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The Madras High Court has directed the State to furnish the bereaved families with adequate and just compensation in remembrance of those who lost their lives while working as frontline healthcare providers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Case Title: N Ponnupillai v The State of Tamil Nadu

Case No: W.P.(MD). No.8225 of 2021

Decided on: 22nd October, 2023

CORAM: THE HON’BLE MRS.JUSTICE S. SRIMATHY

 Introduction

The Madras High Court while hearing a petition to mandate respondents 1 to 4 to provide fair and appropriate compensation, amounting to Rs. 25,00,000 to the petitioner in acknowledgment of the demise of her husband, Nagu, son of Sevugan has directed the State to furnish the bereaved families with adequate and just compensation in remembrance of those who lost their lives while working as frontline healthcare providers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Facts of the Case

In the present case, the spouse of the petitioner worked as a Scavenger in the Municipality of the fourth respondent. He was labelled as a “Front Line Worker” and actively involved in scavenging during the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, on October 23, 2020, he passed away from Covid-19. The petitioner has already received compensation from the fourth respondent Municipality in the amount of Rs. 50,000 for the terrible incident.

Courts analysis and decision

In light of the deceased’s position as a frontline worker in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, the court observed that this amount is insufficient. The third respondent received a proposal from the fourth respondent, the court observed, and sent it to the fourth respondent along with instructions to pay the sum. The fourth respondent and the third respondent appear to be abdicating their responsibilities, which is why none of them is acting decisively, according to the court. The court finds it intolerable that they are unwilling to tackle the problem as a group. The court instructed the Principal Secretary to review the case and ensure the distribution of the compensation.

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Written by- Rupika Goundla

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