Maharashtra govt. rejects over 60,000 applications for COVID-19 ex gratia

There were close to one-and-half lakh deaths due to COVID-19 in Maharashtra as of February 2022, and close to 60,000 applications seeking ex gratia were rejected by the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

On October 4, 2021, the Supreme Court approved the ex-gratia policy to pay ₹50,000 to families of people who died of the virus. A Division Bench of Justices M.R. Shah and A.S. Bopanna had said, “Next kin of the deceased shall be paid an amount of ₹50,000 and it will be over and above the amounts paid by the Centre and State under various benevolent schemes.”

The Maharashtra government had invited online applications for ex gratia from the next of kin of those who of COVID-19, through a portal ( from December 1, 2021.

Once the next of kin of the deceased enter details such as medical certification of the cause of death on the portal, these details are matched with the data on the COVID-19 national portal by the district civil surgeons (for deaths outside municipal corporation limits) and by the medical officer of health (for municipal corporation cases). If the national portal already enlists the case concerned as COVID death case, it will be forwarded to the DDMA for sanction and disbursal of ex gratia, without any further requirement of document.

However, cases rejected by the district civil surgeon or medical officer are forwarded online to the grievance redressal committee (GRC), which will decide the case finally after hearing the applicant. Whenever an application is rejected, the applicant gets an SMS on the mobile informing the reason for the same. The applicant can then file an appeal with the GRC by clicking on the “appeal” button in the portal.

On February 3, 2022, the Maharashtra Chief Secretary filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court that said, “As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), as of February 2, 2022, there were 1,42,705 COVID-19 deaths in the State. A total of 2,27,107 applications were received seeking ex gratia, 1,93,940 applications were scrutinised, 33,167 are under scrutiny. The DDMA approved 1,32,092 applications for payment and rejected 61,848, of which 20,056 appeals have been filed before the GRC by the DDMA. As on February 3, 2022, district-level officers contacted 1,02,606 persons either through phone or in person and 31,341 people who had not applied for ex gratia, were provided assistance for filing the applications.”

The reasons for rejecting the applications were categorised as: applicant has not uploaded his/her Aadhaar; name of the deceased not present in Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) list/the documents provided by the applicant do not prove death occurred to COVID-19; death occurred outside hospital more than 30 days after the date of diagnosis of COVID-19; bank details entered by applicant are incorrect; ex gratia has already been sanctioned for the deceased; death occurred in other State/district; applicant has not submitted death certificate under Birth and Death Registration Act; applicant could not prove the relationship with the deceased person and deceased name mentioned incorrectly.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2022 8:22:46 pm |