New Delhi, January 19
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that no compensation claim filed by the family members of Covid-19 victims could be rejected on technical grounds.
“Claimants should be given a chance to rectify their applications and such claims should be examined by the grievance redressal committee within a week from today,” a Bench led by Justice MR Shah said.
The Bench also directed that children who lost their parents to Covid-19 be also included in the compensation cover given by the states.
Such claims should be examined by the grievance redressal committee within a week. —Justice MR Shah
“We direct states to reach out to those children who have lost both parents… and whose particulars are already uploaded on the Bal Swaraj portal, so that compensation can be paid to them,” it said.
As reported on the Bal Swaraj Portal, around 10,000 children have lost both parents across the country.
Noting that it will be very difficult for such children to file an application for compensation, it directed the states to share full information/particular in that regard.
Earlier in the day, the Bench directed the Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Bihar to appear before it as it pulled up the state governments for failing to disburse compensation to the next of kin of Covid-19 victims.
The two officials appeared before the Bench through video-conferencing at 2 pm. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary assured the Bench that all cases where applicants had not received compensation would be reviewed and that he was ready to face contempt if that was not done. The Bench said, “We trust and hope that the Chief Secretary will stand by what he has assured this court.”
On behalf of the Bihar Chief Secretary, advocate Abhinav Mukherjee submitted that all attempts would be made to reach out to the poor and illiterate so that they could file their applications.
Doubting the Covid-19 death figures in Bihar, the Bench said, “We are not going to believe that only 12,000 persons died in Bihar due to Covid. We want your Chief Secretary to be here virtually at 2 pm.”
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