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January 18, 2018

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SC grills bankers getting millions and denying pensioners peanuts

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over the absence of Allied Bank Limited (ABL) president despite court notice in a case related to pension of the retired bank officials.

The ABL president was also fined Rs200,000 and ordered to be present today (Thursday) in the court. He was told to submit the fine to Fatmid Foundation and show its receipt to the court. The lawyers of both the parties have completed their arguments and Makhdoom Ali Khan will present his stance being amicus curiae in this case.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandiyal and Justice Ejazul Hazan heard arguments from both the sides. The CJP called on rostrum Seema Kamil and asked her about her salary and whether she knew of the problems of the pensioners. Reluctantly, she replied that her salary is Rs3 million.

Aqeel Nasir, another respondent, told the court that his salary is Rs2 million. The CJP expressed displeasure a nd asked if the bank has any touch of humanity or not. Seema Kamil said the bank has fulfilled its legal obligations, to which the CJP replied that there are some ethical obligations too. “You are getting salaries of Rs 2-Rs 3 million but you are not prepared to pay pensioners Rs1,321 a month,” he said. He told both of them to be present in the court during further hearings into the case. He questioned if this is the behaviour of the whole corporate sector in Pakistan.

The court was astonished to find out that the banks are paying their pensioners even as low as Rs360. It stopped the ABL lawyer from citing Indian court cases saying the Supreme Court has done more for basic human rights in the country.

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