The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Friday granted the state government time till November 11 to comply with the court’s earlier order of October 22 wherein it had directed it to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh by Friday to the widow of a fisherman whom terrorists are presumed to have killed after hijacking the trawler “Kuber” used for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
The court of Justice Bhargav Karia on Tuesday said that the compensation be sanctioned within 48 hours of the order.
The court had further specified that if there is no contingency fund, the compensation may then be paid from the Chief Minister’s fund. However, on Friday, the state government prayed for time to comply with the court’s order so as to verify that the petitioner’s late husband was indeed part of the Kuber trawler.
The state government also submitted that once verification is done, the amount payable to the widow shall be released immediately.
Justice Karia’s grant of time also came on the back of the fact that the state government had filed an appeal before the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath, seeking “reasonable time” to make the payment. The division bench had directed them to put forth the same request before Justice Karia’s court.
Jashiben’s husband Ramesh-bhai Bambhania, a fisherman and sailor, was aboard the Kuber when it was hijacked mid-sea by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist Ajmal Kasab and nine other accomplices to access the Mumbai coast on November 26, 2008.
When police searched the abandoned boat, they found Captain Amarsinh Solanki’s decapitated head whereas four other sailors on board, including Bambhania, were not found.
Jashiben, who hails from north Gujarat, filed a petition before the Gujarat High Court in 2016, seeking compensation as seven years had passed since her husband had gone missing, whereby he should be presumed dead according to the law.