Plea in Supreme Court seeks “Ex Gratia Assistance” to all the families whose member died in Pandemic

  • Ratna Singh
  • 04:40 PM, 24 May 2021

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court that seeks for the implementation of Section 12 (iii) of the Disaster Management Act-2005 to provide EX GRATIA ASSISTANCE on account of loss to the persons affected by Disaster. It is to be noted that as per Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 it is the fundamental duty of National Disaster Management Authority (herein after referred as NDMA) to provide Minimum Standards of relief to persons affected by Disaster.

“It is respectfully submitted that as per the said Respondent No. 01 has decided to pay Rs. 4.00 Lakhs as EX GRATIA PAYMENT to per deceased person including those INVOLVED IN RELIEF OPERATIONS OR ASSOCIATED IN PREPAREDNESS ACTIVITIES.”- stated the plea.

The petitioner Gaurav Kumar Bansal has preferred this petition in person and has averred that, the Hon’ble Court while dealing with the issue of IMPLEMENTATION OF DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT-2005 raised in Writ Petition (CIVIL) NO. 444 OF 2013 titled as “GAURAV KUMAR BANSAL C VERSUS UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS” vide its Order and Judgment dated 08/05/2017 observed the following:

“All we need say is that it is absolutely necessary for the NDMA constituted at the NATIONAL LEVEL and the STATE DISASTER MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY at the STATE LEVEL to be ever vigilant and ensure that IF ANY UNFORTUNATE DISASTER STRIKES THERE SHOULD BE TOTAL PREPARDENESS AND THAT MINIMUM STANDARDS OF RELIEF ARE PROVIDED TO ALL CONCERNED.”

The petitioner further asserts that, since last one year many Personnel working in Health Sector, Police Departments, Municipal Corporations while serving as FRONTLINE WORKERS and during their involvement in COVID PANDEMIC RELIEF OPERATION not only got contacted with COVID19 but also lost their lives.

“As per the LIST OF ITEMS AND NORMS OF ASSISTANCE – 2015, each and every family whose deceased person has died due to NOVEL CORONA VIRUS including those who were involved in RELIEF OPERATIONS or ASSOCIATED in PREPAREDNESS ACTIVITIES to combat CORONA OUTBREAK is entitled for EX GRATIA PAYMENT of Rs. 4.00 Lakh atleast.” – Excerpt from the plea.

Therefore, by way of the present Writ filed in the nature of Public Interest Litigation, petitioner requested urgent intervention of the Apex Court and to issue Writ of Mandamus against the Respondents and as such direct them to implement the LIST D OF ITEMS AND NORMS OF ASSISTANCE – 2015 within their respective jurisdiction.

It is to be noted that in response to an unstarred question raised in Loksabha in March 2021, Minister of State for Home Affairs in Government of Indai has clearly stated that even in the year 2021, the Respondent No. 01 is providing the assistance in accordance with the REVISED LIST OF ITEMS AND NORMS OF ASSISTANCE which is issued on 08.04.2015. hence it is clear from the above that as per the Revised List of Items and Norms of assistance apart from the FRONTLINE WORKERS i.e. Persons who were involved in Relief Operations or Associated in Preparedness Activities, every family whose member has died due COVID 19 Virus is also entitled for an EX GRATIA COMPENSATION as mentioned in the REVISED LIST OF ITEMS AND NORMS OF ASSISTANCE.

Hence, through the present petition, the petitioner prayed for the following relief -

  1. Issue Writ of Mandamus against the Respondents to provide EX GRATIA COMPENSATION to all families whose members have died due to COVID 19 VIRUS while providing their services in relief operations or when they were associated with preparedness activities to combat COVID 19 PANDEMIC. 18
  2. Issue Writ of Mandamus against the Respondents to provide SOCIAL SECUTIRY AND REHABILITAITON to victims of COVID 19 Victims.
  3. Pass any other Order or Direction as this Hon’ble Court deems fit and proper under the facts and circumstances of the above case.