India: Can families of NRIs who died of Covid-19 abroad collect Rs50,000 in relief?

Kerala High Court asks state government to clarify whether victims' families are entitled to the ex-gratia payment

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Published: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 4:18 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 4:20 PM

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday asked the state government to clarify whether family members of NRIs who succumbed abroad to Covid-19 are entitled to Rs50,000 in ex-gratia relief.

Pravasi Legal Cell, an NGO, has claimed that the government was 'arbitrarily' denying relief to the family members of Keralites who had died while living abroad.

"Poor migrants who went abroad solely to support their family in Kerala and unfortunately succumbed to Covid-19 definitely need a sympathetic view," the petitioner claimed in the plea.

"Any discrimination against the family members who lost their near and dear ones abroad is a clear violation of their fundamental rights."


The NGO said the government did not respond to its pleas on behalf of victims' family members.

When the government lawyer said that the NGO's identity was not known, the court said there was no need to be technical about the issue.

Norka Roots, the state government's department for Non-Resident Keralite Affairs, had earlier said that none of the victims' families who died abroad had approached it. Health minister Veena George had said that it was for the Indian government to take a call on whether NRIs could be included in the list of beneficiaries.

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