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NAME OF THE CASE AND CORAM

  • Case Name: Gaurav Kumar Bansal v Union of India
  • Coram: Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Issue of compensation to the family of the deceased person due to COVID dealt with.
  • Payments to be made to Next of the Kin.
  • Payments to be made by the State from the State Disaster Response Funds.

CASE PROCEEDINGS

  • The Guidelines for Ex Gratia Assistance to Next of Kin of the Deceased due tk Covid-19 have led to the formation of a committee at the district level consisting of: Additional District Collector, Chief Medical Officer (CMOH), Additional CMOH/Principal or HOD Medicine of a Medical College (if one existing in district). Specialist in the particular fieldhas also been added.
  • This would give the correct remedies for issues relating to death certification. After verifying facts in accordance with all these criteria, the Committee would issue an amended Official Document for Covid 19 patient's death. The Committee has also been given instructions to keep track of the reasons for any decisions that are not in Claimant's favour.
  • This has been done in response to the Supreme Court's directive to the Centre to take appropriate action on the Finance Commission's recommendations in its XVth Finance Commission Report.
  • The division bench headed by Justice MR Shah and AS Bopanna observed that some folds needed to be smoothed out and requested that the Union consider/reconsider the following issues:
  1. Application of policy by states in accordance with the Centre's instructions.
  2. Timetable for the formation of the Committee for the Redressal of Grievances Concerning Death Certificates
  3. Documents to be presented to the Committee by family members and documents that are provided by the concerned hospitals.
  • The Apex Court had also urged the Union to inform the Court of its compliance with the rules that the National Disaster Management Authority on the issue of calculation of remuneration.

CASE RELEVANCE

  • The Centre informed the Supreme Court that the family members of those who died due to COVID-19 will receive Rs 50,000 ex gratia from the state governments, in accordance with the Supreme Court's position in the judgement dated June 30th, 2021, in which the Court directed the NDMA to frame guidelines for the grant of compensation to the next to kin of those who passed away owing to COVID-19.
  • The Government has also told the Apex Court that the amount per deceased person will include individuals who were involved in humanitarian assistance or preparation activities, provided that the cause of death is confirmed as COVID 19. The rules established by the MoHFW and ICMR on September 3, 2021 will govern the settlement of certification issues.
  • The money will come from the State Disaster Response Fund, which will be paid by the states ("SDRF"). The DDMA/District Administration would also give ex gratia aid to the dead persons' next of kin, according to the document.
  • On September 11, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the guidelines for awarding damages would be in place by the next hearing date of September 23, 2021.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. You may now be able to answer the following questions, let us know in the comments section-

  • Was it correct of the Union Government to decide to not include death by suicide as Covid-19 death even if Covid-19 is an accompanying condition?
  • Is the amount decided by the Government justified?
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