LAHORE - Federal Ombudsman Salman Farooqi has said that his office will decide cases within fifteen days on tehsil level.

Talking to the media yesterday, Farooqi also shared his office’s performance during his term as federal ombudsman. He said that his office ensured quality decisions observing all formalities.

Former chief secretary Ejaz Quraishi, many other retired grade 22 officers, district and session judges have been appointed as advisors in the federal ombudsman office.

Earlier there was delayed justice as decisions were not delivered within any time frame, Farooqi said while recommending that the decisions must be done within 60 days and within 45 days appeals be decided. “Moreover, the law was amended to ensure that the office would never be empty in absence of the FO,” he said while adding that Federal Tax Ombudsman will soon assume charge of his office.

Talking about the Ombudsman performance, he said that 249,000 decisions were made while observing the time limit of 60 days. “This year, in each 150 district headquarters, FO offices are being established. The offices will be established at tehsil level and time limit will be 15 days.”

Moreover, he added, the FO offices are being established in Swat, Gilgit Baltistan and Gawader and many other places.

Talking about suo moto cases, the ombudsman said that his office took many cases on media reports. “The office of Federal Ombudsman itself is citizens advocate,” he added.

Talking about procedure, he said, we process each petition in 24 hours and convey to the complainant by SMS. He further said that the federal ombudsman has powers of civil court and contempt of court proceedings if the agency fails to implement orders of the office. “The Ombudsman never used these powers and 93 pc decisions were implemented by the concerned agencies,” he stated.

He also told the media that a total of 1700 appeals were made against the FO while 90 percent decisions were upheld by President of Pakistan. “We prepared and presented report on measles to World Bank that the said bank would fund vaccines for five years if Government implements the recommendations of the report,” he added.

Farooqi said that the FO office had no jurisdiction in FATA in the past but now the FO was hearing cases against political agents these days. “We established facilitation desks on airports, Nadra for overseas Pakistanis and CAA says 80 pc complaints were resolved.”

He further said that the FO, on the directions of the Supreme Court, prepared a report on jail reforms. The Ombudsman also established a committee to get the children released from jail. We are facilitating pensioners whom the parent departments were disturbing after retirement,” the FO told the media.

He also informed that the federal ombudsman in collaboration with the HEC and different universities like COMSATS was establishing schools in different jails.