SC tells states to clear Covid-19 ex gratia claims in a week
On Friday, the Supreme Court slammed the Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Kerala governments for the appalling disbursal rate of compensation of Rs.50,000 ex-gratia to next of kin of COVID-19 victims.
A bench comprising of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna pulled up the Kerala, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan governments over delays in compensating the families of those who died because of Covid.
Justice M R Shah and Justice B V Nagarathna slammed the “sorry state of affairs” in Kerala, and said: “As a welfare state it is their duty to pay compensation to people who have already suffered.”
The Supreme Court also issued notice to the Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Delhi governments, seeking additional data on Covid compensation
In October the court had approved the payment of Rs.50,000 to the families of those who died due to Covid; this was to be paid over amounts paid by the Centre and state under various schemes.
The apex court pulled up the Maharashtra government saying that the state recorded over 1.41 lakh COVID-19 deaths, but the government has only approved compensation for approximately 4,000 deaths.
The court asked the state government to address the compensation issues over the low rate of Covid compensation and directed the Maha Vikas Aghadi administration to complete the compensation payment within one week.
The Kerala government has also been directed to pay the remaining claimants within a week.
The SC slammed the Rajasthan government over its failure to provide inadequate information on the number of persons to whom compensation paid so far.
Justice Shah asked, “Who will believe that in the whole of Rajasthan only 8,955 died? You cannot even tell us how many applications you received. It means you are trying to suppress something.”
Earlier this month an irate top court lashed out at several state governments, including Bengal, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, and urged them to ensure wider publicity for compensation offers.
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