“Never Thought This Could Be Misused”: SC On Fake Covid Compensation Claims

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed concern over misuse of its order and citizens of society getting Covid death compensation of ₹ 50,000 on the basis of fake documents. The court has suggested that it might be directing a probe into the matter by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).

Justice MR Shah said, “We never visualised that these kinds of fake claims would be made.”

He further added that it is a pious work. The court never thought that this could be misused. 

The matter was heard by a bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna.

On March 7, the issue of fake covid certificates or fake claims was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre, and also mentioned how it could be curbed.

Then a warning was issued by the Supreme Court against the misuse of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre on the basis of fake covid certificates or medical certificates. It had observed that it would order an independent probe to catch those who indulged in such practice.

Today the court has directed the Centre for filing a detailed application on the issue of fake claims and also on limiting the time for filing compensation claims. This application should be filed by tomorrow. 

A suggestion of “an outer limit should be placed on filing compensation claims,” was given by Tushar Mehta today. People should be required to file claims within 4 weeks of death taking place, the “process of claiming compensation should not be endless”.

Justice Shah said that if there is involvement of officials, it will make the matter even more serious.

The court today was hearing a plea filed by lawyer-cum-petitioner Gaurav Kumar Bansal.

The matter will be heard next on March 21. 

Earlier the apex court had ordered to all the states and UTs to appoint a nodal officer for coordinating with the member secretary of the state legal service authority (SLSA) for the payment of compensation to the family members of COVID-19 victims.

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