Bombay High Court directs state to consider 26/11 survivor’s request for a house | Mumbai News – Times of India | IIT EXPERT

Mumbai: Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the state govt to consider with sensitivity the case of the youngest survivor of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks to allot her a house under the ‘economically weaker section’ (EWS) scheme. They directed the housing minister to “apply his mind” and to take an appropriate decision.
“This is one such case which may require consideration.When a genuine case is presented before the department, the same would certainly require more human sensitivity and basic human rights particularly since it is a victim of terrorist attack,’’ said Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla.
Devika Rotawan (25) was nine when she was shot on her leg by terrorist Ajmal Kasab at CSMT on Nov 26, 2008. In 2020, she filed a petition for allotment of a house under the EWS scheme. HC had directed the government to consider her representation.
Since no decision was taken, Devika filed another petition in 2022. It said substantial part of compensation was spent on medical treatment. She and her family have no source of income and live in rented premises. HC again directed the housing department to consider her representation.
Devika’s advocate, Kunickaa Sadanand, said compensation given was meagre in terms of hardship she faced and nothing was left for a house.
State’s advocate, Jyoti Chavan, informed Devika’s request for allotment under EWS scheme could not be considered.
On perusal of the file containing the secretary’s decision, the judges found “basic reasons, which ought to have persuaded the department to make an exception in this case, which is not a normal case, are absent”. “There is no application of mind to the nature of the request,’’ they added.
The judges were miffed that the secretary took a decision “mechanically’’ two years later. “We are quite astonished at the snail’s pace at which the decision is taken, that too in a matter which raises issues of basic human rights and the right to shelter of a victim of terrorist attack,’’ they added. They directed the minister’s decision to be placed before the court after two weeks.

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