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Chamarajanagar Oxygen Shortage Deaths: After High Court Nudge, Karnataka Govt Decides To Enhance Compensation By Rs. 2 Lakh

Mustafa Plumber
7 July 2021 11:28 AM GMT
Chamarajanagar Oxygen Shortage Deaths: After High Court Nudge, Karnataka Govt Decides To Enhance Compensation By Rs. 2 Lakh
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The Karnataka Government on Tuesday informed the High Court that it has decided to increase the ex-gratia compensation amount to be given to the legal representatives of 13 people who died due to lack of Oxygen supply at Covid-19 hospitals in Chamarajanagar, in May 2021. The development comes after the High Court observed that the initial compensation announced by the Government was on...

The Karnataka Government on Tuesday informed the High Court that it has decided to increase the ex-gratia compensation amount to be given to the legal representatives of 13 people who died due to lack of Oxygen supply at Covid-19 hospitals in Chamarajanagar, in May 2021. The development comes after the High Court observed that the initial compensation announced by the Government was on the lower side.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar was informed by the government that legal representatives of 3 deceased persons who died between 10.30 pm on May 2 and 2.30 am on May 3, shall be paid an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs as ex-gratia compensation. The same will be inclusive of Rs. 2 lakhs which was ordered to be paid earlier.

Similarly, for 10 deceased who died between 2.21 am to 9 am on May 5, a sum of Rs. 4 lakh ex-gratia compensation will be paid to their legal representatives which will be inclusive of Rs. 2 lakhs already paid.

In so far as 11 persons who died before 10.30 pm on May 2 (including one case which was bought dead), the state government has paid Rs. 2 lakh compensation. Further, report of the Commission headed by Justice (retd) BA Patil, which was constituted by the state government, is awaited, before taking a final decision on further payment for the legal representatives.

The government also clarified that the ex-gratia compensation now being paid and what has been paid vide order dated May 21 is under special circumstances and in view of the pendency of proceedings before the High Court. This order of the government shall not be treated as precedent in respect of any other case of death on account of Covid-19.

The earlier decision to pay Rs. 2 lakh as ex-gratia compensation to the family of the deceased had followed after the High Court had on May 13, put the state government to notice that on the next date it would consider the issue of granting compensation to the family members of the 24 people who died at a Covid-19 hospital in Chamarajanagar due to shortage of supply of Oxygen.

Earlier, the court had appointed the committee of Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) to monitor Covid-19 issues, conduct an inquiry and place a fact finding report before it about the incident.

The committee headed by former Judge of the High Court AN Venugopal Gowda has said "all the 24 deaths which have occurred on 2nd and 3rd of May in the hospital are attributable to the lack of oxygen at the hospital."

The report concluded by saying "Cumulatively, the failure of the district administration in general and the hospital authorities in particular including the Dean of CIMS is apparent. A detailed probe alone can unearth the acts of omissions and commissions of the concerned individuals for fixing the responsibility."

The court on Tuesday had asked the government to consider extending payment of additional Rs. 2 lakhs as ex-gratia compensation to the family members of the deceased patients.

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