Is there any Uniform Policy for Issuing Death Certificates to Covid Victims: SC

On Monday, the Apex Court directed the Centre to record any guideline or policy related to death certificates issued to Covid patients, including the guidelines issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The Bench further directed that all the schemes mentioned u/s 12(3) of Disaster Management Act related to the aspect of an ex gratia compensation to families of those who had passed away due to Covid.

A Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan and Hon’ble Justice MR Shah was hearing two petitions seeking ex gratia compensation of Rs four lakh to families of the deceased who succumbed to Covid.

The Court agreed with the petitioner’s submission that compensation could only be given if there is a death certificate. If the death certificate does not mention the cause of death as Covid, it becomes difficult to claim compensation.

In this context, the Court asked the Centre if the death certificate only mentions infection or lung problem, then how will they identify them. The Bench directed the Centre to obtain the information and submit the same via Counter Affidavit within ten days, and rejoinder can be submitted after three days.

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The judges will now take up the case on 11th June.

The petitioners had submitted that Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act states that National Authority should recommend guidelines for a minimum standard of relief that should be given to people affected by disaster, which would include ex gratia compensation.

It was further submitted that the deceased’s family members have the right to know about the cause of the death of their family members. Therefore the government should be directed to issue letters mentioning the cause of death.

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