26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack: Bombay High Court Directed Central Government to Furnish Information on the Grant of Gallantry Awards

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On considering the PIL filed by social activist Ketan Tirodkar, Bombay High Court presided by Justice PV Hardas directed the Central Government to file the reply within one month with regard to the grant of gallantry awards and Ashok Chakra to the officers of different security and defense agencies, who fought against terrorists in Mumbai on 26/11.

The PIL was filed for awarding the gallantry awards for the deserving officers of various agencies who risked their life in 26/11 terrorist attacks that shook the entire Nation for hours. According to the petitioner these prestigious awards of nation should be given to the officers who fought against terrorists that saved several lives. The Central Government had earlier rejected several recommendations from State Governments with regard to granting of gallantry awards though no proper reason was stated for refusal.

After the institution of the PIL High court observed that the matter requires consideration from the union Government hence need to be heard in detail. The petitioner pointed out that gallantry was given to the Additional Commissioner of Police, Mr Vishwas Nangre patil by the Central Government, for his role in the terrorist attacks who was not recommended by State Government’s list.

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The Central Government earlier informed that it had refused to extend the Ashok Chakra and Gallantry Awards for the fire brigade officers who fought in the fire fighting operations during the attack. Another rejection from the Central Government was towards police Inspector Mr Steven Mathews Anthony and members of Bomb Disposal Squad for the police medal without any proper reason stated for rejection.

Mr Tirodkar had strongly challenged the refusal of Central Government in awarding the Honors to these officers and as directed by the High Court bench amended the petition including the names of these officers and the copy of the same was handed over to the Central Government. He had also filed rejoinder stating that grievously injured officers during the attacks proposed in the list of State Government was not considered by the centre. In the petition he mentioned the example that a police driver who was injured by three bullets during the attack at Leopold café was also not duly honored.

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 by Dhanya R.