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Supreme Court Directs States to Not Reject Claims on Technical Grounds

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Supreme Court directed the state authorities to reach out to the children who have lost their parents

New Delhi. Supreme Court directed the States not to reject applications/claims of the kin/family members of persons who have succumbed to COVID-19 on technical grounds. The Apex Court further noted that wherever applications are rejected the States are duty bound to communicate the reason for the same to the concerned claimant and provide them opportunity for rectifying the application.

On perusal of the chart placed on record by the Union of India, a Bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Sanjiv Khanna observed that several States have rejected a number of claims received. For eg. Gujarat had rejected 4234 claims; Maharashtra 49113; Tamil Nadu 10138, Telangana 1489. The Bench directed the States to furnish the particulars of rejection to the concerned claimant as well as the Grievance Redressal Committee constituted by the Apex Court within a period of one week.

Also, during the course of the hearing, it came to the notice of the Bench that some States have rejected claims. The Bench pulled up the States of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh for non-compliance of its previous orders. While passing directions, it had categorically cautioned the two States from rejecting claims on technical grounds.

The bench was considering the case Gaurav Kumar Bansal versus Union of India, in which it is monitoring the disbursal of ex-gratia for COVID-19 deaths. Earlier, the bench had directed the States to give wide publicity to the application process in print, electronic and social media so that the families of victims are made aware of the compensation scheme.

The Supreme Court has approved the compensation amount of Rs 50,000 for COVID deaths as recommended by the National Disaster Management Authority.

On the request of the applicants, the Bench also directed the state authorities to reach out to the children who have lost their parents to COVID-19 and whose particulars are available on the Bal Swaraj Portal to assist them with their claims.

“It is reported that in the entire country and as per information uploaded on Bal Swaraj portal approx 10,000 children have lost both the parents, therefore it will be very difficult for them to make an application or submit a claim for compensation. We direct concerned states to reach to those children who have lost both their parents/surviving parents and whose particles are already uploaded on Bal Swaraj portal so that compensation can be paid to them. We also direct the concerned state to share the full information/particulars w.r.t the no. of deaths recorded by the concerned states as well as the information uploaded on the Bal Swaraj portal to the concerned Legal Services Authority.”

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