Delhi High Court Orders Rs 1 Crore Compensation for Health Worker’s Family
The Delhi High Court has made a significant decision to provide compensation of Rs 1 crore to the family of a health worker who contracted Covid-19 and subsequently passed away. The health worker, identified as Rachel Joseph, worked as a blood bank manager with a private hospital in the city. Her main responsibility was to ensure the smooth supply of blood units, platelets, and blood plasma, which were essential for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
In April 2020, the Delhi government implemented a policy that offered ex-gratia compensation of Rs 1 crore to the families of employees who died while on Covid-19 duty. However, Joseph’s case was initially rejected, prompting her husband to challenge this decision in the high court. He was deeply aggrieved by what he called the “arbitrary and totally unfair stand taken by the Respondents in denying his and his young son’s rightful claim to ex-gratia compensation despite a clear Cabinet decision.”
Representing the petitioner, advocate Manoj George argued against the government’s stance that Joseph was ineligible for compensation since she was not specifically deployed for Covid-19 duties. George also pointed out that compensation of Rs 1 crore had been granted to the families of 17 individuals, including a pharmacist and a security guard, who were considered to be “deployed for Covid-19 duty” according to an RTI response.
It was emphasized that Joseph’s work in the blood bank put her in close proximity to Covid-19 patients and their family members, making her duty inherently risky. As a part of her responsibilities, she was required to be in constant contact with Covid-19 patients and their families, particularly due to the heavy reliance on plasma therapy and convalescent blood plasma in the treatment protocol during the first wave of the pandemic.
Advocate George further highlighted that the facility where Joseph worked was declared a Covid-designated hospital, and therefore, the healthcare workers employed there should be considered Covid warriors.
The Delhi High Court’s decision to order the release of Rs 1 crore compensation to Joseph’s family is a significant step towards recognizing and honoring the sacrifices made by healthcare workers during the pandemic. Their dedication and willingness to put themselves at risk for the well-being of others should not go unnoticed. This ruling sets a precedent for similar cases in the future and emphasizes the importance of providing support to the families of frontline workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
It is important to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of healthcare workers and ensure that they are appropriately compensated and protected for the risks they undertake. The Delhi High Court’s decision serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by individuals like Rachel Joseph and the need to support their families during these challenging times.
Overall, this ruling is a step forward in recognizing the efforts of healthcare workers and providing much-needed support to their families. It sends a message that their contributions are valued and that their sacrifices will not be forgotten.