What is the news?
Supreme Court (SC) in the recent judgement gave detail for the payment of ex gratia financial assistance to the families of those who died of COVID-19. The court held that no State shall deny the benefit solely on the ground that a person’s death certificate did not specify the cause of death as due to the novel coronavirus disease.
|Read more: Covid deaths: Centre okays ex-gratia, state funds to cover it|
What is the issue?
Recently, the Centre on the suggestions of the SC has agreed to provide financial relief of ₹50,000 per deceased individual to families of those who died of COVID-19. According to the guidelines, Only a certified COVID-19 death should be eligible for compensation. This will limit the beneficiary to avail the compensation if the death certificate did not specify the cause of death.
|Read more: Ex Gratia: Why GOI should pay, Compensating Death|
What is the SC ruling regarding the Ex Gratia?
SC said that no State shall deny the benefit solely on the ground that a person’s death certificate did not specify the cause of death. It further held that if other documents are provided, the family shall be entitled to the ex gratia payment.
Court has also included those people who took their own lives under the shadow of the pandemic in the ambit of the scheme.
The court made clear that deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined a COVID-19 case shall be treated as eligible for the aid, “even if the death takes place outside the hospital/in-patient facility”.
The court has also created Grievance Redressal Committees at the district level. The committee has the power to call for records or information from the hospitals where the deceased were admitted. They can also issue amended official documents to certify COVID-19 deaths, as well.
This will help the affected benefits to claim the compensation easily without any technical hassle.
Source: This post is based on the article “Detail in relief: On SC order on financial assistance to kin of COVID-19 families” published in The Hindu on 6th October 2021.