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Kerala High Court Seeks State's Response On Plea For Compensating Families Of Those Who Died Of Covid-19 Abroad

Hannah M Varghese
17 Nov 2021 2:45 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Seeks States Response On Plea For Compensating Families Of Those Who Died Of Covid-19 Abroad
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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought the State's response to a plea seeking a declaration that the family members of a non-resident of the State, who died abroad due to COVID-19, are entitled to ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000. Justice N Nagaresh directed the Government Pleader to take instructions in the matter and it for hearing on November 24.The petition was filed by an NGO through...

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought the State's response to a plea seeking a declaration that the family members of a non-resident of the State, who died abroad due to COVID-19, are entitled to ex-gratia relief of Rs. 50,000.

Justice N Nagaresh directed the Government Pleader to take instructions in the matter and it for hearing on November 24.

The petition was filed by an NGO through its President Advocate Jose Abraham contending that applications for ex-gratia relief by family members of those who died abroad due to COVID-19 were being arbitrarily denied by the State. The petition was filed through Advocate E Adithyan.

During the proceedings, the Government Pleader stated that there was no clarity regarding the identity of the petitioner NGO and remarked, "we do not know who the petitioner organisation is."

However, the Court noted that the petitioner organisation had invited its attention to a valid concern:

"Don't be so technical. The petitioner has raised a good point here."

As per the petitioner, the State government has been rejecting applications on the ground that the scheme was applicable only for COVID-19 deaths that occurred within India.

The plea submitted that the poor migrants who went to foreign countries solely for the purpose of finding a living abroad to support their family members in Kerala and unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19 definitely require a sympathetic view.

The NGO also argued that any discrimination against family members who lost their dear and near ones abroad is a clear violation of their Fundamental Rights and a representation on the issue was sent to the State, but it was not acted upon.

Earlier, the State government had introduced an online portal wherein the kin of those who died due to COVID-19 can claim ex-gratia. 

Case Title: Pravasi Legal Cell v. State of Kerala

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