The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition to frame a national policy for uniform compensation to the kin of those who died due to the coronavirus, PTI reported.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said that every state has a different policy and gives compensation based on their financial power.
The petition, filed by activist Hashik Thayikandy, said that many people have died due to the pandemic and there was no uniformity in compensation. Advocate Deepak Prakash, representing the petitioner, told the court in some cases the Delhi government paid a compensation of Rs 1 crore, while some states gave Rs 1 lakh.
The petitioner sought a direction to the Centre as well as state governments to formulate an appropriate plan to provide monetary compensation to the families of frontline health care workers who died due to the infection. Thayikandy also urged the court to seek report from state governments on the coronavirus-related casualties and the measures taken by the authorities concerned for compensating the kin of the deceased.
The majority of India’s population belong to financially weaker sections and the families mostly depend on one person’s income for sustenance, the petition said. “The said citizens are also the tax payers of our country,” it added. “In such a structure, whereby the death rate is only increasing at an alarming rate per day, it is imperative for the state to formulate appropriate guidelines, on compassionate grounds, for ex-gratia compensation to families of the Covid-19 casualties, especially for frontline workers such as doctors, nurses, paramedical staff etc, solely with the purpose of aiding the families for their basic survival and sustenance during this pandemic.”
The court told the petitioner it would not entertain the plea, after which the counsel sought to withdraw it.
India’s coronavirus tally on Monday rose to 31,06,348 cases after the country reported 61,408 new infections in 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 836 to 57,542.