Islamabad - In a bid to provide relief to a widow of an electrocuted employee of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), the federal ombudsman has solved a 15-year-old pension case with recommendations of disciplinary action against the responsible for criminal negligence.

Zubaida Bibi, widow of Aurangzeb (late) and resident of Abbottabad, filed a complaint before the federal ombudsman for extraordinary delay in grant of family pension/gratuity. She said that her husband had got electrocuted while performing his duty on August 28, 1999.

The complainant approached Water and Power Development Authority office numerous times for redressal of her genuine grievance but all in vain.

However, Water and Power Development Authority on the other hand taking lethargic attitude did not finalise her rightful claim despite a lapse of 15 years taking plea that the widow of deceased Aurangzeb was seeking family pension on the basis of nine years and three months service rendered by her late husband, whereas the qualifying service for pension is at least 10 years.

The federal ombudsman invoking Finance Division (Regulation Wing) OM No F.12(8)Reg(6)/81 directed Wapda to condone nine months deficiency in qualifying service for pension as well as to pay other due benefits and payment of Rs 50,000 per year to the widow as compensation for inordinate delay in finalisation of her family pension case.

The finance division vide OM No F.12(8)Reg(6)/81 has clarified, “The authority competent to sanction pension may condone a deficiency of more than six months but less than a year subject to the conditions that the officer has died in service, or has retired under circumstances beyond his control, such as on invalidation or the abolition of his post, and would have completed another year of service if he had not died or retired.”

The ombudsman also recommended carrying out disciplinary action against the director(s) pension Lahore Wapda for criminal negligence in redressal of grievance.

It was further directed that the payment of all such pension cases must be finalised on fast track basis in future.