SC directs states to pay compensation to family members of COVID-19 victims

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The Supreme Court on Monday directed all states and Union Territories to ensure payment of compensation to family members of COVID-19 victims without wasting any time.

A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said that if any claimant has grievance with respect to the non-payment of compensation and/or rejection of their claim then they may approach the grievance redressal committee concerned.
It also directed the grievance redressal committee to decide the application of the claimant within four weeks.

With regard to the plea alleging transfer of funds by the Andhra Pradesh government from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to personal deposit accounts, the bench directed the funds be transferred to the SDRF account within two days.

“We close the proceedings while directing all the states to see that the compensation payable under our earlier order be made to eligible persons without wasting any time and if any claimant has any grievance they may approach the concerned grievance redressal committee,” the bench said.

The top court had earlier granted a “last opportunity” to the Andhra Pradesh government to file its response on a plea alleging transfer of funds by the state from the SDRF to personal deposit accounts and had restrained the state government from diverting the funds and issued notice to it in the matter.

Advocate Gaurav Bansal, appearing for petitioner Palla Srinivasa Rao, had submitted that Andhra Pradesh has diverted funds from the SDRF to personal deposit accounts which is not permissible under the Disaster Management Act.

He had alleged that the state government was illegally utilising the funds of the SDRF for purposes other than specified under Section 46 (2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.(PTI)

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