Online system will make the compensation procedure easier, quicker for Covid victims

The judges suggested the creation of a portal which would facilitate the applicants to apply from their villages and they would not be required to go to the district headquarters



A woman hold her arm after receiving Covishield Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai. — AP
A woman hold her arm after receiving Covishield Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Mumbai. — AP

By NRIs Problem by H. P. Ranina

Published: Sat 4 Dec 2021, 2:54 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Dec 2021, 3:09 PM

Question: For those persons of weaker sections of society who have died of Covid during the past few months, a compensation scheme has been announced. Can you give me some details as I have poor relatives in rural areas who would be interested in availing of the compensation where there has been death in the family?

Answer: Currently an applicant has to go to the district headquarters to submit the relevant documents. This has led to a lot of hardship and most beneficiaries are not able to avail of the ex-gratia amount announced by the government. When this matter recently came up before the Supreme Court, the judges suggested the creation of a portal which would facilitate the applicants to apply from their villages and they would not be required to go to the district headquarters. In fact, in many cases relatives of the deceased are not aware of the compensation scheme. According to the apex court, the online system will make the procedure easier and quicker as it would avoid long queues at the collector’s office. This was noted by the court as it had come to its notice that in Kerala, where the total deaths from Covid were 38,737 during a particular period, only 6,116 claim applications were received from relatives. The court therefore concluded that this clearly indicated that no wide publicity was given among the affected people and even where they were aware, the claimants were not informed regarding the procedure and the office where they need to apply for claiming the compensation from the government.

Question: There are many loan service providers who act as agents of borrowers. Is there a regulatory framework to cover the activities of these providers who sometimes resort to unfair practices?

Answer: There are many digital lenders who take credit risks while distributing loans. Generally, lenders have an agreement with a distributor to indemnify them from any loss caused by the action of the agent or employee. In order to reduce the systemic risks involved, a high level committee on micro, small and medium enterprises recommended to the Reserve Bank of India that the loan service providers must make adequate disclosures in a standardized format. Such disclosure should indicate the percentage rate which borrowers have to bear. Likewise, direct selling agents and brokers will now be required to disclose the fees which they add to the loans and give information in case of related party transactions. The fintech loans are now required to be reported directly to credit bureaus. Further, credit risk sharing is prohibited between finance companies and banks. Based on these recommendations, stringent guidelines are expected to be framed by the Reserve Bank of India.

Question: My elder brother who lives in India is having problems with his son and daughter-in-law. My brother is the sole owner of the house which he inherited from his father. His son and daughter-in-law are staying with him and my brother would like them to leave the house so that he can live alone in peace. Is it legally possible for my brother to ask his son to vacate?

Answer: There is a special law made for the protection of senior citizens. Under this law, a senior citizen can ask a member of the family to vacate the house in case he is harassed by the relative and is not allowed to live in peace. The Bombay High Court has upheld this law and passed an order recently in favour of a senior citizen who wanted his daughter to leave the house as he was being harassed by her by demanding her share in the apartment. The High Court observed that the daughter had no right to any share in the property which was owned entirely by the father. A Division Bench of the High Court upheld the order of the Welfare Tribunal and Deputy Collector of Mumbai who had ordered the daughter to vacate the father’s house as he was the absolute owner of the apartment and the daughter had no legal right to the same. Therefore, your brother is entitled to seek the protection of the law and apply to the Welfare Tribunal and Deputy Collector for obtaining an appropriate order.

H. P. Ranina is a practicing lawyer, specialisng in tax and exchange management laws of India.


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