Covid ex-gratia: SC questions Kerala over lower number of applicants, directs to settle payments

B Balagopal / Mathrubhumi News

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India here expressed concern over the lower number of applicants for COVID-19 ex-gratia from Kerala while criticising the states over non-payment of the amount.

Justice MR Shah who is part of the two-member Bench looking in to the non-compliance of directions related to the payment of ex-gratia to the family of persons who succumbed to Covid-19, pointed out the lower number of applicants when the Kerala government filed its status report on ex gratia distribution.

The apex court also took into note that in Kerala as against 49,000 COVID-19 deaths, only 27,000 claims have been received. "Every state has received more applications, why not yours?" asked the Bench from the counsel appearing for Kerala.

The total number of applicants were 27,274, the report said. Responding to the data framed, Justice MR Shah remarked that in many states the number of ex-gratia applicants are more than the officially reported deaths.

The court has directed the state government to assign the officials to approach the families who did n't apply for ex-gratia and explain them about the scheme. The court also asked the state to settle the beneficiaries within one week.

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