Pakistan: Ex-AGPR employee loses pension for smuggling hashish

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday turned down the representation filed by a former auditor of Accountant General Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) against the decision of the ombudsman wherein he had held that AGPR did not commit any maladministration by stopping his pension from the date of his conviction.

The pension retired senior auditor was convicted by the court after he was found in possession of 54 kg baked hashish in a vehicle.

The president said that the pension of any government servant could be stopped if he was found guilty of “grave misconduct” or was “convicted of serious crime” as envisaged in Regulation 351 (1) of the Civil Service Regulations (CSR).

As per the details, the retired auditor was implicated in a criminal case on Jan 16, 2011, 16 days after his retirement from government service for keeping 54 kg of baked hashish in a vehicle and was convicted under section 9(c) of the Control of Narcotics Substances Act (CNSA), 1997 on Sept 16, 2011.

He was sentenced to “Rigorous Imprisonment” for life with a fine of Rs100,000 by the court of Special Judge CNS, Quetta.

The pension was paid to him from Jan 1, 2011 up to Sept 15, 2011.

Mr Qambrani filed an appeal for restoration of his pension which was dismissed by AGPR as per CSR-351 rule. Feeling aggrieved, he filed a complaint with the ombudsman, which was also rejected. He, then, filed a representation against the decision with the President.

The President in his decision observed that as per the judgement of the Special Judge CNS, Quetta, the accused was found in conscious possession and control of a huge quantity i.e., 54 kg baked hashish produced and articled in court, besides he had voluntarily admitted that prior to this incident, he had also smuggled narcotics 4-5 times from Noshki to Sindh.

The President referred to CSR-351 which states that “Future good conduct is an implied condition of every grant of a pension. The local government and the government of Pakistan reserve to themselves the right of withholding or withdrawing a pension or any part of it if the pensioner is convicted of a serious crime or grave misconduct. The decision of the President on any question of withholding or withdrawing the whole or any part of a pension under this regulation shall be final and conclusive”.

He also referred to the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision in case 2021 SCMR-1249, wherein it had been held that “for being entitled to pension, a civil servant had to have good conduct throughout his life, which meant that he had to maintain good conduct before entering service, during the period of service, and even after retiring from service”.

The president, therefore, rejected his representation and in the exercise of his powers under Regulation 351(1) of CSR, stopped the pension of the retired officer.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2023

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