ISLAMABAD           -         President Dr. Arif Alvi on Thursday appreciated the performance and special initiatives of Federal Ombudsman and hoped that the institution would continue its efforts to help the people against administrative injustices.

President Alvi stressed the need to provide speedy and free of cost justice at the doorstep of the common man. He was talking to Syed Tahir Shahbaz, Federal Ombudsman, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The Federal Ombudsman briefed the President on the performance of the institution and said that more than 75,000 cases had been disposed of during 2019 while 97 percent of decisions were got implemented in the year. He said that 1039 cases, review petitions in 317 cases were filed to the Wafaqi Mohtasib besides appeals to the President which constituted 0.4 percent of total number of cases. He said that President upheld 90 percent decisions of the Federal Ombudsman.

Federal Ombudsman informed the President that the year 2019 was observed as the year of awareness, and a comprehensive public awareness campaign was run through electronic, print and social media.

Due to this campaign, considerable increase in number of cases was recorded in Balochistan, South Punjab and Abbottabad. He said that awareness seminars were also conducted in different universities and remote areas of Balochistan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Lahore, Peshawar and Abbotabad.  Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate, Governors of Punjab, Sindh, KP and members of parliament were also briefed about the role of Wafaqi Mohtasib.

He said to improve redressal mechanism, the officers of 10 regional offices of Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariate made 370 visits to 72 districts and sub districts under Outreach Complaint Resolution Programme. He briefed the President that every finding was decided within a period of 60 days and the review petition within 45 days. 

He further briefed that 247 federal agencies were on board; their focal persons had been nominated who were bound to decide a complaint in 30 days. In case the Agency did not decide the case within 30 days, the same was transferred automatically to the portal of WMS and registered as fresh complaint under Integrated Complaint Resolution (ICR) Mechanism.

Syed Tahir Shahbaz said that from January to June 2020, more than 47,000 cases were registered which showed 38 percent increase as compared to the previous year. He said that Corona pandemic had not affected the registration of complaints as sixty per cent of the complaints were registered through online registration system.

The Federal Ombudsman apprised the President of the efforts to improve the living conditions of prisoners in jails as per directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

He said that focus of his office was to improve jail conditions by removing irritants of criminal administration justice system. He informed that presence of a psychiatrist and a doctor had been ensured in every jail of the country. Mentally sick and addict prisoners had been got segregated from other prisoners in all jails.