The Allahabad high court has said that if a person admitted to hospital due to Covid-19 dies during treatment, it should be considered a Covid death, even if the immediate cause is heart failure or dysfunction of any other organ.
This will ensure relief for many people who have been denied compensation due to "technical reasons".
The dependents of any such deceased person would be entitled for the compensation or ex-gratia payment as already fixed by the government, the court added.
Allowing writ petitions filed by Kusum Lata Yadav and several others, a division bench comprising Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Vikram D Chauhan directed the state authorities to release the ex-gratia payment to the dependents of Covid victims within a period of one month.
The petitioners in this case are dependents of deceased government employees, who were engaged in election duty, and died due to Covid-19 thereafter.
They challenged clause 12 of the government order (GO) dated June 1, 2021, primarily on the ground that it allows payment of compensation only if death has occurred within 30 days of election duty.
The petitioners would be entitled for ex-gratia payment to the tune of Rs 30 lakh as per GO issued by the state government to compensate the dependents of any such deceased person.
However, the other similarly situated persons will be compensated as per government notification issued in this connection.
The petitioner argued that the object of this GO is to compensate the family, which has lost its breadearner during panchayat elections due to Covid-19.
It was contended that the state authorities admit that the death of the petitioner's husband was caused due to Covid-19, but the payment is being denied only because of the ceiling contained in clause 12, which restricts payment of compensation only if the death has occurred within 30 days.