India’s top court on Monday approved the government’s decision to pay about $670 for every coronavirus death in the country as compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.
The payments tally to more than $300 million based on India’s current death toll, according to CNN’s calculation. It had officially recorded 448,997 Covid-19 deaths as of Monday morning local time, according to the Indian health ministry.
After a series of hearings, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued affidavits in September offering compensation to family members of all Covid-19 victims, including people who died by suicide after hearing the diagnosis.
Victims who died within 30 days of the diagnosis will be eligible, according to the court judgment, as well as people who were treated in hospital for longer than that and then passed away.
The court ruled that no state can immediately deny the compensation even if an individual’s death certificate does not list Covid-19 as the cause of death, according to advocate Gaurav Bansal who filed the original petition.
In contested cases, a grievance redressal committee will examine records of deceased patient and make a call within 30 days, added Bansal.
“All concerned hospitals where the patient was admitted and given treatment shall provide all the necessary documents of treatment etc. to the family member of the deceased, as and when demanded,” the judgment read.
“As per the law, this is not charity. This is the legal right of the person who is applying for the compensation,” Bansal told CNN last week.
The redressal committees have been assigned to address any and all issues related to causes of deaths from family members. The program allows for next of kin to retroactively claim the compensation, and it will continue to be provided for deaths that may occur in the future phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. -CNN