Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 4
The Supreme Court on Monday issued directions for payment of Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia to the next of kin of those who died due to Covid.
A Bench led by Justice MR Shah said the ex-gratia amount would be over and above any amount already paid by the Centre and state governments under various benevolent schemes.
The ex-gratia amount — to be paid from state disaster relief funds — has to be disbursed within 30 days of submitting application and cause of death being certified as being Covid, it said.
India has so far recorded 4.49 lakh deaths due to Covid which was declared a disaster under the Disaster Management Act.
Full details of the beneficiary had to be published in print media, the top court said.
The ex-gratia assistance would continue to be provided for deaths that continued to occur post the date of judgment, it clarified.
The court said for purposes of compensation Covid case is the one in which victims were diagnosed with Covid RT PCR positive in an outside clinic or in-patient facility. This test has to be within 30 days of the date of death.
Where Covid cases were not resolved and where a person died at home or hospital will also be Covid death, if a family member satisfies the authority of cause of death as Covid, then no state shall deny benefit of Rs 50,000 on the grounds that the cause of death is not Covid in the death certificate, it said.
The district authorities had to take remedial steps to have the cause of death corrected, it added.
Grievance redressal committees can examine medical records of deceased patient and take a call within 30 days and order the compensation. Such committee will have the power to call for records from the hospitals, it said.
It said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Ministry of Health are directed to issue necessary guidelines for implementation of its directions by states.