Millennium Post

HC asks DDA to review BSF war widow’s plea

The Delhi high court has said that  the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) should not lose sight of the fact that the officers and jawans of para-military forces such as Border Security Force are constantly engaged in an important duty in the security of the nation, at tremendous risk to their lives and, therefore, attempts should be made to give an interpretation which is compassionate, benevolent and large hearted and does not discourage people engaged in rendering such valuable services to the nation.

The court was hearing the plea of a widow who had lost her husband, a BSF personnel, in a militant attack in Jammu & Kashmir. She, under DDA Housing Scheme, 2010, which had certain reservation for war widows, had applied for a flat under war widow category. She was allotted a flat but was not given possession. She was asked to submit a certificate of being a war widow. Later she was told that since her case did not fall in the defence category, the allotment would be cancelled.

She sought information from various authorities about the definition of ‘war widow’. BSF informed DDA that her husband had sacrificed his life in a militant attack while deployed in Kashmir Valley and strongly recommended her case as her husband had sacrificed his life for the nation. However, she was not given the possession of the flat and she approached the high court.

Justice V K Jain has now directed DDA to consider the writ petition as a representation from the widow in the light of the observations made by it and take an appropriate decision in the matter.
The court also observed that DDA did not define the expression 'war widow' in its scheme and that the term has not been defined in other statutory rule and regulation.
'Primarily, it was for DDA which came out with the aforesaid scheme to decide it as to who would be considered to be war widows for the purpose of allotment under the said Scheme. That however was not done. The exercise will therefore have to be undertaken now; instead of shifting the onus to the government or some other authority', said the court.

The widow's counsel told the court that the militants being enemies to the nation, if a person serving a para military force such as BSF is killed while engaged in fight with militants, his widow should certainly be considered to be a ‘war widow’ since the fight with the militants is nothing, but a proxy war initiated by another nation, in which our Army and para-military forces are engaged in Jammu & Kashmir.

The counsel argued that it is not only the open war at the border, but also a proxy war being fought within our territory with the enemy country through the militants sent by the said country, which should qualify to be a war for the purpose of identifying the war widows.
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