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50,000 ex-gratia approved

Supreme Court clears Covid aid, lays down norms

The relatives of patients who succumb to Covid in the future will also be entitled to the Rs 50,000 ex gratia, according to the order

Our Legal Correspondent New Delhi Published 05.10.21, 01:54 AM
Supreme Court.

Supreme Court. File picture

The Supreme Court on Monday approved Rs 50,000 as ex gratia for relatives of the Covid dead over and above other compensation that they are entitled to or have already been given by respective state governments or authorities.

The ex gratia should be disbursed by the states and Union Territories from their respective State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), the bench of Justices M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna said in a written order.


The relatives of patients who succumb to Covid in the future will also be entitled to the Rs 50,000 ex gratia, according to the order.

None of the claimants can be denied the ex gratia because of the lack of a death certificate listing the cause of death as Covid-19, provided they are able to furnish other evidence before the competent authorities or the grievance redress committees to be constituted in all district headquarters, the court said.

The court also detailed what will count as “deaths due to Covid-19”.

The bench issued the directives while dealing with a PIL filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal that sought Rs 4 lakh ex gratia to each family that had lost a member to the pandemic.

Nearly 5 lakh people have so far died of Covid-19 in the country.

The following directives were also issued by the Supreme Court bench.

*The ex gratia shall be disbursed by the district disaster management authority/ district administration.

* Full particulars and address of the district disaster management authority/ district administration who is required to disburse the ex gratia shall be widely published/ broadcast in the print and electronic media within one week. Such information shall also be published in the prominent offices of the village/ taluk/ district, such as gram panchayat office, taluk panchayat office, district collector’s office and corporation office.

⚫ The ex gratia shall be disbursed within 30 days of the submission of the application along with proof of death from Covid-19 and with the cause of death certified as “died due to Covid-19”.

⚫ If the cause of death mentioned in the death certificate is not conclusive and if other documents are provided, the next of kin will be entitled to the ex gratia.

⚫ No state shall deny the ex gratia solely on the ground that in the death certificate, the cause of death is not mentioned as Covid.

⚫ In case of any grievance about the certification of death, the aggrieved person can approach a committee at the district level, consisting of the additional district collector, the chief medical officer of health (CMOH), the additional CMOH/principal or head of department, medicine, of a medical college (if one exists in the district) and a subject expert. The committee shall take remedial measures, including the issuance of amended official document, after verifying the facts on production of necessary documents showing that death was caused by Covid-19.

⚫ All the states shall constitute such committees within one week and the address location and full particulars of the committee at the district level shall be published in print media and electronic media having wide circulation, besides relevant offices of the government and its instrumentalities.

⚫ In case the decision of the committee is not in favour of the claimant, a clear reason shall be recorded by the committee, called a grievance redressal committee.

⚫ Ex gratia assistance to the families affected by Covid-19 deaths shall continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in future phases of Covid-19 as well.

Covid death norms

The apex court order said that Covid-19 cases, for the purpose of considering the deaths, are those diagnosed through a positive RT-PCR/ molecular test/ RAT (Rapid Antigen Test) or clinically determined through investigations in a hospital/ in-patient facility by a treating physician.

The deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as a Covid-19 case shall be treated as “deaths due to Covid-19” even if the death takes place outside the hospital/ in-patient facility.

A Covid-19 patient who continues to be admitted to a hospital/ in-patient facility beyond 30 days and dies subsequently shall be considered as having died of Covid-19. So also Covid-19 cases that are unresolved with the patient dying either in the hospital or at home.

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