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‘Solace to Many Families’: SC Lauds Centre’s Stand on Providing Compensation to Kin of COVID Victims

The Supreme Court said the steps taken by the Centre will wipe the tears of many families and there will be some solace to the persons who have suffered.

Published: September 23, 2021 4:52 PM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Manmath Nayak

Madhya Pradesh, University, College, covid guidelines, covid-19, Coronavirus, MP,

New Delhi: After hearing the response from the government, the Supreme Court on Thursday appreciated the Centre for taking steps to provide ex-gratia assistance to the kin of those who died due to COVID-19 saying it has to take judicial notice of the fact that what India has done, no other country has been able to do.

“We are happy that there will be some solace to the persons who have suffered. It will wipe the tears of many families. We must take judicial notice of the fact despite so many problems of population and overpopulation, something has been done. What India has done, no other country has been able to do,” the top court bench said.

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Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “We cannot repair the loss of life but whatever the country could do for the families who have suffered, is being done.”

A bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna, which took on record two affidavits filed by the Centre, said it will pass orders on October 4 with some directions, authorising the grievance redressal committees at district level to call for hospital records of the deceased, in case of any dispute over issuance of death certificate.

The reply from the Supreme Court came when it was hearing a batch of pleas filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal and some intervenors who lost their family members to COVID-19. Represented by advocate Sumeer Sodhi, they were seeking ex-gratia assistance to kin of those who lost their lives to the deadly virus.

The Supreme Court raised some concern as to what will happen if hospitals do not mention the cause of death as COVID-19, despite the person losing his life due to post COVID complications.

Mehta said the next of kin can approach the district level committee, to be constituted under the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) guidelines, for redressal of grievances over the issuance of death certificate.

The bench said, sometimes hospitals behave like a monarch and don’t give medical records to the family members or hand over the dead bodies to them. We have to take care of those people also .

The NDMA has recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the kin of those who died of COVID-19, the Centre had informed the top court on Wednesday.

The government had said that NDMA has issued the guidelines on September 11 in compliance with the directions of the apex court given on June 30 wherein it had directed the authority to recommend guidelines for ex-gratia assistance.

The authority recommends an amount of Rs. 50,000 per deceased person including those involved in relief operations or associated in preparedness activities, subject to cause of death being certified as COVID-19, as per the NDMA guidelines.

(With inputs from PTI)

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