Court according to the interpretation of the Pensioners in the petitions/ appeals before the Lahore High Court (Civil appeal Nos. 971 to 1017 of 2012, 289-L, 386-L, 410L, of 2013, 61-223 & 274 of 2014 and Civil Petitions Nos. 1040-L, 1049-L, 1070-L, of 2013 and 46-L to 58-L, 92-L to 94-L, 106-L, 213-L, 219-L to 225-L, 239-L, 257-L, 277-L, 293-L, 307-L to 315-L and 33-L of 2014).

As all the above mentioned appeals/petitions were decided in favour of the pensioners, the federal government, and Provincial governments of KP, Sindh and Balochistan, implemented the orders and gave due relief to their pensioners but the the Punjab govt filed a review in the Supreme Court as it was not in favour of including increases in the pension granted by the government from time to time.

The review petition of the Punjab government was rejected by a full bench of the Supreme Court comprising 3 judges including the then Chief Justice of Pakistan on 31-3-2014, with the observation that interpretation of the Punjab government was violative of relevant rules and constitution of Pakistan.

Even after receiving the orders of the Supreme Court, the finance Department of the Punjab government was not a mood to grant relief to the pensioners as ordered, so some of the pensioners approached the Lahore High Court to get the order of the Supreme Court implemented.

The petitions for implementation of the orders of the Supreme Court were heard by the Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, who summoned the Finance Secretary and Chief Secretary Punjab in person and ordered them to implement the orders of the Supreme Court. The finance secretary in compliance to his orders submitted a schedule of payment or ‘payment plan’ dated 09-12-2014 which was made a part of his judgment and the matter was disposed of in favour of the pensioners vide order No 8 dated 10-12-2014.  

In a nutshell the Punjab finance department is not inclined to obey the orders of the Supreme Court or decision of the Lahore High Court and not even to honor their own commitment before the Lahore High Court.

In the circumstances, it becomes a clear case of contempt of court and the pensioners are new looking up to the superior courts to take notice of the intransigent conduct of the finance department Punjab, who is flouting the orders of superior courts with impunity.