Supreme Court fixes timelines for filing claims for ex-gratia payment to families of COVID-19 deceased
In a bid to minimise the risk of fake claims, the Supreme Court has directed random scrutiny of the five per cent of the claim applications made at the first instance.
Updated 12 Apr 2022, 5:08 am
The Supreme Court has fixed timelines for beneficiaries to file claims for payment of ex-gratia assistance to families of COVID-19 deceased as announced by the National Disaster Management Authority.
The SC issued the following key directions vide its order of March 24, 2022 in the Miscellaneous Application No 1805 of 2021 in Writ Petition (C) No 539 of 2021:
An outer time limit of 60 days shall be applicable from March 24, 2022 to file the claims for compensation in case the death occurred due to COVID-19 prior to March 20, 2022.
For any future deaths, 90 days’ time shall be provided from the date of death due to COVID-19 to file the claim for compensation.
The earlier order to process the claims and to make the actual payment of compensation within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of claim shall continue to be enforced.
The court, however, directed that in case of extreme hardship where any claimant could not make an application within the time prescribed, it will be open for the claimant to approach the Grievance Redressal Committee and make the claim through Grievance Redressal Committee which shall be considered by the Grievance Redressal Committee on case-to-case basis. If it is found by the Grievance Redressal Committee that a particular claimant could not make the claim within the stipulated time which was beyond their control his/her case may be considered on merits.
Moreover, the Supreme Court also directed that in a bid to minimise the risk of fake claims, a random scrutiny of the five per cent of the claim applications shall be made at the first instance. If it is found that anybody has made a fake claim, the same shall be considered under Section 52 of the DM Act, 2005 and liable to be punished accordingly.