NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking four weeks’ time beyond the six weeks granted by it to the PM-led National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to finalise the quantum of ex-gratia to be paid to the kin of more than four lakh persons who have succumbed to Covid-19.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah on June 30 had ruled that the Centre cannot shy away from the responsibility cast on it under the Disaster Management Act to provide compensation to the families of those who died in a national disaster, the Covid-19 pandemic being declared so under the DM Act.
However, it had left the determination of the amount of ex-gratia to the NDMA. The Centre in its application said the exercise for framing appropriate guidelines for payment of ex-gratia is under active consideration of the NDMA.
“This exercise, though at an advanced stage of consideration, requires a little more in-depth examination before the same is finalised and implemented. Any accelerated formulation may lead to undesired results,” the Centre said, seeking four more weeks beyond the six-week deadline set by the Supreme Court. The bench on June 30 had said, “We direct the NDMA to recommend guidelines for ex-gratia assistance on account of loss of life to the family members of the persons who died due to Covid-19… over and above the guidelines already recommended for the minimum standards of relief to be provided to persons affected by Covid-19.”