Probe into Pak woman drawing pension in Rajasthan

Probe into Pak woman drawing pension in Rajasthan

In a one-of-a-kind case, a woman living in Pakistan has been accused of drawing pension from the Rajasthan Forest Department, where she used to work, prompting the Jaisalmer district administration to order a probe.

Officials launched a probe based on a complaint from a local resident named Alam Khan, who claimed that the woman was a Pakistani citizen since 2007.

Senior officials in the district administration said Laado worked with the Forest Department in the border district of Jaisalmer, until she sought voluntary retirement in 2007. She later got married to someone in Pakistan, but has since gone missing.
Officials of the district administration and Forest Department, however, are clueless as to whether Laado was eligible to get pension.

They are now trying to ascertain whether Laado was eligible to get pension, if she informed the department or her bank about her wedding and if anyone was withdrawing pension on behalf of her.

“We have initiated an enquiry into this case. There are various issues that need to be looked at. We will have to see what the rules are in such a case,” said District Collector N L Meena.

Officials believe that Laado began drawing pension in November 2007, before stopping abruptly in 2011. “Why the pension stopped in 2011 is another point we will probe. We will soon ask the state treasury for reasons,” said Meena.

On the contrary, complainant Alam Khan alleged that the pension money was being drawn from an her account in the State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur for the past seven years.

He said that Laado married a man named Hanif Khan from Liyamatpur Tehsil in Pakistan, where she subsequently became a citizen. Interestingly, all pensioners are required to submit a “Life certificate” or “existence certificate” every year.

“The administration will probe whether certificates confirming that she is alive were submitted regularly to the bank disbursing the pension. There is a possibility that there was some mistake on her bank’s part,” Meena said. The probe will be conducted taking into account all aspects of the case, he added.

When contacted, some senior officials in the forest department refused to comment on the case, stating that the issue was related to the pension cell of the state government and treasury, which deals with retired employees.

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