President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) to apologize to a retired security guard with a disability, who was denied entry into the premises of EOBI when he went there to pursue his pension benefits case. Dr Alvi said that he, as the President of Pakistan, apologized to the citizen and also asked the EOBI to look into their unfriendly and anti-poor practices.
The president gave these remarks while deciding upon a representation filed by EOBI against the decision of the Wafaqi Mohtasib directing the Chairman of EOBI to consider the case of Mr Iftikhar Hussain (the complainant) in the light of relevant rules and regulations.
The complainant is a security guard working with a private security agency and during his service, he met with an accident in 2008, had his leg fractured, and became disabled. He approached the EOBI for pension but was declined payment of pension or grant on the ground that his total insurable employment was less than 15 years and he was only entitled to the old-age grant.
Feeling aggrieved, he approached Wafaqi Mohtasib, which directed EOBI to consider his case. The EOBI then filed a representation with the President against Mohtasib’s decision.
The president in his decision expressed displeasure that the complainant, a simple labourer (security guard), had to spend years looking for justice, which was shameful and reflected poorly on EOBI. “The complainant has also narrated that years were spent as his filed was misplaced and was only found after Sifarish”, he added. He expressed dismay over the fact that when the differently-abled guard went to EOBI’s office to pursue his case, he was not granted audience by the concerned offices, and was only allowed to enter the premises after the intervention of a retired officer. The president concluded that since EOBI’s representative had assured during the hearing of the case that his grievance would be considered in accordance with the law, the order of the Mohtasib was modified to the extent that instead of referring the matter to Chairman EOBI, it may be placed before the Adjudicating Authority of EOBI for disposal of the matter within 30 days.