Gujarat Exclusive > Gujarat news > Covid-19 death compensation: SC comes down heavily on Gujarat government for ‘bureaucratic attempt to delay’

Covid-19 death compensation: SC comes down heavily on Gujarat government for ‘bureaucratic attempt to delay’

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  • Genuine persons cannot be made to wait for Covid-19 death compensation just because of apprehensions of false claims, says SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, in no unclear terms, lashed out at the Gujarat government over its delay in disbursement of Covid-19 death compensation. It was critical of formation of a committee to scrutinise claims for ex-gratia compensation to the kin of the deceased.

The constitution of the scrutiny committee seemed to be an “attempt to overreach the directions” passed in an earlier judgment, the bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna had observed in the hearing on November 18.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had said that an RT-PCR test report and the death certificate showing that the death had occurred within 30 days were enough to get an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 to the families of the deceased.

Criticising the decision to form a scrutiny committee, Justice Shah said, “We never asked you to appoint a scrutiny committee. We cannot accept the amended one also. It will take one year for getting the certificate from the scrutiny committee? It says come with the hospital certificate? Which hospital is giving the certificate?”

 

“We never asked you to appoint a scrutiny committee. We cannot accept the amended one also. It will take one year for getting the certificate from the scrutiny committee?”

Justice MR Shah

 

To the question on who passed the notification (regarding the committee), additional chief secretary Manoj Aggarwal told the court that the final approval is given by the chief minister, who is the competent authority.

“Your chief minister does not know anything? Mr Secretary, you are there for what? If this is your application of mind, then you don’t know anything. Do you know English? Do you understand our order? This is just a bureaucratic attempt to delay,” remarked Justice Shah.

At this point, Tushar Mehta said that there were concerns regarding fake claims.

“Just because false claims are made, it does not mean that genuine persons will have to wait,” Justice Nagarathna observed.

Mehta submitted that while death certificates are not forged, false RTPCR reports were possible.

At the end of the hearing, he submitted that the notification was recorded in an “idiotic” manner, adding that a modified resolution (for disbursement of Covid-19 death compensation) would be passed.

Referring to the government data on Covid deaths, the Apex court noted that at least 10,000 persons should have received the compensation, adding that it would be forced to appointed an ombudsman if the compensation was not paid.

It also directed the Gujarat government to disburse the Covid-19 death compensation to the kin of those whose details were available with the government portal.

 

 

 

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