footer close header add
footer close header add
हिंदी खबर
Representative Image
Representative Image

SC seeks details from Centre on ex gratia payment to COVID-19 victims' kin, raps Gujarat government

ANI | Updated: Nov 22, 2021 22:00 IST

New Delhi [India], November 22 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday sought details from the Central government on Rs 50,000 ex-gratia compensation to families of COVID-19 victims and setting of grievance redressal committee.
A Bench headed by Justice MR Shah asked the Centre to gather information from the states on the progress made by them in the disbursement of the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000.
The Bench also slammed the Gujarat Government for constituting a scrutiny committee for the disbursal of compensation for COVID-19 deaths, in deviation from the court-approved process.
On November 18, the top court had observed that the constitution of the scrutiny committee appeared to be "an attempt to overreach the directions" passed by it in the judgment.
During the hearing on Monday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat Government, told the Bench that the amended resolution has been issued pursuant to the court's direction. However, it needs some tweaking, he added.
To this, Justice Shah asked who passed the first notification in deviation from the court-approved process.
Manoj Aggarwal, the Additional Chief Secretary, who also joined the virtual hearing, told the Bench that resolution was drafted in the department and it goes through several officials and finally competent authority gives the approval.
Justice Shah asked about the competent authority. Aggarwal replied that competent authority is the top-most level and the final authority for signature is the Chief Minister.
To this, Justice Shah said, "Your Chief Minister does not know anything? Mr Secretary, you are there for what? If this is an application of your mind, then you don't know anything. Do you understand our order? This is just a bureaucratic attempt to delay. We never asked you to appoint a scrutiny committee. We cannot accept the amended one also."

The Bench said the compensation should be automatically paid on the presentation of the death and the RT-PCR certificates of the patient but the process continued to be complicated.
The Solicitor-General then sought more time to sit with officials and iron out the issues with them.
"I will sit with the responsible officers and take a call on the same. Let me examine this," Mehta said.
Granting time till Monday, the Bench asked the Gujarat Chief Secretary, who was virtually present, to discuss the issue with Mehta.
In the meanwhile, the government should start disbursing compensation to families of victims whose details are already available on the Cowin website, the Bench said.
Earlier, the apex court approved the Centre's disaster management guidelines on payment of Rs 50,000 ex-gratia compensation to the next kin of those who died of COVID-19 and said the money to be disbursed within 30 days of applying.
It had ordered that no state should deny the ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 to the next kin of persons who died of COVID on the sole ground that the death certificate does not mention COVID as the cause of death.
The Bench had approved the guidelines issued by the National Disaster Management Authority for grant of compensation in COVID-19 death cases.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner, Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking an ex-gratia compensation to those who died due to COVID-19. (ANI)