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Delhi HC asks authorities to decide on representation seeking aid for families of Indians who died abroad due to Covid-19

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2021 12:35 IST

New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked authorities concerned to decide the representation seeking to extend the ex-gratia assistance to the family members of Indian citizens who died abroad due to Covid-19, as per law.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh's direction came while hearing the plea filed by Pravasi legal Cell, a trust, through Advocate M.P. Srivignesh.
The Pravasi legal Cell has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Indian Missions abroad to collect and maintain proper data of those Indian citizens who died abroad due to Covid-19 and also to include the children who have lost both parents or surviving parent or legal guardian/adoptive parents due to Covid-19 abroad but who are Indian Citizens under the 'PM-CARES for Children scheme'.

The Petitioner had also made a representation on July 5, 2021, to the respondents seeking the relief prayed in the petition but till now no action has been taken on the said representation, the petition stated.
The Supreme Court in its Judgement in the several PILs while holding that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has a statutory obligation to frame guidelines for recommending minimum ex-gratia assistance to Covid victims, gave the NDMA six weeks to frame the guidelines for fixing the ex gratia meant for these families, the plea said.
The petitioner has made the NDMA, Union Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National respondents in the matter.
The plea submitted that the Indian migrants are the worst affected groups due to the pandemic as most of them have either lost their jobs or their salary has been reduced. The fundamental rights that are guaranteed to all citizens are not extinguished when the person travels or lives abroad, the plea stated.
It further stated that the expats who go to other countries for work purposes are also Indian citizens and they are also guaranteed fundamental rights under the Constitution of India. So not extending the above schemes to the citizens who died abroad would clearly amount to creating two classes of people and treating equals unequally which is prohibited by the Constitution. (ANI)