NEW DELHI – India’s top court has approved a decision made by the federal government to pay 50,000 rupees (US$674) as compensation for every death due to novel coronavirus.
The country’s Supreme Court issued the ruling after lawyers filed a petition seeking compensation under India’s disaster management laws.
As per the affidavit submitted before the court, the funds will be paid to the state government.
India has recorded over 447,000 Covid-related deaths since the pandemic broke out in January 2020.
Some states have already launched financial compensation schemes for families who have lost members to Covid. These include Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi.
“The ex gratia assistance…will continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in the future phases of the COVID-19 pandemic as well, or until further notification,” NDTV quoted the Centre’s affidavit as saying.
Justice MR Shah said on Monday that the “next of kith and kin of the deceased person” shall be paid the compensation amount within a month they apply for it. This would be “over and above the amounts paid by the centre and state under various benevolent schemes”, he said.
In June, petitioners sought the court’s intervention in paying compensation to the families of Covid-19 victims.
The disaster management laws say monetary assistance of 400,000 rupees should be provided to family of people who have lost their lives in a disaster.