The Supreme Court on Wednesday said no compensation claim filed by family members of Covid-19 victims can be rejected by state governments on technical grounds.
A bench comprising Justice M.R. Shah and Sanjiv Khanna said that claimants, who have applied for Covid compensation, should be given a chance to rectify their applications. It further added that such claims should be examined by the grievance redressal committee within a week from Wednesday.
It also directed the state government to include children, who have lost their parents to Covid-19, on the compensation list, while noting that it will be very difficult for such children to file an application for compensation.
The top court made it clear that whenever an application seeking Covid compensation is rejected, the authorities concerned should communicate the reason for the rejection of the claim to the claimant. The bench told counsel of some state governments that the reason for rejection of the claim should not be technical, and state governments should reach out to the families of Covid victims.
It directed some states to furnish the particulars of rejection to the claimant concerned as well as the grievance redressal committee, within a period of one week.
On the aspect of compensation of children, the bench directed the state governments to reach out to those children who have lost both the parents or the surviving parent and whose particulars are already uploaded on the Bal Swaraj portal, emphasising that it is necessary to pay the compensation to them.
According to the Bal Swaraj Portal, nearly 10,000 children have lost both parents across the country.
The top court was hearing a matter filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, where it is monitoring the disbursal of ex-gratia for Covid-19 deaths. Concluding the hearing, the top court said it will pass a detailed order to state and district legal services by Thursday. The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing in the first week of February.