Verdict on journalist's pension plea reserved -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Verdict on journalist’s pension plea reserved

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday reserved verdict on a petition of a columnist and veteran journalist, Shafqat Tanvir Mirza, seeking release of his pension benefits withheld by the National Press Trust (ex-Progressive Papers Limited).

Earlier, counsels for the petitioner and the NPT completed their arguments. The Trust’s counsel stuck to his stance and stated that they felt sorry for the ‘poor petitioner’ but the
Trust could not pay him anything because he was a private employee.

Justice Farrukh Irfan Khan snubbed the counsel and said he (petitioner) was not a “poor petitioner” but was a national hero.

Petitioner’s counsel Syeda Maqsooma Zahra Bokhari narrated the PPL history and pointed out that all the past governments had been wanting to take over the PPL and now they had taken a U-turn and started insulting the great persons (like the petitioner) by saying they were private employees.

The judge observed that the court would decide the case on merit and reserved the verdict on the petition.

The petitioner, who was suffering from lungs cancer, had prayed that the respondents be directed to pay his pension dues, approximately in the sum of Rs1.2 million immediately in accordance with the current and prevalent rules and regulations since 1996 to enable him to get his treatment with dignity and respect.

The petitioner was an editor of ‘Daily Imroz’ published by the PPL. The counsel said the petitioner had joined the PPL in 1963 and worked for over 25 years and as per section 7 (II) of the PPL Pension Rules, 1985, he was entitled to 50 per cent of his last pay drawn.

REPLY SOUGHT: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the National Bank of Pakistan president on a petition saying around 800 pensioners of the bank were not being granted annual pension increase announced by the federal government in 2010 and 2011.

A former vice president of the bank, Rasheed Butt, filed the petition and pleaded that the pensioners were facing a painful situation in their old age at the hands of the authorities concerned.

The petitioner prayed to the court to direct the respondent (NBP president) to implement 20 per cent increase in pension announced by the government with effect from July 1, 2010, to July 1, 2011.

After hearing the contention, the court issued a notice to the NBP president and sought his comments by the next hearing.

DSPs: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Wednesday directed the Punjab IG police to issue seniority list of DSP-rank officers in the light of Supreme Court and LHC directions.

The chief justice issued the order hearing a contempt petition against the IGP filed by many DSPs who were denied their due promotion to the rank of SP.

Earlier, IG Habibur Rehman appeared before the court and stated that some DSPs had assailed the seniority issue in Supreme Court and the department should defer the promotion issue till the decision on their cases.

The CJ, however, directed him to issue the seniority list in the light of courts’ decisions and submit compliance report. The judge observed that if any officer had objection to the list he would have the right to approach the service tribunal.

The petitioners had pleaded that the department was not promoting them on the objection that they did not have the required two-year field work experience which, they said, was not mandatory for the promotion.

Some petitioners said their promotion to the rank of SP had been due for many years but the department’s high-ups had not granted them promotion so far. They said the Supreme Court had also ordered the department to promote them but the authorities ignored that order too.

They prayed that the IG be directed to implement the orders of the apex court and award them their due promotion.

Dawn