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SC to Centre : Frame guidelines on COVID ex-gratia

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Centre to develop rules for granting ex-gratia compensation to relatives of individuals who died as of COVID-19. In its ruling, a three-judge panel led by Justice Ashok Bhushan ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to determine within six weeks if the ex-gratia money can be paid to the victims’ families.

The Supreme Court also stated in its decision that the NDMA is required by law to provide the bare minimum of remedies, including an ex-gratia payment to Covid victim’s families.

If it (NDMA) fails to provide ex-gratia amount of compensation, then it has failed in discharging its statutory duty, the Apex Court said in its judgement.

The top court passed the judgement after hearing petitions filed by two lawyers – Gaurav Bansal and Reepak Kansal.

The lawyer duo had moved the apex court seeking direction to the authorities concerned to provide ex-gratia monetary compensation of Rs 4 lakhs (notified in the financial aid) to the family members of the deceased, succumbed to COVID-19, as per a letter from the Union Home Ministry in view of Section 12 of The Disaster Management Act, 2005.


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