Kerala High Court: In a significant case where a widow whose husband died due to adverse effects of Covid-29 immunization had approached the Court seeking compensation for herself and her children, V.G. Arun, J., directed the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to formulate policy/guidelines for identifying cases of death due to after-effects of Covid-19 vaccination and for compensating the dependants of the victim. The Court remarked,
“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.”
On being informed by the Assistant Solicitor General that there is no policy of the Central government for compensating the victims of adverse events, following Covid-19 vaccination, the Court expressed,
“Even if the numbers are very few, there are instances where persons are suspected to have succumbed to the after-effects of immunization.”
Hence, opining that, in such circumstances, NDMA and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Union of India are bound to formulate a policy for identifying such cases and compensating the dependants of the victim, the Court directed NDMA 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 Court emphasized that the needful in this regard shall be done as expeditiously as possible and at any rate, within three months. The matter is posted after three months.
[Sayeeda K.A. v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine Ker 4514, decided on 01-09-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
M/S. Prabhu K.N. & Manumon A., Advocates, for the Petitioner;
Assistant Solicitor General, for the Union of India.
*Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.