On Wednesday, The central government informed the supreme court that familes of those who died of COVID will receive compensation of Rs 50,000. Court was told that ex gratia will also be given to kin of Covid-19 victims who were involved in relief operations or associated with “preparedness activities.”
The state will give this amount from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), informed central government. After SC gave instructions, the NDMA made guidelines regarding compensation.
The government said as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICMR, the ex-gratia assistance will be given subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19.
The central government said that the kins of covid victims will be given an ex gratia amount under the Disaster Management Act 2005. Six weeks were given to center by the court to decide the amount of ex gratia but then the deadline was extended many times.
The bench of justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose said after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had sought another extension said, “By the time you will take steps, even the third wave (of Covid pandemic) will be over. Our orders directing correction of death certificates was passed long back. You had agreed to file a response on our directions by today. We will now grant you a last opportunity.”
The government informed the court that the relief fund will be paid for future deaths due to Covid as well. In order to claim the compensation, the cause of death should be certified as Covid-19.
All the claims related to Covid deaths must be made within the span of 30 days of submission of required documents, adding that the amount should be disbursed through the Aadhaar-linked direct benefit transfer procedures, according to the affidavit submitted to the top court by the government.
Due to Covid-19, India had reported more than 4,45,000 deaths, out of which majority of deaths were during second wave of coronavirus.