[COVID19] Government to file reply for “expeditious implementation” of compensation schemes to families in case of death due to shortage of oxygen supply: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought replies from the Centre and the Delhi State Government in a plea that pertained to “expeditious implementation” of the various schemes as floated by in the State by them for people during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Single Bench of Justice Rekha Palli granted further three weeks’ time to the Centre and State Government to file their counter affidavits in the matter since they urged to obtain instructions as to whether the immediate grievance of the petitioner for grant of compensation can be redressed expeditiously or not.
“Learned counsel respondent nos.1 & 5 also prays for and is granted further three weeks’ time to file their counter affidavits. Rejoinder thereto, if any, be filed within one week thereafter.”
The present writ petition has been filed by two minors who sought expeditious implementation of various schemes as stated by Centre and Sate government for providing compensation/ex gratia amount and other benefits to families with children, where the sole bread earner has expired on account of lack of supply of oxygen during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition has been filed through the mother, being the natural guardian for the petitioners.
“it is the constitutional and legal obligation of the Respondent No.1 and Respondent No.5 under Article 41 of Indian Constitution, to provide medical care to the residents and to protect their right to Education as the Father of the Petitioners have succumbed not because of Covid-19, but due to the fact that there was lack of Oxygen.,” excerpt from plea
The counsel for petitioner are Advocates Bharat Malhotra and Siddhant Sethi who have prayed for the reliefs as following -
- to announce and expeditiously implement the schemes of grant of compensation which has been proposed for the victim’s family on account of death caused due to lack of oxygen supply or death due to COVID19 and further release the compensation amount expeditiously in the interest of justice.
- to announce and expeditiously implement the schemes, for Children like Petitioners, who are studying in Private Schools, who has lost their sole bread earning parent/family member due to lack of oxygen supply or due to COVID19 and further Respondents should be directed to bear all the educational expenses of the Petitioners in the interest of justice.
- to ensure that there should not be any kind of Prejudice to the right of petitioner’s education in the Respondent No.6 School on account of Non-Payment of Fees, in the interest of Justice &
- Pass any order or direction as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the present petition.
According to the petition, the minor’s father was admitted to Jaipur Golden Hospital on April 18. He died on April 24 due to lack of oxygen supply as he was allegedly provided very minimal support of oxygen due to the shortage.
The plea further cited a statement made by the hospital’s medical director that,
“As many as 20 patients died on Friday night and more than 200 lives are currently at stake due to lack of oxygen at Delhi`s Jaipur Golden Hospital in Rohini.”
“Numerous data is available showing that the petitioners have lost their nears and dears in the pandemic of Covid-19 due to shortage of medical facilities and most importantly due to inaction of the Respondents No.1 to 2. The Respondents No.1 to 2 are under Legal and Moral Obligation to ensure no-one dies due to Non-Supply of Oxygen,” – excerpt from plea
The petitioners contended that while it had come to their knowledge that several compensation schemes were being floated by the Delhi, the Centre, the DCPCR and the NCPCR to families like theirs, the same have not been implemented till date to the petitioners' knowledge.
The Petitioner further averred that they have learnt that,” the government has announced a number of welfare measures for children orphaned by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a corpus of Rs 10 lakh whose interest they will receive as a stipend for five years when they turn 18 followed by the handing over of the principal, as well as administrative and financial support for their education coupled with the fact that If the child is admitted in a private school, fees as prescribed under the Right to Education Act norms will be given from the PM-CARES fund”
Further, the scheme would also pay for expenditure on uniform, text books and notebooks alongside for higher education, children would be assisted in obtaining an education loan for professional courses or higher education in India according to existing norms and interest on the same would be paid from the PM-CARES fund.
The matter will be taken up next on 26th August.
[Case Title – Yasmin Kataria v Govt. of NCT & ors, 2021]