New Delhi [India], January 19 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar for non-payment of ex-gratia compensation to the kin of the victims of COVID-19 despite the earlier orders of the court.
A Bench of Justices MR Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna asked them to remain present before it through a virtual hearing at 2:00 pm today.
It said Cheif Secretaries should show-cause why contempt action should not be taken against them for non-compliance.
The apex court also took into note that in Kerala as against 49,000 COVID-19 deaths, only 27,000 claims have been received. "Every state has received more applications, why not yours?" asked the Bench from the counsel appearing for Kerala.
Kerala's counsel said that for those deaths registered with the state, payment will be made in a week.
The Bench also said that it will pass an order that wherever applications received are less than State registered COVID-19 deaths, in that case, State Legal Services Authority through District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) will share data of all such registered deaths with the Centre and DLSA can act as ombudsman.
The apex court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner, Gaurav Kumar Bansal, seeking an ex-gratia compensation for those family members, who died due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, the top court had 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 is to be disbursed within 30 days of applying. (ANI)