Furnish details on compensation to Covid victims: SC tells Centre

Furnish details on compensation to Covid victims: SC tells Centre
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New Delhi, June 21: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to provide details on compensation provided to people who have succumbed to Covid-19 by each state and what fund was being utilised.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted before a bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.R. Shah that it is not the case that government doesn’t have funds to pay ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to kin of Covid victims, but the focus on expenditure is wholistic, which includes using the funds for rehabilitation, mitigation, preparedness. Justice Shah responded, “So you say you don’t have the money for ex-gratia but for other measures. It will have a wide ramification if government says it has no funds.”

The bench sought clarification from the Centre on this aspect.

The bench asked Mehta to give details of compensation amount paid by each state government to the families of those who succumbed to Covid-19, and from which fund the payment would be made.

The Centre had informed the top court that most states are paying from funds other than State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).

A counsel appearing for an intervenor in the matter submitted that there is no uniform scheme on compensation to Covid victims.

He argued that in Delhi, Rs 50,000 is being paid while in Bihar,Rs 4 lakh is paid for Covid deaths. Insisting on a uniform compensation policy, he said, “Why this disparity? Why should the Centre allow this? How could people in the same situation be treated unequally?”

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