Families of every person who had succumbed due to COVID-19 are entitled to a minimum of ₹50,000: HC

The Madras High Court on Monday said the governments in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are obligated, as per Supreme Court orders, to pay a minimum of ₹50,000 each to the familes of over 36,000 people who had died so far due to COVID-19 in the State as well as the union territory.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu said the minimum amount of ₹50,000 was fixed by the Supreme Court under the Disaster Management Act of 2005 though the individual governments would be free to pay much more than the minimum amount.

The judges granted a week’s time for the governments to disclose the amount of money, over and above ₹50,000, that they would be willing to pay from the State Disaster Relief Fund. The court also wanted a grievance redressal mechanism to be put in place so that the grievances of the claimants could be addressed quickly.

The interim orders were passed on a couple of public interest litigation petitions seeking adequate compensation to the COVID-19 victims. Counsel for one of the petitioners Kabilan Manoharan insisted that the legal heirs or the next of the kith or kin of every person who had died due to COVID-19 must be paid ₹4 lakh each.

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