Can't pay 4 lakh compensation for Covid victims: Centre to Supreme Court

Ex-gratia payment may have consequences to affect the pandemic and health expenditure, says Centre's affidavit

The Centre filed a 183 page affidavit to the Supreme Court on Saturday in response to the petitions seeking compensation of rupees 4 lakh to the family members of those who died of Covid-19 disease.

The Centre said that deaths are likely to increase and they are already under severe financial strain and cannot afford to pay lakh for everyone who died of Covid-19.

The Centre explains to the Supreme Court the affidavit that due to increased health expenses and low tax revenue, the Union and all the State governments have spent huge amounts for the needy to deal with the pandemic and their finances are overstretched.

Over 4 lakh people have died in India since the pandemic have started. The Centre stated,"Utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good."

The Centre further stated,"It is well settled through numerous judgements of the Supreme Court that this is a matter which should be performed by the authority, to whom it has been entrusted and not one where the court will substitute its own judgement for the decision to be taken by the executive."

The petitions were filed by advocates Gaurav Kumar Bansal and Reepal Kansal with reference to Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, according to which, the national authority shall recommend guidelines for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by disaster.

India Scanner News Network

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