Covid death certificates: Ex-gratia: SC expresses concern over fake Covid death certificates being issued by doctors

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed concern over fake COVID death certificates being issued by doctors for ex-gratia and said it may order a probe into the issue. A bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna also observed that there should be some time limit for the claims seeking compensation.

“The matter of concern is that the fake certificate given by the doctors… it is a very serious matter,” the bench said.

The top court said there should be some time limit, otherwise the process would go on endlessly.

“Please suggest how we can curb the issue of fake certificates being issued by doctors. It may snatch away the real opportunity of someone,” the bench said.

Initially, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that there should be an external time limit for submission of claims.

Mehta said, “I would urge you to lay some outside line to the deaths already before your supremacy… This process cannot be endless.”

The Solicitor General submitted that the apex court had ordered that the RT-PCR certificate was not necessary for compensation and could be allowed on the basis of the doctor’s certificate.

“This exemption is being misused”, he said.

The bench sought suggestions on the issue and posted the matter for hearing on March 14.

The apex court had earlier directed all the state governments and union territories to appoint a dedicated nodal officer to coordinate with the member secretary of the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) so that the families of the COVID-19 victims To facilitate the payment of ex-gratia compensation to its members.

It had also directed the state governments to give complete details like name, address and death certificate, as well as complete details related to orphans, to the concerned SLSA within a week from today (Friday), failing which the matter would be taken very seriously. will be taken.

The apex court had reiterated that the applications seeking compensation should not be rejected on technical grounds and if any technical snag is found, the concerned states should be given an opportunity to rectify the defects as the ultimate goal of the welfare state is some To provide consolation and compensation. to the victims.

The top court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Gaurav Bansal and the interventionists, represented by advocate Sumir Sodhi, seeking ex-gratia assistance to the family members of the COVID-19 victims.

The top court, which was aggrieved over non-disbursement of Rs 50,000 ex-gratia amount to the kin/family members of those who lost their lives due to COVID-19, had pulled up the state governments.

It had said on October 4, 2021 that no state shall deny ex-gratia of Rs 50,000 to the next of kin of the deceased due to COVID-19 merely on the ground that the death certificate does not mention virus as the cause. Death.

The court had also said that the ex-gratia is to be disbursed within 30 days from the date of application to the District Disaster Management Authority or the concerned district administration, along with proof of death of the deceased due to coronavirus and the death due to COVID- 19 is being certified as cause of death.

The apex court had said that its directions for payment of compensation to the family members of persons who died due to COVID-19 were very clear and there was no need for constitution of inquiry committee to pay compensation.

It had said that it was made very clear that even in a case where, in the death certificate, the cause is not shown as death due to COVID-19, but if it is found that the deceased has tested positive for coronavirus was declared positive and died within 30 days, automatically entitles his family members to unconditional compensation.

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