Kerala HC Orders NDMA to Create Guidelines for Compensation for Deaths Due to COVID-19 Vaccine

Kerala HC Law Insider

Prerna Gala

Published on: September 6, 2022 at 17:44 IST

The Kerala High Court ordered the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to develop guidelines for identifying incidents of deaths brought on by the side effects of the COVID-19 immunization and for paying the dependents of such victims.

“Sitting in this jurisdiction, I have come across at least three cases where pleadings are to the effect that the person who had undergone COVID-19 immunization vaccination had succumbed to the after effects of vaccination.”

“Therefore, even if the numbers are very few, there are instances where persons are suspected to have succumbed to the after effects of immunization. In such circumstances, respondents 2 and 8 are bound to formulate a policy for identifying such cases and compensating the dependants of the victim,” Judge VG Arun said in the order.

The Court was hearing a petition submitted by a woman who lost her spouse in August 2021 as a result of receiving the COVID vaccination.

The petition’s main request was to give the NDMA instructions on how to deal with issues connected to compensation in cases of such deaths because many other people, aside from the petitioner, are also dealing with similar conditions.

In a previous decision, the Court expressed its seriousness over the situation and instructed the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) to seek guidance on whether the Government of India had a plan in place for compensating those who have negative side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

When the subject was discussed on September 1, the ASG argued that no such policy had yet been formulated.

As a result, the Court ordered the relevant authorities to act quickly to develop policies and guidelines to deal with the problem.

“The second respondent is hence directed to formulate policy/ guidelines for identifying cases of death due to the after effects of Covid-19 vaccination and for compensating the dependants of the victim. The needful in this regard shall be done as expeditiously as possible and at any rate, within three months,” the order stated.

After three months, the subject will be brought up once more.

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