Delhi High Court Orders Release of ₹50 Lakhs Under PM Insurance Package for Deceased Hospital Security Guard’s Family

Delhi High Court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: October 22, 2023 at 11:40 IST

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has directed the Union Government, Director General of Health Services, and Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital to release Rs. 50 lakhs in favor of the widow of a security guard who lost his life while on duty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court stated that the widow is entitled to the benefits of the “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package: Insurance scheme for health workers fighting COVID-19,” and criticized a narrow interpretation of the scheme.

Justice Subramonium Prasad firmly stated that the scheme was intended to provide immediate relief to the family members of individuals who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while protecting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court argued that taking a restrictive stance contradicts the spirit of the scheme, which aimed to support those who were on the front lines, safeguarding the lives of countless patients. During the pandemic, security guards and paramedical staff not only ensured hospital safety but also served as guides for patients, making them directly involved in COVID-19 patient care.

The case was brought to the court by the widow, who sought the benefits of the Central Government’s scheme and the Delhi Government’s scheme for ex-gratia compensation of Rs. 1 crore. However, the court noted a change in the Delhi Government’s position, which had limited its scheme’s scope to those directly employed by the government. Therefore, the court declined to extend the benefit through a writ.

Yet, the court acknowledged the Delhi Government’s circular from July 27, 2020, which allowed for the consideration of cases where individuals contracted COVID-19 during their duties. Consequently, the court instructed the Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital to provide the necessary documentation of the deceased to the Delhi Government for review.

The court urged the Delhi Government to approach the case sympathetically, recognizing the security guard’s sacrifice during a critical period in the pandemic.

The court’s decision underscores the vital role played by security guards and paramedical staff in the fight against COVID-19 and their eligibility for the insurance package provided by the Central Government.

This ruling sets a precedent for recognizing the sacrifices made by frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic, ensuring their families receive the deserved support.


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