Families of Indian citizens who died of Covid will get ex-gratia: Centre to SC

New Delhi: The Centre said families of the Indian citizens who succumbed to Covid-19 will receive compensation from respective state governments.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court today, the Centre said Rs 50,000 ex gratia will be given to the next of the kin of the person died of Covid. The compensation will be provided from the State Disaster Response Fund, the Centre added.

“Compensation will be given to families of even those deceased who were involved in Covid relief operations or associated in preparedness activities… The cause of death needs to be certified as COVID-19 in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines,” mentioned the affidavit.

In case of possible phases of the pandemic, the compensation will continue to be provided for the deaths.

The top court is scheduled to take up the affidavit for hearing on Thursday.

According to the guidelines, the District Disaster Management Authority would disburse the amount on receiving a form issued by the state authority in this regard along with the death certificate. Also, a committee at district level would also be formed for redressal of grievances, and the panel would record clear reasons if it is not in favour of the claims.

“The DDMA will ensure that the process of claim, verification, sanction and the final disbursement of the ex-gratia payment would be through a robust yet a simple and people-friendly procedure. All claims would be settled within 30 days of submission of required documents, and disbursed through Aadhaar linked direct benefit transfer procedure,” said the guidelines.

It further added that the ex-gratia assistance to families affected by Covid-19 deaths will continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in the future phases of the pandemic as well, or until further notification.

In the compliance affidavit, the Union Home Ministry said both Centre and state governments have provided relief assistance to those affected by Covid. “State governments have also announced welfare measures from the state budgets. So, in effect, some financial and material assistance has already been provided in different to some of the most vulnerable sections,” it added.

Also read: India Reports Record 4,529 COVID Deaths In A Day

The top court, on June 30, had directed the Prime Minister-headed National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to frame appropriate guidelines within a period of six weeks for ex-gratia payment for the kin of those who died of Covid-19. The top court, on August 16, had granted four more weeks for the purpose.

The top court order came on PILs which were filed by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal seeking court’s intervention for payment of Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia amount to the Covid victims’ families.

(With IANS inputs)

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