The Allahabad high court has held that once a person admitted to hospital due to coronavirus infection dies, the resulting cause being heart failure or dysfunction of any other organ is immaterial and such cases would nevertheless be treated as COVID deaths.
Allowing writ petitions filed by Kusum Lata Yadav and several others, a division bench comprising Justice AR Masoodi and Justice Vikram D Chauhan directed the state authorities to release the ex-gratia payment to the dependents of Covid victims entitled thereto within a period of one month.
Failing which the claims so allowed shall be made inclusive of simple interest of nine percent, the bench added.
Giving this judgement, the court observed, "We find that deaths having taken place in hospitals on account of COVID-19 fully stand the test of certification."
"The argument that medical reports mentioning cardiac failure or otherwise may not be attributed to COVID-19 does not impress the court for the reason that COVID is an infection that may result to mortality of a person affecting any organ be it lungs or heart etc," the court said.
In the judgement dated July 25, the court directed that each of the petitioners, whose claims are allowed here shall be entitled to a cost of Rs 25,000 in each case.
The petitioners had challenged the clause 12 of the government order dated June 1, 2021 primarily on grounds that it provides ceiling which restricts payment of compensation only if the death has occurred within 30 days of COVID.
The petitioner contended that the object of this GO is to compensate the family which has lost its bread earner during panchayat elections due to COVID.
It was contended that state authorities admit the death of petitioner's husband was caused due to COVID 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.
It was submitted that there was no justifiable reason to restrict the death to 30 days and it has often been observed that people die even after 30 days of contracting COVID-19.