Present: TASSADUQ HUSSAIN JILANI, J. MUHAMMAD
GOVERNMENT OF PUNJAB and others
W.P. No. 5555/98, decided on 19.10.1998. Punjab Civil
Servants Act, 1974 (IX of 1974)-
—S. 18-Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Art 199–Civil Servant-¬Retirement–Withholding of pension for a period of more than one year-¬Effect—Where inquiry was pending against civil servant and the same was not concluded within one year of his retirement, pension and gratuity must be sanctioned-Government through letter dated 17.9.1982 bearing No. S.O. (8)-E-12/82 has mandated that after retirement of Civil Servants, they being no longer civil servants, disciplinary proceedings against them would stand abated-Such mandatory provision being in the field, no justification existed either for Education Department or District Accounts Officer to withhold petitioner’s pension and gratuity after his retirement-Civil Servant’s retirement having been effected for more than one and a half year, Secretary Education was directed to ensure that petitioner’s entire pension and gratuity was released within thirty days from disposal of constitutional petition-Petitioner, however, having suffered agony to collect his pension and gratuity for which purpose he had to incur extra expenses of filing constitutional petition, High Court burdoned Education Department with costs of Rs. 10,000 to be paid to petitioner alongwith pension and gratuity. [P. 246] A
Ch. Muhammad Shafique, Advocate for Petitioner.
Mr. Khadim Nadeem Malik, Addl. Advocate General for Respondents.
Dates of hearing: 14.10.1998 & 19.10.1998.
The petitioner retired as District Education Officer on 31.3.1997 on attaining the age of superannuation. His pension was not released on the ground that some inquiry was pending against him. Learned Additional Advocate General who was asked to assist has appeared alongwith the Director Elementary Education, to submit that the case for the grant of anucpatory pension to petitioner has been prepared and sent to the District Accounts Officer on 17.10.1998. He has placed on record a copy of the fax message received from the Education Department which is being placed on record a_s Mark-A. He further submitted that today, the Director Education, present in Court, has informed him that in view of the mandatory provisions c: relevant rules and instructions, the case for remaining 20% of the pension has also been cleared by the department on 15.10.1998 and the petitioner shall receive the pension in due course.
2. Heard. Record perused.
3 When a Government servant retires, he is in a peculiar state of mind i.e. he is without any job, he has a family to settle and in this highly status conscious society, he has no status to bank on. It was perhaps, keeping in view :ius state of mind that the Government issued instructions which admirted.y are still in vogue which are to the effect that if the inquiry is not concluded within a year of Government Servant’s retirement, the pension and gratuity must be sanctioned. This was so stipulated in Government of West PakisTjan Services and General Administration Department Section (XIII) Xo. Si R>58/7-47/65/S.C.XH dated 1st of February, 1967. Para No. 2 of the afore-referred letter reads as under:
“Pensions cases are generally deferred where a retired Government servant is likely to be dismissed or some recovery is expected to be made from him. It has been decided that the following action be taken in future:
(i) If a Government Servant is likely to be dismissed or it is expected that some recovery has to be made for loss caused to the Government, then pension and gratuity should not be sanctioned for a period of one year during which the administrative department should ensure that inquiry is finalized. At the end of this period, the pension and gratuity must be sanctioned even if the inquiry is not completed.”
In further improvement of the afore-referred provision, the Government provided yet another relief in terms of letter dated 17.9.1982 Bearing No. S.O. (8)-E-12/82 Government of the Punjab, Services General Administration & Information Department (Secret Section) wherein it was mandated that,” –
“Since after their retirement they are no longer Civil Servants, the disciplinary proceedings against them stand abated.”
When confronted with the afore-referred memos/letters, the learned Additional Advocate General, Punjab was not in a position to controvert this legal position rather he conceded that this is the legal position.
4. In view of the afore-referred mandatory provisions of law, there was no justification for the Education Department or the District Accounts Officer to withhold petitioner’s pension and gratuity after his retirement. More than one and a half years has lapsed since retirement. The period of one year after retirement was completed on 31.3.1998.
5. In the afore-referred circumstances, I am inclined to allow this Writ Petition and direct that the Secretary Education, Government of Punjab shall ensure that the entire pension and gratuity of the petitioner is released within 30 days from today. As the petitioner has to suffer agony to collect his pension and gratuity for which purpose, he had to incure the extra expense of filing of this Writ petition, I am further inclined to burdon the education department with a cost of Rs. 10,000/- to be paid to the petitioner alongwith the pension and gratuity.
(A.P.) Orders accordingly.