New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday (September 3) rapped the Central government over delay in framing guidelines for issuance of death certificates to the kin of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.
A bench comprising Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose ordered the Centre to submit a compliance report by September 11. “We passed the order a long time back. We have already extended the time once. By the time you frame the guidelines, the third phase will also be over”, the bench stated.
Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that everything is under consideration. Fixing the next hearing on September 13, the bench said in its order, “Put up on September 13 as Solicitor General seeks time to enable Union Of India to comply with earlier order and place on record compliance report of other directions issued by this court on June 30, 2021. Compliance report to be filed with the registry on or before September 11.”
In its last hearing on August 16, the SC had allowed the plea of the Central government, which sought four weeks extension to the UOI to frame the guidelines on ex-gratia assistance and compensation to the families of people who lost their lives due to the coronavirus infection.
In its June 30 verdict, the Supreme court had provided six weeks time to the National Disaster Management Authority to frame appropriate guidelines for ex-gratia assistance to the family members of those who succumbed to COVID-19. It also directed the Centre to take steps to simplify guidelines for issuance and correction of death certificates/official documents, stating the exact cause of death, that is, ‘Death due to COVID-19’ for enabling dependents to get benefits of welfare schemes., PTI reported.
Since COVID-19 outbreak in India last year, as many as 4,39,895 people have lost their lives, as per health ministry data on Friday (September 3, 2021).
(With PTI inputs)