Cap of Rs 10,000 on financial assistance to workers, dependents for COVID treatment not justified: HC
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday told the Delhi government that it may not be justified to put a cap at Rs 10,000 on financial assistance provided to a construction worker and his dependents towards treatment of COVID-19 as it may not be sufficient if more than one person in the family was infected.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said that COVID-19 was a highly contagious disease and if one person in a family gets infected, others may too and each of them would require a course of medication.
The court asked advocate Urvi Mohan, appearing for the Delhi government's Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, to take instructions with regard to the concerns raised by it on the quantum of financial assistance.
The direction came after Mohan told the court that the Board has issued an order to provide financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to every COVID positive worker registered with it and to any of his dependents who are also infected, for treatment, subject to a maximum of Rs 10,000.
The court also said that the Board's insistence on a RTPCR test report for disbursal of the amount would defeat the purpose of the scheme as an RTPCR test may not be affordable for a construction worker and the same is not always accurate either.
The bench said that a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report or a prescription by a doctor certifying that the person has COVID may also be considered as alternatives to an RTPCR test report.
On the issue of bank details of the workers being sought again under the latest financial assistance scheme, the court said the bank account details would have been submitted by a worker at the time of registration and, therefore, asking for it again may cause confusion if the person gives details of another account.
The lawyer said that the bank details were sought again as recently there were mergers and acquisitions of various banks and as a result the payments made to some workers had not been credited to their accounts due to change of IFSC code.
She said that the Board has informed her that bank account details would be sought only if the payment fails.
The bench noted the submission and further stated that the scheme should be communicated to all workers via SMS and its benefits would be available to even those whose applications for renewal of registration with the Board were pending.
The court said that the scheme in fact should be applicable to all workers and their dependents who got infected from April 1 onwards.