Will Provide House Under MHADA Or SRA Scheme To 26/11 Youngest Survivor Devika Rotawan: Govt To HC

Will Provide House Under MHADA Or SRA Scheme To 26/11 Youngest Survivor Devika Rotawan: Govt To HC

The decision was taken by the housing minister following high court directions, which asked the minister to look at the case with “sensitivity” considering that it was an “exceptional and genuine case” for allotment of a house

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, March 13, 2024, 04:36 PM IST
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26/11 Mumbai attacks survivor Devika Rotawan | ANI

Mumbai: The State Government informed the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that it will give a house under schemes of MHADA or SRA to Devika Rotawan, youngest survivor and an eye witness to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The decision was taken by the housing minister following high court directions, which asked the minister to look at the case with “sensitivity” considering  that it was an “exceptional and genuine case” for allotment of a house. Earlier, the state housing department secretary had turned down Rotawan’s representation for allotting her a house under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quota. 

On Wednesday, Additional Government Pleader Jyoti Chavan informed a bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla that the housing minister has passed an order to allot Rotawan a house under the MHADA or SRA scheme and the same would be done within six months. “We appreciate the decision taken by the (housing) minister, which according to us has granted real justice to the petitioner considering her suffering which we have noted in earlier order,” the bench observed. 

Govt gets 6 months to complete process

The HC has asked the government to complete the process of allotment and handing over of the tenement to Rotawan within six months. Rotawan, 25, had approached the HC seeking direction to the government to allot residential premises for her family. She has said that because of several morbidities it was not possible for her father and brother to earn a livelihood. Also, she and her family are living in poverty and they would be rendered homeless as they have not been able to pay the rent for their house.

This is the third round of litigation by Rotawan. She had first filed a similar plea in 2020, when the court asked the government to consider her plea and pass appropriate orders. She once again approached the HC in 2022, stating that the government had rejected her representation. At the time, the government said that it had granted a compensation of Rs13.26 lakh to her, on compassionate grounds. The HC, once again, asked the government to consider her representation for allotment of residential premises.

As the same was rejected, Rotawan approached the HC again. “When a genuine case is presented before the dept, the same would certainly require more human sensitivity, and basic human rights, and more particularly being a victim of a terrorist attack,” the court had said last month while asking the housing minister to consider her application.   Rotawan (then 9 years) was at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station along with her father and brother, when two of the ten Pakistani terrorists opened fire. She had suffered a bullet injury on her leg and her father and brother too sustained injuries. She had identified Ajmal Kasab before the special court. 

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