SC directs states to pay compensation to Covid-19 victims’ families

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed state governments and Union Territories to ensure family members of Covid-19 victims receive compensation without any delay, and the grievance redressal committee to decide on claims application within four weeks.

A bench of Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna said if any claimant has a grievance in connection with compensation, or with the rejection of the claim, then they should move the grievance redressal committee concerned.

The bench said it is closing the proceedings while directing all state governments to see that the compensation, as per the court’s previous order, should be paid to eligible persons without wasting any time. “If any claimant has any grievance, they may approach the concerned grievance redressal committee,” it said.

The top court made these observations while hearing a plea filed by petitioner-in-person advocate Gaurav Bansal, who contended that few claimants in Andhra Pradesh have not received compensation. Counsel representing the Andhra Pradesh government, however, informed the top court that as on the date of hearing, the compensation has been disbursed to them.

The top court also directed the grievance redressal committee to decide the application of the claimant within four weeks.

The Supreme Court had directed that Rs 50,000 compensation should be given to the family of persons who succumbed to Covid, and this amount should be disbursed from the State Disaster Response Fund.

The top court, in connection with allegations connected with transfer of funds by the AP government from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to personal deposit accounts, directed that the funds be transferred to the SDRF account within two days.

Bansal, who was appearing for petitioner Palla Srinivasa Rao, had contended before the top court that AP government had diverted funds from the SDRF to personal deposit accounts which is not allowed under the Disaster Management Act.


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