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SC Decides to Order Probe to Crackdown on Fake Covid Death Compensation Claims  

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: March 22, 2022, 08:07 IST

New Delhi

File photo of the Supreme Court of India.
(Image: News18/File)

File photo of the Supreme Court of India. (Image: News18/File)

The Supreme Court decided to order random checks of Covid death claim applications after the issue was flagged by the Centre following complaints from several states

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to order random scrutiny of Covid death claim applications to identify those who got ex-gratia compensation for Covid deaths using forged documents.

The court decided to order a probe after the issue was flagged by the Centre following complaints from several states.

A bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna reserved its order on Centre’s plea for random checking of documents and said it will pass order on March 23 when it will also decide which agency will carry out the drive.

The bench said that the random scrutiny of 5 per cent of claim applications filed in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Maharashtra — the states where the number of claim applications were far more than the official Covid toll  — will be carried out first.

The bench agreed with the Centre’s plea that an outer-limit may be fixed for submitting Covid death related claims. While the Centre pleaded that a period of four weeks be fixed to apply for compensation, the court said it was too short and agreed with petitioner Gaurav Kumar Bansal’s submission that 90 days be given in case of a fresh death due to Covid to file claim.

Bansal said that the victim’s family be first allowed the time to come out of the grief of loss before applying for compensation.

The data placed before the top court said that over six lakh people have been disbursed the compensation amount of Rs 50,000 each across the country against around eight lakh applications filed, which is far more than the official death toll figured provided by the states and Union territories.

The largest number of applications was rejected by the Maharashtra, whose official Covid toll is 1,42,705 so far, which refused compensation to 68,069 out of 2,41,088 applicants.

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first published:March 22, 2022, 08:04 IST
last updated:March 22, 2022, 08:07 IST