Naseem Ahmed Vohra EVP Dev (R) PTCL letter to Secretary IT & Telecom on PTET Pension Rules 2012
Dated at Islamabad: 8th June 2012
Sub: Legitimacy of PTET (Pension) Rules
1. Your kind attention is drawn to statutory protection provided to terms and conditions of service and pensionary benefits of Telecommunication Employees under Section 36 of Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act 1996 (Act of 1996); under the statutory protections pensionary benefits of a telecommunication employees cannot be altered to his disadvantage except in accordance with the laws of Pakistan or with the consent of telecommunication employee and award of appropriate compensation.
2. Further employees of the Corporation were transferred to the Company under the operation of law without compensation/consent; however Federal Government was mandated by the said Act to guarantee terms and conditions of service and rights including pensionary benefits enjoyed by the employees at the time of such transfer. Federal Government for the purpose of Act of 1996 is Ministry of IT and Telecom as defined under Section 2 (fa).
3. Ministry of IT & Telecom has recently notified Pakistan Telecommunication Employees Trust Fund (Pension) Rules 2012 issued on 22nd May 2012 vide gazette notification SRO 525(I)/2012.
4. It is claimed in the notification that the rules are made by PTET Board of Directors in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (9) of section 44 of Pakistan Telecommunication (Reorganization) Act 1996 PTET Board of Trustees and notified with the approval of Federal Government.
It is very disconcerting for me, a telecommunication employee, to note that the Ministry being Guarantor of my rights under the Act of 1996, has preferred to collude with the Company in approving/circulating illegal rules and tried to deprive me of my legitimate rights through following violations of various laws of Pakistan:
a. Section 11 of Trusts Act 1882 binds the Trustees to fulfill the purpose of the Trust and to obey the directions of the Author of the Trust given at the time of its creation, except as modified by the consent of all the beneficiaries. It is evident that Board of Trustees is not authorized to frame rules affecting the rights of beneficiaries. Only Author of the Trust (GOP & PTCL in this case) is competent to frame such rules and that also with the consent of all the beneficiaries i.e. 39000 pensioners.
b. It is settled law that Subordinate Legislation cannot modify/amend Principle Legislation. New rules have clearly modified the definition of “Telecommunication Employees” thus tried to override the definition provided by the very Act which confers rule making power on PTET. PTET has exceeded its jurisdiction by framing pension rules which is the jurisdiction of the Author of the Trust. The Rules are void ab initio.
c. Elimination/modification in following benefits from the eligible salary/pension under the illegal rules notified by Ministry of IT & Telecom has clearly altered my Terms and conditions of service and rights, including pensionary benefits to my disadvantage in direct violation of Sovereign Guarantee and Section 36 of the Act of 1996.
i. Pension Rules 2012
ii. Elimination of Dearness Allowance from Eligible Salary
iii Elimination of Rule 15 in existing Pension Rules dealing with applicability of Pension Increases notified by GOP (for its civil pensioners) to telecommunication employees.
iii. Elimination of addition to Pay specifically declared by President of Pakistan
iv. Rate of Family Pension has increased from 50% to 75% with effect from 1st July 2010 vide GOP No. F. 2(3)-Reg.6/2010 dated 5th July 2010. PTET (Pension) Rules 2012 reduced eligibility of my Family Pension from 75% to 50%.
d. All the SROs issued by the Federal Government under any of the powers conferred /vested under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re Organization) Ordinance, 1995 (CXV of 1995), have been specifically saved under Section 59 of the Act of 1996. All such orders continue to be in force unless amended, varied, withdrawn, rescinded or annulled by a person or authority competent to do so under this Act.
e. In the process PTET/Ministry of IT and Telecom has conceded that despite admissibility of Pension Increases announced on 5th July 2010 and 4th July 2011 to Telecommunication Employees (TE) as notified by Federal Government, PTET illegally divided TEs in two categories and notified arbitrary pension increases.
It is requested that illegal Pension rules notified under SRO 525(I)/2012 dated 22nd May 2012 may please be withdrawn immediately and Pension Increase notified by GOP under various notifications issued of 5th July 2010 & 4th July 2011 implemented under the Pension Rules included in the Trust Deed dated 2nd April 1994, PTET and the Ministry has itself conceded through supersession clause included in illegal Pension Rules 2012.
Naseem Ahmed Vohra EVP Dev (R) PTCL
Farooq Ahmed Awan Secretary IT & Telecom Government of Pakistan Islamabad