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SC To States: Can’t Deny Compensation If Death Certificate Doesn’t Mention COVID As Cause

New Delhi: The Supreme Court cautioned state governments on Monday that they cannot deny ex-gratia compensation of Rs 50,000 to the families of those who succumbed to COVID-19 on grounds that the death certificate does not mention it as cause.

The government, after being prodded by the apex court to issue guidelines on compensation, had recommended Rs 50,000 as the sum to be paid from state disaster relief funds as suggested by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

“No states shall deny ex-gratia on ground that in the death certificate cause of death is not mentioned that ‘died due to Covid’,” Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna said on Monday.

While approving NDMA guidelines, the two-judge bench ordered the states and Central government to publicise the compensation scheme widely in print and electronic media.

Also Read: COVID Death Compensation: How To Claim Rs 50K And How Long Will It Take?

The court also said that the compensation should be made available to the next of kin of the deceased within 30 days of an application being submitted.

In cases where family members are aggrieved with the death certificates issued, they can approach appropriate authority, the court ruled, adding that the authorities can modify death certificates on production of essential documents, like RT-PCR test. Also, if families still have grievances, they can approach the Grievance Redressal Committee.