ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a review petition of the federal government in pensioners’ case and upheld the Lahore High Court decision in which increase granted in pension during 15 years’ commutation period was allowed along with the restored amount of 50 per cent pension.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhamamd Chaudhry, heard the review petition filed by the federal government through the Finance Ministry against the apex court’s order of April 24, 2012.
The SC on April 24 dismissed the appeal of the Finance Ministry on the basis of not pursuing the matter and upheld the decision of the Lahore High court given in 2009. Later, the same judgment was upheld by the Federal Service Tribunal (FST).
During the proceedings, the legal adviser for the Finance Ministry contended that the court could accept the review petition for hearing because the ministry’s appeal had been dismissed for non-prosecution.
The chief Justice, showing annoyance, remarked why the government did not take interest in pursuing the cases. The CJP remarked the Finance Ministry should direct their lawyers to pursue the cases actively.
He said the ministry had not given any valid reason in the review petition to convince the court to accept it for hearing. As many as 27 pensioners, including Ghulam Mustafa, had filed the petition in the Lahore High Court.
In 2009 some pensioners obtained relief from the Lahore High Court to the extent that the increase granted in pension during 15 years’ commutation period was also allowed along with the restored amount of 50 per cent pension. The system of commutation was abolished in 2001. The government employees who proceeded on retirement before 2001 and were 75 years of age or above prayed to the chief justice of Pakistan to come to their rescue and order implementation of the judgments of the courts in all identical cases.
In 2011, an intra-court appeal against this decision was dismissed by a division bench. Subsequent petitions filed by the AGPR in the Supreme Court were also dismissed for being time-barred.
The Punjab Service Tribunal and Federal Service Tribunal provided relief to retired persons. The federal government filed an appeal against the orders of the Federal Service Tribunal in the Supreme Court, which was dismissed on April 24, 2012. The revision petition also met the same fate for non-prosecution.
A large number of pensioners of the Punjab government have also benefited from the Lahore High Court’s verdict.