The government has told the Supreme Court that paying Rs 4 lakh in compensation to every people who died as a result of Covid-19 would deplete disaster relief funds.
The compensation could not be granted, according to the centre, since the disaster management legislation that requires compensation only pertains to natural catastrophes.
According to a source in India Today, the statement came in response to a request for “minimal levels of relief” and ex-gratia payment to Covid-19, who died.
The government has told the Supreme Court that paying compensation would deplete disaster relief funds.
According to data from the Union Health Ministry, 3.86 lakh people have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic since it began last year, and the number of deaths is expected to rise.
“If ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh is provided for each individual who dies as a result of Covid-19, the SDRF’s whole budget may be spent on this item alone, and the overall spending could rise much higher, “In a 183-page affidavit submitted late yesterday night, the Centre stated.
The centre further stated that states’ budgets cannot afford to compensate lakhs of Covid victims due to rising health-care costs and limited tax income.
“If all of the SDRF money are spent on ex-gratia for Covid-19 victims, the States may not have enough finances to organise the Covid-19 response, provide different needed medical and other supplies, or respond to other disasters such as cyclones, floods, and other natural disasters.
As a result, the petitioner’s request for ex-gratia payments to all deceased individuals as a result of Covid-19 is beyond the fiscal reach of state governments,” the Centre allegedly stated.
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“If all of the SDRF money are spent on ex-gratia for Covid-19 victims, the States may not have enough finances to organise the Covid-19 response, provide different needed medical and other supplies, or respond to other disasters such as cyclones, floods, and other natural disasters. As a result, the petitioner’s request for ex-gratia payments to all deceased individuals as a result of Covid-19 is beyond the fiscal reach of state governments,” the Centre allegedly stated.
The centre also reminded the supreme court of its prior decision to stay away from executive policy, according to the newspaper, and stated that the judiciary cannot decide on the centre’s behalf. On Monday, the Supreme Court will hear the case.
The administration allegedly stated, “It is well settled through several Supreme Court judgments that this is a subject that should be done by the authorities to whom it has been committed and not one where the court would substitute its own opinion for the choice to be taken by the executive.”
According to a report in Bar and Bench, the petition was filed by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepal Kansal, who referred to Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, which states that the national authority shall recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster, which shall include ex-gratia assistance.
Centre Government will certify Covid-19 (Coronavirus) deaths.
In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, the Centre also stated that all Coronavirus deaths should be listed as Covid-19 deaths, regardless of where they occur.
The Centre also pledged to take action against physicians who do not follow the regulation.
According to the research, only deaths of Covid-19 patients that occurred in hospitals were certified as Covid fatalities up until now. Those that occurred at home or even in hospital parking lots, resulting in a toll difference.
The decision to certify all Covid fatalities comes at a time when several states are reporting large numbers of unexplained deaths, raising concerns about whether governments are undercounting Covid deaths.