What is the ex gratia decision for relatives of Covid-19 victims ? asks SC to the Center
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-06-2021; On Monday, the Supreme Court asked the government if it had made a “decision” not to pay ex gratia to families who have lost loved ones to Covid-19. Has it been decided that there is no need to pay ex gratia?” Is there a ruling or is this a “no-decision” case, Judge Ashok Bhushan asked Attorney General Tushar Mehta.
- “Where’s the decision that the ex gratia isn’t necessary?” Judge M.R. Shah, the other judge on the bench, also asked. He even asked if the government, arguing that Covid-19 was not a “one-time disaster”, deduced that the disaster management law would not apply to the pandemic.
- The Bench’s questions came even as the Union government clarified that it had money, but the focus was on using the funds for food, medical care, oxygen, vaccination and increasing the economy rather than paying a one-off compensation of 4 lakh. each to the families of people who died from Covid-19.
- It’s not that we don’t have money… It’s that our goal is more to spend money on other things [like public health interventions, social protection and economic recovery affected communities, etc.], Mehta said.
- He said the content of the government affidavit of June 19, which explains its financial priorities for handling Covid-19, was “twisted” and distorted on Twitter.
- Justice Shah said the government did not need to defend itself in court against what was said on Twitter. However, he agreed that Mehta was right to clarify. “To say that the Center has no money has huge repercussions,” he observed.
- Senior lawyer SB Upadhyay, on behalf of the petitioners, said: “But if they have the money, why shouldn’t they comply with their legal obligation under section 12 of the Disaster Management Act? to provide free assistance to victims of Covid-19? ” The government itself had declared Covid-19 a national disaster, he claimed.
- The petitioners highlighted a 2015 notification, which requires the government to pay ex gratia 4 lakh each to the families of victims under Article 12.
- The Center cannot invoke financial limitations to evade its legal obligation. to pay compensation now, Upadhyay mentioned.
- Justice Shah, noting the petitioners’ argument to develop uniform disaster compensation guidelines, said disasters and pandemics vary in impact. A relief cannot adapt to all tragedies.
- Each disaster has a different impact. There can be a big or a small disaster. There can be a large or small pandemic. There may be a flood where there are fewer victims. The severity of a global pandemic is high. You cannot apply the same standards from a small disaster or a small pandemic to a global pandemic, he told Upadhyay.
- Lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a petitioner, said: “The amount may be lower or higher, but there is a need to help families, some of whom have lost their sole breadwinner. The families of frontline warriors who lost their lives in the line of duty cannot be left behind. “
- Mehta said Article 12 was only “advisory” in nature. He referred to the 15th report of the Finance Committee for 2021-2026 to argue that disaster management funds and their allocations were already set.
- Judge Shah asked, “So the Finance Commission sets Rs 15 billion for disaster management. Then Covid-19 comes along. He needs 25 billion rupees for disaster management. Can you say that you will only spend 15 billion rupees? Mehta replied, “We will have to return to Parliament. It will have to be ratified by Parliament ”.
- Judge Shah said: “Remember that a report from the Finance Committee cannot invalidate a legal provision [section 12]. The court reserved the sentencing requests.
Class 12: Optional exams “at any time between August 15 and September 15”
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-06-2021; The CBSE informed the Supreme Court on Monday that elective exams for grade 12 students who are not satisfied with their assessment will take place “any time between” August 15 and September 15. The CBSE clarified that the results after the evaluation will be reported before July 31.
- The council, in a brief additional affidavit, told the court that the class 12 exams for candidates in the private / patrachar / second chance compartment would also take place between August 15 and September 15 in accordance with policy evaluation for the academic year 2019-2020.
- Your exams will be conducted in a way that is in line with the evaluation policy for the academic year 2019-2020 approved by this court… Your results will be reported in accordance with said evaluation policy. Their exams must also be carried out at any time between 08.15.2021 and 09.15.2021, subject to a favorable situation ”, indicates the affidavit.
- It was at this point that more than 1,100 CBSE students have already approached the court to request cancellation of the compartment, private and repeat exams for class 12 this year. These petitions urged the court to guide the evaluation using an evaluation formula consistent with that of regular CBSE students.
- CBSE’s affidavit states that it has issued a “Grade Tabulation Policy for Class XII Board Exam 2021” to ensure standardization of grades. “Grades for components in classes 11 and 12 will be assigned at the school level.
- Therefore, they will not be strictly comparable between schools due to variations in the quality of the questions, the standard and the assessment processes, the way the exams are taken, etc.
- To ensure standardization, each school will need to internally moderate scores to account for variations in grade level using a reliable benchmark, ”said CBSE.
- The board said that a “reliable benchmark” was necessary “in the interests of fairness and to ensure that the scores awarded are comparable and that there is no negative impact or undue gain to a student due to the evaluation methodology / process used. by schools “.
- At a court hearing on Monday led by Judge AM Khanwilkar, lead attorney Vikas Singh, who advocates for conducting physical exams, said there should be uniform criteria for evaluating CBSE and ICSE scores. But Judge Khanwilkar said that apples and oranges cannot be mixed.
- He talked about how school performance in previous years would also influence grades, saying that student performance should be based on their own work and not on previous batches.
- Singh said CBSE’s current screening policy is complicated and physical exams should be arranged as the Covid-19 situation improves.
- But Judge Khanwilkar said the future of the students cannot be uncertain. “They must have a silver lining,” Judge Khanwilkar said. The court said it would not change its order authorizing the evaluation policy proposed by CBSE and ICSE.
Nobel Laureate Esther Deflo, Raghuram Rajan and Jean Dreze join TN Economic Council
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-06-2021; The Tamil Nadu government will establish an economic advisory board for the prime minister to chart a path of rapid and inclusive economic growth for the state, Governor Banwarilal Purohit said on Monday.
- The board will include Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), former Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, former Chief Economic Advisor to the Arvind Subramanian Center, development economist Jean Dreze and former Finance Secretary of the Union S. Narayan.
- “Based on the council’s recommendation, the government will revitalize the state’s economy and ensure that the benefits of economic growth flow to all segments of society,” Purohit said in his speech to the State Legislative Assembly.
- He said that as a first step in reducing the overall debt burden and improving the fiscal position, a white paper would be published in July detailing the true state of the state’s finances so that the population is fully informed.
- The governor also announced the government’s decision to introduce a separate annual budget for agriculture with the aim of increasing productivity and protecting the well-being of farmers.
- “The government will take all measures to achieve the target of 125 metric tons of food production in 2021-2022,” he said, adding that the water for growing Kuruvai had already been released.
SC urges Center to streamline process for certification of Covid-19 deaths
Daily NEWS Summary | 21-06-2021; On Monday, the Supreme Court asked the Union government what it plans to do in the cases of Covid-19 patients whose death certificates cite another reason for the cause of death.
- “What is the recourse in the case of Covid-19 patients who have already received death certificates indicating another reason as the cause of death? Judge M.R .Shah, who accompanied Judge Ashok Bhushan to the dock, asked Attorney General Tushar Mehta.
- The court suggested the government should streamline the process for certifying Covid-19 deaths. He asked the government if the reason for death could be indicated as Covid-19 on the certificate if the family could file a Covid-19 report, whether the patient died inside or outside a hospital.
- The court noted that some patients had not even received their medical records.
- Mehta reiterated the government’s position that any mistake in stating Covid-19 as the cause of death on a death certificate would have criminal consequences for those responsible, including the certifying doctor.
- In its Sunday affidavit, the Center said: “Any death resulting from Covid-19 must be certified, i.e. death from Covid, otherwise all those responsible, including the certifying doctor, will be held responsible for the consequences. criminal. ”.
- The government has said deaths diagnosed with Covid-19, regardless of comorbidities, must be certified as pandemic deaths. The only exception to the rule was when there was another obvious cause of death e.g. accidental trauma, poisoning, etc.
- Supreme Court recently told the Center that death certificates of those who have died from Covid-19 often do not reveal this fact.
- “The death certificates of people who died from Covid-19 in hospitals show that the reason is a lung or heart problem or something else,” Judge Shah addressed Mehta.
- “All deaths diagnosed with Covid-19, regardless of the comorbidities, must be classified as deaths due to Covid-19,” the Center said in the affidavit.
Covid Updates: The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 2,99,65,891 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a death toll of 3,88,859.