Abu Dhabi: A Dubai-based legal consultant has filed a petition at the Indian Supreme Court urging compensation for the families of COVID-19 victims.
Hashik Thayikandy filed the plea on July 10, and he told Gulf News that this compensation is the right of Indian taxpayers across the world.
“India maintains disaster funds for people suffering from tragedies and disasters, and taxpayers have a right to them. The COVID-19 toll is increasing every day, and many families are entirely dependent on the income and earnings of the victims,” Thayikandy said.
“This is why I have filed the plea at the Supreme Court, urging 29 state governments and the Indian Central Government, to provide monetary support to the victims’ next of kin, including and especially to victims who worked as health professionals,” he said.
The legal expert, who is also global secretary for welfare organisation, the Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, said he had come across many people suffering from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
“More than 300 people from India have died in the Gulf countries alone. This would leave a huge gap on the families, and I hope the Supreme Court will approve the actions necessary to support their families,” Thayikandy said.
According to the legal consultant, India has previously allocated funds to victims of other tragedies, including for the 1993 Tornado in West Bengal, the 2001 Kutch earthquake, and the 2004 tsunami.
“Even in the recent incident of the Vizag gas leak, compensation from Rs1.5 million (Dh73,269) to Rs10 million (Dh488,460) was provided to families of the deceased based on their respective financial status,” the plea states.
Thayikandy said India has its own National Disaster Response Fund, which can be drawn from during emergencies.
“The PM Cares Fund was also established in March this year to combat and contain relief efforts against the outbreak. A number of Gulf-based expats have contributed significant amounts to this Fund, and it should be used to provide compassionate compensation for the families of COVID-19,” Thayikandy has urged.
So far, the filing of the plea has been reported in livelaw.in.
“The website functions essentially to journal Supreme Court dealings, and this is therefore an effective first step,” Thayikandy indicated.