Families of Covid victims cannot be paid a compensation of Rs 4 lakhs as it applies to natural disasters only, the government told the Supreme Court today.
It also said that the deadly disease has caused more than 3.85 lakh deaths – which is likely to increase – and that states cannot afford to pay every victim.
In a 183-page affidavit, the centre also added that denying compensation for diseases other than Covid would be “unfair”.
Adding that the Disaster Management Law states that compensation applies only to natural disasters like earthquake or floods, the government said that due to the pandemic’s massive scale it would not be appropriate to apply it to Covid.
The centre also explained to the Supreme Court that states are under severe financial strain due to increase in health expenses and low tax revenue making it beyond their budget to pay compensation to thousands of Covid victims.
“Using resources for giving ex-gratia may impact the pandemic response and health expenditure and cause more damage than good,” the Centre said in its letter.
The government also added that “Covid deatth” will be mentioned in death certificates of every victim.