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‘No country managed to do what India did’: SC on Rs 50,000 compensation to COVID victim families

New Delhi: No other nation could match India’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court stated on Thursday, praising the government as it deferred its decision on a petition regarding the planned 50,000 compensation for COVID-19 fatalities.

‘Today we are very happy. There will be some solace to the persons who have suffered. Everything the government is performing. We’re happy that something is being done to wipe out tears of the person who suffered,’ Justice MR Shah said.

Justices Shah and AS Bopanna also praised India’s reaction to the pandemic, which gained widespread attention owing to a lack of readiness for the second wave and shortages of critical supplies such as medical oxygen. ‘Given the size of our population, vaccine expenses, economic situation and the adverse circumstances that we faced, we took exemplary steps. No other country managed to do what India did,’ the judges added.

On Wednesday, the centre notified the Supreme Court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had suggested that 50,000 be provided to the families of those who died of COVID-19. It further said that compensation will be paid to the families of people who died as a result of the virus and were involved in COVID-19 relief efforts or actions related to dealing with the pandemic.

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According to the government, the NDMA issued the guidelines on September 11 in response to a June 30 order from the Supreme Court, which required the authority to suggest criteria for financial assistance. As per authorities, the support will not be restricted to families impacted by COVID-19 fatalities in the first and second waves of the pandemic, but will also continue in future phases of the pandemic.

State Disaster Response Funds (SDRF) will provide compensation and all claims will be settled within 30 days of submitting the required documents, with payments made through Aadhaar-linked Direct Benefit Transfer procedures, it stated.

The statement came in response to a series of petitions filed by lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal and intervenors represented by advocate Sumeer Sodhi demanding compensation to family members of COVID-19 victims.


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