By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that family members of people who die by suicide within 30 days from being diagnosed as Covid-19 positive are also entitled to ex-gratia to be paid out of the State Disaster Relief Fund.

Suitable directions in this regard may be passed by the top court, the Centre stated in its affidavit. It further stated that in order make the scope of the compensation broader and more inclusive, deaths occurring within 30 days from the date of testing or from the date of being clinically determined as a Covid-19 case, will be treated as ‘deaths due to Covid-19’, even if they take place outside the hospital/ in-patient facility.The government had earlier informed the SC that it had recommended a compensation of `50,000 for family members of every person who succumbed to Covid-19.

During the hearing, a bench of Justices M R Shah and A S Bopanna said, “Today we are very happy. There will be some solace to the persons who have suffered. Everything the government is performing, we’re happy that something is being done to wipe out tears of the person who suffered.” “We have to take judicial notice of the fact that what India has done, no other country could do,” Justice Shah added.

The court was hearing an application seeking compliance of the June 30 ruling in which directions were issued to the National Disaster Management Authority to frame guidelines for granting compensation to the dependents of those who died due to Covid and to issue guidelines to simplify the process of issuance of death certificates in Covid-19 cases.