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HC directs Delhi govt to pay Rs 50,000 ex-gratia to kin of COVID-19 victim

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has directed the city government to pay Rs 50,000 ex gratia to the kin of a man who had contracted coronavirus and died due to COVID-19 complications.

The high court refused to accept the state’s submission the cause of the death was a cardiac arrest and the man passed away a month after a positive RT-PCR report and was, therefore, not entitled to a compensation under the Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana (MCPASY).

The court noted the hospital’s death summary that the petitioner’s husband contracted COVID-19 and was admitted and remained at the hospital till his death on June 19, 2021.

“The death summary categorically points out that the man had contracted COVID-19, and suffered aftereffects of COVID-19, never improved and ultimately passed away on June 19, 2021. Just because the ultimate cause of death is shown to be cardiac arrest does not mean that the husband of the petitioner did not pass away due to the complications arising out of COVID-19,” Justice Subramonium Prasad said.

The court was dealing with a woman’s petition seeking direction to the state authorities to release compensation under the MCPASY for her husband’s death due to COVID-19 in 2021.

The high court also referred to a Supreme Court’s 2021 judgment regarding grant of ex gratia assistance to the kin of the persons who passed away due to COVID-19.

In the judgment, the apex court had made clear that irrespective of the cause of death mentioned in the death certificate, if a family member satisfies the requisite eligibility criteria, he or she shall also be entitled to the ex gratia payment of Rs 50,000 on production of requisite documents and no state shall deny on the ground that in the death certificate the cause of death is not mentioned as “Died due to COVID-19”.

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