The Office of Ombudsman Punjab was established in September 1996. Since then the present report is the eighth Annual Report which provides an account of activities of this Office during the year 2004. It is the first annual report being presented by Mr. Abdur Rashid Khan, Ombudsman for the Province of Punjab. As provided in Section 28 of the Punjab Office of the Ombudsman Act 1997 (Act X of 1997) annual report is to be presented to the Governor within 3 months of the conclusion of the calendar year.
On February 11, 2004, Mr. Justice (R) Sajjad Ahmed Sipra former Ombudsman completed his 4 year term. During his term he created people friendly environment and ensured speedy disposal of complaints. He took initiatives for improving working of the Institution and providing it and the Investigating Officers with needed equipment. The Institution owes many of its traditions to the outgoing Ombudsman. He will be long remembered for his elaborate measures for protection of the rights of the people and his unrelenting efforts to redress their grievances.
Mr. Abdur Rashid Khan, a retired civil servant, with experience of Government of the Punjab and the Federal Government was appointed as the fourth Ombudsman for the Province of Punjab and took oath of office on May 17, 2004. Concerted efforts were made to expeditiously attend to the complaints which had accumulated in the intervening period and within a short span of time the arrears were disposed of.
During the year under report a number of initiatives were taken to further improve working and procedures enhancing effectiveness of the Office in expeditiously redressing grievances of the aggrieved people.
Preamble to the Punjab Office of the Ombudsman Act 1997 (Act X of 1997) is, in fact, the mission statement of the Ombudsman for the Province of Punjab which mainly provides for protection of rights of the people, against acts of maladministration by any public sector agency or its functionaries. Section 9 of the Act ibid empowers the Ombudsman
maladministration on the part of any agency or any of its officers or employees on a complaint by an aggrieved person or on a reference made by the Government or the Provincial Assembly or on the motion of Supreme Court or the High Court or on his own motion as the case may be. Matters excluded from his jurisdiction are: -
Subjudice before any court of competent jurisdiction on the date of receipt of the complaint or reference or motion;
Personal grievances of public servants relating to their service in the agency in which they are or have been working.
A large number of serving and retired employees also approached this Office for redressal of their grievances. The cases which clearly fall under subsection (2) of section
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