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Oxygen Crisis: HC Asks Centre, Delhi To Treat PIL as Representation To Compensate Kin of Deceased

A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said that granting compensation is a policy decision which courts cannot interfere with.
Delhi high court. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Centre and the AAP government to treat as a representation a plea seeking framing of guidelines for providing compensation to the families of patients who died due to oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic and those who succumbed to the viral disease.

A bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said that granting compensation is a policy decision which courts cannot interfere with.

It directed the Centre and Delhi government to treat the plea, filed by lawyer Purav Middha, as a representation and take a decision in accordance with the relevant law, rules, regulations and government policy.

The bench said that a practicable decision should be taken as early as possible and disposed of the plea.

In his plea, Middha said that since the number of COVID-19 victims is increasing at an alarming rate, the governments must formulate a scheme to compensate such families and aid their survival. He had suggested that the compensation be paid from the National Disaster Response Fund or the PM CARES Fund to provide relief to those families who have no means to sustain themselves, as most of them have lost their sole breadwinner to COVID-19.

He claimed that if people die due to a lack of oxygen and medicines, the governments are to be held accountable as the public health system is unable to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

(PTI)

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