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Court Cannot Issue Mandamus Directing All COVID Victims To Be Compensated: Madras High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
9 Jun 2021 4:34 PM GMT
Court Cannot Issue Mandamus Directing All COVID Victims To Be Compensated: Madras High Court
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Hearing two different pleas seeking compensation to kith and kin of people who have died due to COVID (including the Advocates), the Madras High Court observed that the Court cannot issue a mandamus directing all COVID victims to be compensated, irrespective of the financial position that the families may be in.Regarding the plea seeking compensation for dependents or heirs of deceased...

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Hearing two different pleas seeking compensation to kith and kin of people who have died due to COVID (including the Advocates), the Madras High Court observed that the Court cannot issue a mandamus directing all COVID victims to be compensated, irrespective of the financial position that the families may be in.

Regarding the plea seeking compensation for dependents or heirs of deceased advocates, particularly those who were victims of Covid, the Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said:

"It is a matter of policy for the State to decide whether to give compensation to a class of persons to and to what extent. There is no doubt divers classes of people will be seeking compensation and it is a matter within the exclusive domain of the State. The Court cannot pick and choose advocates for preferential treatment because most functionaries in this field are advocates."

The court dealt with another plea, seeking compensation of adequate and necessary amount and for granting and providing other relief measures:

  • To the kith and kins of the Covid-19 dead family,
  • For the welfare of the children of both parents, who succumbed to Covid-19 Pandemic death and
  • To pay an adequate solatium to the relatives of the Covid-19 Pandemic dead in order to meet out the funeral expenditures on the basis of the representation made by the petitioner.

To this, the Court said:

"It has become a habit in this Court to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution by way of public interest litigation, sometimes for self-publicity, to seek extraordinary orders that the judiciary may just not be competent to pass. It is a matter of policy as to whether a State decides to extend relief or to what extent, to persons affected by any calamity or disaster"

The Court also observed that several schemes have been put in place, both at the State level and at the Central level for providing relief to certain classes of persons, whether by way of food or by way of financial assistance and that tt is best that such matters are left to the executive without interference by Courts.

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