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‘What India has done, no other country has been able to do’: SC lauds Modi govt’s handling of COVID, decision to pay ex-gratia to kin of victims

“What India has done, no other country has been able to do. We are happy that something has been done to wipe the tears of many families," the Supreme Court noted.

The Supreme Court on Thursday appreciated the Narendra Modi government for taking steps to provide Rs 50,000 ex-gratia assistance to the nearest kin of those who lost their life due to COVID-19. The bench of Justices A S Bopanna and Justice M R Shah which is hearing petitions related to ex-gratia assistance to the family Covid-19 victims further applauded the Modi government for steps taken to tackle the pandemic.

The court took note of the fact that what India could do and have done for its citizen no other country has been able to do. The court further expressed happiness since the step will bring some solace to the persons who have suffered and it will also wipe the tears of many families. The court took note of the fact that despite so many problems of population and overpopulation, the government managed to tackle the pandemic in the manner that it did.

“What India has done, no other country has been able to do. We are happy that something has been done to wipe the tears of many families,” the Supreme Court noted.

The Supreme Court’s appreciation has once again exposed lies of the Lutyens media and Toolkits of the opposition aimed to defame the government and the country.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the Centre said that the loss of life can’t be repaired and compensated but even after the nation has done whatever it could do for the families who have suffered.

The Centre had informed the court that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended Rs. 50,000 per deceased person who died due to COVID-19. It also includes such persons who were part of the relief operations, associated with related activities and they died due to COVID-19. The Centre assured the court that the assistance is not limited to the first and second wave of the pandemic. It will continue in future phases of the pandemic.

The bench took on record two affidavits filed by the Centre and said that it will hold the next hearing on October 4 when the orders will be passed with suitable directions including empowering the grievance redressal committees at the district level to call for medical records of the deceased from the hospital, in case of any dispute over the issuance of a death certificate.

Notably, lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal besides others who lost their family members due to COVID-19 had filed petitions to demand ex-gratia assistance.

During the course of the hearing, there were some concerns that were addressed and resolved like what if the hospitals do not mention Covid-19 as the cause of death even if a person lost his life due to post COVID-19 complications.

On this Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta said that in such a situation kin of the deceased can approach the committee formed at the district level which will be constituted under guidelines of NDMA. The district-level committee will also look into the cases of issuance of death certificates.

The bench pointed out that some hospitals behave like a monarch. It refuses to hand over medical reports to the family members and sometimes even refuses to hand over the dead bodies.

The Solicitor General said that in such cases family members can approach the committee which can call for the hospital records.

Explaining modalities Solicitor General Mehta said the next of kin of the deceased may produce some evidence like an RT-PCR test report before committees to show that the patient concerned was affected by COVID-19 before his death. This can help to settle cases where the hospital does not mention COVID 19 as the cause of death.

On September 11 the NDMA had issued a detailed guideline on the directive given by the Supreme Court on June 30

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