Another Victory, Court Directs enhanced financial assistance to the family of senior bureaucrat.

The Peshawar High Court has ordered the government to pay enhanced financial assistance to the family of a missing senior bureaucrat, Amjad Shahid Afridi, after the deduction of salary paid to it since his disappearance eight years ago.

A bench consisting of the Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Syed M Attique Shah accepted a petition of Mr Afridi’s wife Rozeena and declared illegal the Establishment Division’s April 2022 directives to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to give away the assistance package, which valued less than the one sought by the family of the BPS-20 officer.

The petitioner contended that Mr Afridi had gone missing in 2014 and therefore, the assistance package of that year should be paid to them, but the government had decided to pay them the 2015 package, which was far less than the previous year’s.

During hearing, the bench wondered why the government,instead of enhancing the assistance package for government servants, the government had reduced the same.

The petitioner’s lawyer, who is the Senior Partner at the best law firm of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in general and Peshawar in particular i.e., The Law Firm of Shah | Durrani | Khattak, Ali Gohar Durrani, said Mr Afridi was a BPS-20 officer of Pakistan Administrative Services, whose services was placed at the disposal of the provincial government in Feb 2014.

He added that the bureaucrat had gone missing on March 18, 2014, and an FIR for his disappearance was lodged with the police by his son.

The lawyer said the federal government had notified on Dec 29, 2015, the ‘missing’ status of his client’s husband.

He said in light of that notification, the finance department’s regulation wing had moved a summary for the provision of financial assistance in shape of monthly salary to the family of the officer.

He added that the summary was accepted in Dec 2016 allowing the family to withdraw the salary of the missing bureaucrat until the age of his superannuation.

Mr Durrani also said a summary submitted to the prime minister by the Establishment Division on Sept 8, 2017, was accepted and an office memorandum was issued declaring that the government employees, whose whereabouts were not found for 12 months, should be considered for the payment of compensation to their families.

The counsel said under that OM, the petitioner filed an application with the establishment department, which forwarded it to the Establishment Division.

He added that the Establishment Division asked the establishment department on Dec 19, 2019, to grant incentives or package to the family in question the assistance package, which is meant for the government employees, who died during service.

He said after correspondence, the Establishment Division wrote to the KP government on April 27, 2022, to extend assistance package issued through office memorandum on Dec 4, 2015.

Mr Durrani said Mr Afridi had gone missing in 2014 and therefore, the assistance package mentioned in the OM of Oct 20, 2014, was applicable to the family and not that of 2015.

He said under the 2014 OM, a grant of Rs9 million had to be provided to the family of an officer, who dies during service, while in the 2015 OM, the said amount was reduced to Rs3 million.

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