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COVID Death Certificates: SC Sets Govt Sept 11 Deadline To Issue Guidelines

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday set the Central government a September 11 deadline to report compliance on issuance of COVID-19 death certificates and framing a national insurance scheme for disaster-related deaths.

The apex court, in its June 30 order, had issued directions to entitle persons who died of COVID-19 to an ex-gratia payment (to their kin) under the Disaster Management Act 2005. The Centre was initially given six weeks to fix the amount before the court extended the time by four weeks on August 16.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, sought another week to file the government’s response.

However, the bench of justices MR Shah and Aniruddha Bose observed: “By the time you will take steps, even the third wave (of COVID-19 pandemic) will be over. Our orders directing correction of death certificates was passed long back. You had agreed to file a response on our directions by today. We will now grant you a last opportunity.”

The court, which ruled that the affidavit be filed by September 11, posted the matter for hearing on September 13.