President Dr Arif Alvi has asked the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP) to pay the Group Insurance claims to the widows of firemen of the Fire Brigade Department, Metropolitan Corporation, Multan, who had died in service. “It’s saddening that insurance payments to poor widows are not carried out and it is shameful that they had to wait for 8-10 years”, said the President while upholding the decision of the Wafaqi Mohtasib ordering SLICP to pay Group Insurance to the widows of the firemen, take disciplinary action against officials under relevant laws, and report compliance within 30 days.
As per details, the complainants namely Mst Mukhtar Mai, Mst Nooran Mai, Mst Nasim Mai and Mst Azra Bibi had claimed that their husbands were employed as Firemen at the Fire Brigade Department, Metropolitan Corporation, Multan, who died during service. Being widows, they applied to the SLICP (the Agency) for the payment of the Group Insurance death claims but to no avail. Feeling aggrieved, they approached the Wafaqi Mohtasib who passed the orders to grant them the insurance claims. Afterwards, SLICP challenged the decision of the Mohtasib by filing a representation with the President against the decision.
The Agency contended that the complainants were not entitled to the payment of insurance as the employees of the Metropolitan Corporation, Multan were not insured with SLICP and no premium on their behalf had ever been received. The complainants, on the other hand, asserted that the deduction of Group Insurance amount was done regularly on monthly basis from the pay of their deceased husbands as regular employees of the Corporation, and hence, were entitled to the payment of insurance amount. The perusal of the record showed that a Group Insurance Contract was executed between the Governor of Punjab through the Secretary, Local Government and Community Development Department, Government of Punjab and the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. It provided that employees of all Local Governments in Punjab, including the Metropolitan Corporations, were covered under the contract, provided they paid the premium.
After the perusal of the facts, the President rejected the representation of the SLICP and observed that the deceased firemen were regular employees of the Metropolitan Corporation, Multan and had paid monthly premiums according to their basic pay scales during their service. He further noted that the complainants had also provided all the required documents to SLICP, therefore, the position of the insurance company was fallacious, unfounded, unjustified and thus, not acceptable. The President termed the denial of payment to widows as “perverse and unjustified” and an act of maladministration on behalf of SLICP and directed that the agency was bound to pay the Group Insurance claims to the complainants under the contract. “Such an attitude is an ugly spot on their reputation and does not behove the principles to be established in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan according to our Constitution”, said the President and ordered SLICP to pay the insurance money to the widows.