Is there a case for a separate COVID compensation fund? | The Hindu In Focus Podcast

Recently, the Supreme Court heard a plea seeking compensation to the families of those who have died from COVID-19 or post-COVID complications. The petitioners, citing Section 12 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and a 2015 notification, said that the Centre should make ex gratia payment of ₹4 lakh to each of the victims’ families.

But the government has been reluctant to commit to any such compensation. It has said that given the magnitude of the COVID-19 death toll — which is nearly 4 lakh as per official figures (and likely to go up) — this would mean paying ₹4 lakh to nearly 4 lakh families, which may not be feasible.

Is the government obliged under the law to pay compensation for COVID deaths? How credible are arguments that payouts of this magnitude are not financially feasible or advisable? How realistic is the idea of setting up a dedicated COVID Compensation Fund, which has been mooted by the Opposition?

For more clarity on these questions, we speak to Dr Abhay Shukla, who has been working on public and community health issues for over 35 years. A national co-convenor of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Dr Shukla has also been a member of the National Human Rights Commission’s committee for formulating human rights responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:52:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/podcast/is-there-a-case-for-a-separate-covid-compensation-fund-the-hindu-in-focus-podcast/article34991609.ece

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