ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Thursday directed the federal government to furnish the minutes of Council of Common Interests (CCI) regarding the pension of Employees Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI).

During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sohail Mahmood informed the bench that in the CCI meeting, it had been decided that the federal government would manage the EOBI.

Therefore, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mushir Alam hearing the EOBI pensioners’ case asked the deputy attorney general to place the minutes of the CCI meeting minutes before the bench on the next date of hearing.

On the last hearing, the federal government was ordered to inform whether it liked to retain the EOBI or devolve this subject to the provinces in view of the 18th constitutional amendment.

Sohail informed that the EOBI pension that was earlier Rs5,250/ had been increased to Rs6,500 in 2019 and it has been further increased to Rs8,500/ per month. The notification in this regard would be issued soon, he said.

Justice Muneeb Akhtar observed that many issues are connected with the instant case and each one needs to be heard separately.

Justice Mushir Alam said that many applications are related to the EOBI pension.

The petitioners’ counsel contend that in order to seek time it was informed to the court that the matter was before the CCI, adding till to-date no decision of CCI is before the court. Upon that Justice Mushir directed the DAG to file the CCI decision on the next date of hearing.

Established in 1976 during the PPP government, the EOBI operates under a mechanism whereby the government employees contribute 1% of their salary each month and the employer 5% to the institution. The EOBI is responsible for remunerating the employees upon their retirement. The EOBI is also authorized to invest money to increase its capital.

A massive scam was unearthed in 2013. The FIA arrested Zafar Gondal, the then chairman of the institute in September 2014 for spending Rs 44 billion on purchase of land in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi at exorbitant prices in violation of rules despite opposition from EOBI board.

Later, the bench adjourned the hearing for two weeks.