India / Centre moves SC for 4-week extension on COVID-19 ex-gratia guidelines

Zoom News : Jul 21, 2021, 01:49 PM
New Delhi: The Union government on Tuesday, 20 July, sought a four-week extension from the Supreme Court for the framing of guidelines for the payment of ex gratia assistance to the kin of citizens who died of COVID-19.

In its application, the government stated that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is at an advanced stage of the formulation of the guidelines, and would require some more time for readying the proposal, Live Law reported.

The Centre's plea comes weeks after the Supreme Court had directed the NDMA to lay down the recommendation for the minimum standard of relief, including payment of ex gratia assistance, to family members of persons who succumbed to COVID-19.

"We direct NDMA to form guidelines for ex gratia compensation for family members of persons who succumbed to COVID as per minimum standards of relief. The reasonable amount to be provided is left to the wisdom of national authority," the Supreme Court had stated on 30 June.

The court added that if the NDMA is unsuccessful in the task, then it has failed to perform its duties under section 12 of the Disaster Management Act.

The apex court bench led by Justices Ashok Bhushan and MR Shah had on 30 June instructed the NDMA to have the guidelines in place within 6 weeks. The Centre has now sought a further four-week extension to this period.

The petitioners in the case, advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepak Kansal, had sought direction to the Centre to provide ex gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the family members of COVID victims and a request for simplifying the process for issuance of death certificates, Live Law had reported.