Courts Can’t Issue Mandamus Directing Compensation For All Covid Victims: Madras HC

While hearing two different petitions seeking compensation to family members of persons who died due to Covid-19, including lawyers, the Hon’ble Madras High Court observed that it could not issue a mandamus directing all Covid victims to be compensated, irrespective of their financial standing.

On the issue of compensation for the family of Advocates who passed due to Covid, the Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Hon’ble Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy stated that it is for the State to decide if a particular group of people should get compensation and that too till what extent. It is not for the Court to pick and choose advocates to get compensation because most functionaries in the current profession were Advocates.

Other prayers in the petitions:-

  • Kith and kins of Covid victims should get relief and adequate compensation.
  • Children who lost both or one parent to Covid should get welfare benefits and compensation.
  • The State should pay funeral expenses for people who passed away due to Covid if their family members can’t afford the same.

According to the Court, it has become a habit of people to invoke the Court’s jurisdiction under Article 226 by PILs seeking self-publicity or extraordinary order even though it’s for the State to decide if relief should be given to what extent.

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Lastly, the Bench observed that State and Centre governments have many schemes to give relief to certain classes of people, whether through financial assistance or by way of food, and such decisions should be left to the executive and Court’s should not interfere.

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