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Plea in SC Seeks Ex-gratia Compensation to Kin of Those Succumbing to Covid-19 Side Effects

Supreme Court of India

Supreme Court of India

Without any financial assistance by the respondents in their respective state, the right to live with dignity of victim/family members of deceased, are violated which may kindly be protected, the plea said.

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre and states to provide ex-gratia compensation of Rs four lakh to the family members of those who have succumbed to the side effects or post Covid-19 diseases, including mucormycosis. The petition has referred to section 12 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, which said that national authority shall recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster, which shall include ex-gratia assistance on account of loss of life.

The plea, filed by advocate Reepak Kansal, said it is the obligation of the state to provide adequate relief to the victims of side effects of Covid-19. Without any financial assistance by the respondents in their respective state, the right to live with dignity of victim/family members of deceased, are violated which may kindly be protected, the plea said.

In his plea, Kansal said that the apex court has already issued notice on his separate petition seeking directions for ex-gratia compensation of Rs four lakh to the families of those who have died of Covid-19. The petition said that majority of patients with mucormycosis or black, yellow and white fungus, are those who have recovered from Covid-19.

It said there is a constitutional and legal obligation on the state and its different organs to take care of the victims of calamity and their family members. On June 11, the Centre had told the apex court that issues raised in two separate pleas, seeking directions for ex-gratia compensation of Rs four lakh to the families of those who have died of Covid-19, are genuine and are under consideration of the government.

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The top court had on May 24 sought the Centre's reply on these two pleas and had said that there should be a uniform policy for issuing death certificates to those succumbing to the virus. The court had also asked the Centre to place before it the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines on death certificates for Covid-19 victims, saying there should be uniform policy for issuing such documents.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, one of the two petitioners on the issue, had earlier argued in the apex court that under section 12(iii) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, every family whose member died due to disaster is entitled for ex-gratia compensation of Rs four lakh.

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