Last Updated on January 3, 2022 by Galaxy World
The High Court of Sindh at Karachi has issued its decision on 10-11-2021 in connection with Group Insurance to Alive Retired Employees of Sindh province as per the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government. You can read the full detail of the orders of the court that I uploaded below, however, some of the main points of the decision are as under:
Main Points of the Decision regarding Group Insurance to Alive Retired Employees of Sindh
Captioned petitions have been filed by the different retired officers/officials of various departments of the Govt of Sindh and involve identical issues hence the same are being decided by this common judgment. The Petitioner of the leading petition bearing No.c.p D-6344/2019 has prayed that:
(1) To declare that the petitioners are entitled to refund of the amount deducted from their salaries for contribution to Group Insurance with profit at Bank Rate.
Be further pleased to direct the respondents to implement the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan in Civil Petition No.11-P/2017 and Civil Review Petition No.36/2018in letter and spirit.
Be please grant any other relief as may be deemed fit and proper under the circumstances of the petition and not prayed for by the petitioners.
It has been contended through subject petitions that as per rules the premium for the Group insurance is being deduced from the salaries of the Government employees according to their pay scale and they are insured during their service and up to 05 years of their retirement; the
Group insurance is meant for assurance of life and was to be paid to the Civil Servant’s legal heirs in event of his death. Whereas the respondent State Life Insurance Corporation is dealing in the business of the life insurance and as per their own policy the premium whatsoever has to be paid by the assured person, the same is to be returned with full profit when policy becomes mature, and after such payment said respondent is not responsible for any payment in case of an incident.
Moreover, the State Life Insurance Corporation is under a legal obligation to return the amount of the Government employees being obtained on account of the insurance premium for a certain period, however the same has been usurped. Whereas some of the Civil servants of the Province of KPK as well had filed a Writ before the Peshawar High Court on the same controversy which has been allowed, conversely the Civil Petition, as well as subsequent Review Petition filed before the apex court, have been dismissed hence the KPK Government has -refunded the amount of the Group insurance to those civil servants.
Nonetheless, the Province of Balochistan has already promulgated the Balochistan Provincial Employees Group Insurance Act, 2009, whereby all the Government employees serving in the province have to be paid at the time of their retirement the contribution made by them on account of the Group insurance from their salaries. Similarly, the judgment of the apex court has also been implemented by the Province of Punjab, but the Government of Sindh has failed to do so; hence these petitions.
Conversely Respondent-Secretary, Finance Department,
Comments of the Govt of Sindh
Government of Sindh, filed his comments stating therein that the Government of Sindh is providing the Group Insurance facilities to the legal heirs of the Civil Servants who expire during their service or five years after retirement i.e. up to the age of 65 years, as the case may be, in the light of the existing law/ rules i.e “The Sindh Civil Servants Welfare Fund Ordinance 1979 and the Rules 1980“, being risk covers only, and the rationale behind this Group Insurance Policy is to look after the welfare aspects of the Civil Servants and their families, especially once they are no more alive after serving the State for their entire life. In this backdrop, the Government has planned a Group insurance policy in such a way that all the employees from BS-I to BS-22 contribute a very nominal amount per month front—their salaries; and in return a substantial grade-wise compensation package being provided to the legal heirs of the deceased employees.
It is also stated that the sum assured is greater than the contribution made on this behalf by the employees and the same is paid even if the entire contribution is not made during the course of the employment or in case of the early death of such Civil Servants, therefore, no benefits including the maturity are admissible to the Government Servant on attaining the age of superannuation under the existing Group Insurance Policy, but only the facility is provided in case of death during service or 5 years after retirement. Besides, that the Government of Sindh is also providing the compensation/ Financial Assistance package to the family of the Civil Servant who dies while in service, for which, no amount is deducted from the salaries of the Civil Servants respectively. As far as, deductions from the salaries of the pensioners are concerned, the Civil Servant once retired is benefited with various emoluments e.g. monthly pension, commuted value of the pension.
Huge Burgen of Claims
Superannuation Encashment of L.P.R as well as Reimbursement of Medical. So far as the prayers of the petitioners are concerned, this decision has been apparently applicable to the 10K Government and they have added Sub-Section (I)after Section 9 in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Civil Servant Retirement Benefits and Death Compensation Act 2014 (Act No. XXVII of 2014) through KPK Civil Servants Retirement Benefits and Death Compensation (Amendment) Act No. V of 2016. Moreover, a Provincial Welfare Board I & Il meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary Sindh, being chairman of the Boards on 06.10.2021 and the Board has directed to expedite the settlement of the claims by the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. The Board further observed that according to existing rules there is no provision for refund of the amount at the time of the retirement, and also Government still cannot afford the huge burden of refund of the amount on the basis of maturity. Thus, there is no provision in the existing law/ rules for the repayment of the deductions of the Group Insurance to the surviving retired Civil Servant of the Province of Sindh.
Deduction of the specific amount from the salaries of the Civil Servants as a contribution to the welfare fund
Another aspect that came to the surface is that in pursuance of the earlier order, the Secretary of Finance Department submitted a deduction of the specific amount from the salaries of the Civil Servants as a contribution to the welfare fund. Beak up of last three years is that:-
|Total of last three years||4.21 billion|
Pay Scale Wise Payable Amount on Death
And as per the new MoU, the amount scale-wise payable on the death of a civil servant is:-
Final Decision (Conclusion)
In the existence of the above, there is no room for entertaining or re-adjudicating the decided issue. Without prejudice to above, it is pertinent to mention that Welfare Boards are a competent forum to redress the issue of Civil Servants, serving and retired including petitioner(s), hence Boards shall examine all prevailing laws and amendments by other Provinces, thereafter shall be competent to make their recommendations to the Government of Sindh. Hence, we may add that the Government would appreciate emerging of a new situation i.e. the demand for a refund of the deposited amount while keeping in view the amendments, already may by the KPK Government, because the legislation is, undeniably, the domain of the government.
Accordingly, learned A.G.Sindh when confronted with the legal proposition has contended that after going through the referred Judgments and enactment by the KPK Government he will submit his advice to the Government of Sindh with regard to amendment if any. In Consequence of what has been discussed above, the instant petitions are disposed of, however, as a petition (s), regarding the prayer clause (a) and (b), being decided one, are dismissed.
Office: copy of this judgment shall be communicated to Chief Secretary Sindh, Secretary Finance Department, and Secretary Law Department, for compliance.
Special Thanks: Mr. Tufail Lashari Nawabshah Sindh