DERA GHAZI KHAN-In more than 1,200 cases, the civil servants belonging to Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan divisions are facing delay in justice due to non-availability of members of Punjab Services Tribunal (PST) Multan Bench.

Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana belongs to Multan and is also appointing authority of the members of PST Multan Bench but 1213 cases regarding issue of pensions, increments, promotion, seniority, pay, punishment, suspension etc are pending for the last year in PST Multan Bench, official sources said. Talking to The Nation, Advocate of Shahid Nawaz Khan Buzdar said the government employees could not bear delay in disposal of their cases for many months or years.

Shahid said that on 20th of December 2017 while hearing a petition, then Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah had directed Punjab government to fill the vacant slots of members in PST till January 10, 2018 but to no avail. In addition, he said, the only member Rao Abdul Jabbar Khan, the district & session judge (D&SJ), who was hearing the cases in PST Multan Bench had been transferred from PST on February 07, 2018. Now, there is no any member available for PST Multan Bench, he said. Legal maxim "Justice delayed is justice denied" has become true fact for victimised civil servants in PST Multan, he added.

PST official sources with request of anonymity said that senior bureaucrats do not like to service in the PST because they were not paid judicial allowances as the superior courts, civil and sessions courts, Federal Services Tribunal, Sindh Services Tribunal, Balochistan Services Tribunal and Income Tax Appellate Tribunal pay judicial allowances to their judges and staff.

They said in 2008, Rs7,000 allowance per month for civil members and 15% of the basic pay for other employees was approved by the government but the amount was just peanuts for tribunal members. That's why no senior bureaucrat wanted to be posted as PST member.

Due to undue rigidity of Punjab Government, approved and recommended judicial allowance and special judicial allowances for about 70 PST officials by PST Chairman and LHC, are still pending on the end of government since long, they added. Nowadays, PST is working without four members, out of total six members, thus pendency at the service matters court crosses 9,592 in Punjab while 7,096 cases are pending at PST Lahore, 554 at PST Rawalpindi, 398 at PST Faisalabad, 331 at PST Bahawalpur and 1,213 at PST Multan. Two judicial members, serving district and session judges Asif Majeed Awan, Muhammad Yar Wallana, and a chairman, retired high court justice Shoaib Saeed, are holding their offices at the PST courts across the Punjab.

A senior bureaucrat Maqsood Ahmad Lak working as member PST retired on August 22, 2016. Another member, Khalid Mehmood Ramay, was transferred on April 20, 2017. The third member/civil servant Fehmida Mushtaq retired on March 10, 2017 while forth member / D&SJ Rao Abdul Jabbar was transferred on February 07, 2018.

Many victimised civil servants at DG Khan Courts demanded that government appoint four members in the tribunal for early disposal of their cases.