ISLAMABAD: A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC), comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi, directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) on Monday to pay pensions to its 40,000 retired employees equal to those being received by the retired employees of the federal government.
The company had filed an intra-court appeal (ICA) against the decision of a single-member bench, comprising Chief Justice IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi, who in April last year directed the company to increase the pension of its retired employees and bring it on a par with that of retired employees of the federal ministries and attached departments.
The IHC division bench dismissed the ICA of PTCL and upheld the judgment of Justice Kasi.The PTCL pensioners association through their representative M. H. Aslam adopted before the court that despite the fact that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and Law Ministry had already recommended an increase in the PTCL monthly pension but the PTCL management had not complied with the directives.
The petitioner prayed to the court to issued directions to the PTCL management to increase the pension of pensioners and pay them their arrears. Legal counsel for the PTCL Naeem Bokhari advocate opposed the increase and requested the court to set aside the judgment of single judge.
Meanwhile, the same division bench of the IHC suspended the orders of another single bench that on June 18 last year ordered 20 percent increase in the salaries of all federal government employees on account of ‘special allowance’ in accordance with the employees of secretariat.
The federal government through Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoob challenged the June 18 orders of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui saying that the said allowance would cost Rs50 billion per annum to the national exchequer that the government could not afford.
The DAG said 20 per cent special allowance was approved for those employees of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat who sat late in the office and were frequently asked to work even on their weekly off days.
The federal government is already paying 300 per cent special allowance to the superior judiciary’s employees and 100 per cent to policemen and the staff working at the presidency, the DAG further said.
He argued that the IHC single bench in its order did not exclude the departments where the employees were already getting the said allowance and directed the government to pay additional allowance to the tune of 20 per cent of their basic salary to all employees of federal government and its allied department and ministries.
The DAG prayed to the court to set aside the June 18 decision. The former government of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had approved the special allowance on March 6, 2013 for the employees of Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
The employees of the Federal Government College Teachers Association, Capital Development Authority, Pakistan Council of Science and Technology, the National Archives, the Departments of Communication Security and of Libraries, the National Centre for Rural Development, Pakistan Public Works Department and the Cabinet Division had challenged the increase and prayed that they be also given the same increase.
Acceding to their arguments, Justice Siddiqui directed the federal government to pay 20 percent special allowance to all employees of the federal government.