By: M RAFIQUE GORAYA
LAHORE: Ombudsman Punjab Javed Mahmood rejecting objections of the education and Finance department has allowed family pension to unmarried daughters of deceased pensioners.
The Ombudsman passed these orders on an application of one Neelam Shafi, the unmarried daughter of Ch Shafiullah, an employee of Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education who died on 21.10.2011.
Neelam Shafi sought the grant of family pension as her mother had already died on 27 11.2007. She was the only surviving legal heir of late Shafiullah.
Opposing the application, the Education and Finance departments took the plea that under the pension rules, “an unmarried daughter would be entitled to family pension till marriage or acquiring a regular source of income whichever is earlier” and as the petitioner was already an employee of a private school, she
was not entitled to family pension.
Citing various judgments of the superior courts and the raison d”etre for pension, the Ombudsman said that the complainant was entitled to family pension from the date of her father’s death. It was a lawful right created and vested in the petitioner and the same could not be denied on the plea of an order which could not be applied retrospectively, she was in a private job during her father’s life and she should not be punished for the reason, not defendable in the eyes of law by the government departments, he added.
The Ombudsman pointed out that the society and the government was liable to provide protection and legal support to an unmarried daughter who is the weakest member of the society.
The service in private sector could never be termed as a “regular source of income” because the job has no legal coverage to agitate in case of discontinuation of service by the private employer. He directed the Punjab government to allow family pension to the complainant and all other such complainants as this order was applicable to all such cases.