Centre tells the Supreme Court that it can't give 4 lakh to Covid victims and exhaust all disaster funds
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 3,86,713 persons throughout the country, according to the latest death toll released by the Health Ministry on Sunday
The government has told the Supreme Court that paying Rs 4 lakh in compensation to those persons who died as a result of Covid-19 would deplete disaster relief funds. The compensation could not be paid, according to the centre, because the disaster management statute that requires compensation only pertains to natural disasters.
In response to a PIL seeking "minimum standards of relief" and ex-gratia payment for COVID-19, the Centre filed a 183-page affidavit on Saturday night. The case will be heard in court on Monday.
According to the Centre's affidavit, the Disaster Management Law stipulates that compensation is limited to natural calamities like as earthquakes and floods. It went on to say that because of the pandemic's huge scale, it would be inappropriate to apply it to COVID-19.
The number of deaths is sure to rise, and states that are already struggling financially will be unable to compensate everyone who died as a result of COVID-19. States cannot afford to compensate lakhs of coronavirus victims due to rising health costs and poor tax collections, the Centre told the Supreme Court.
The government stated that insurance claims are being reviewed by the District Collectors and transferred to the insurance provider for payment to claimants. The insurance companies have been given Rs 442.4 crore, according to the statement.
Furthermore, the Centre reminded the Supreme Court of its earlier ruling that the judiciary cannot rule on behalf of the government and that it should stay away from executive decisions.
According to the government, "It is well settled through numerous judgements of the Supreme Court that this is a matter which should be performed by the authority, to whom it has been entrusted and not one where the court will substitute its own judgement for the decision to be taken by the executive."