Centre told to file reply on PIL seeking gallantry awards for 26/11 officers

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today asked the Union government to file an affidavit in reply to a PIL demanding Ashok Chakra as well as other gallantry awards for the officers, belonging to various agencies, who had fought terrorists during the 26/11 terror attacks in the city.

A bench headed by Justice P V Hardas gave two weeks to Centre to file the affidavit.

The PIL was filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar.

CBI counsel informed the high court that Union government had rejected a proposal sent by the Maharashtra government to confer Ashok Chakra and gallantry awards to fire brigade personnel who had risked their lives in fire-fighting operations during the attack.

Deferring the matter to July 2, the high court asked the government to declare its stand on the issue in an affidavit.

The high court had earlier allowed the petitioner to include the Union government as a respondent.

Maharashtra government had informed the high court on December 9, 2013 that a proposal sent by it to the Centre for presenting gallantry awards to police officials and members of bomb disposal squads for fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks was rejected.

The state government had recommended the name of police inspector Steven Mathews Anthony, besides 18 others of the Bomb Disposal Squad, for the police medal for gallantry. However, the Centre did not consider the names.

This was revealed in a letter written by G C Yadav, Under Secretary to Union Home Ministry, addressing the state Home ministry on November 12, 2013.

The letter, however, did not assign reason why the names of police and bomb disposal squad officers recommended by the state were not considered.

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