Writ of Mandamus cannot be issued for compensating every COVID victim: Madras HC

While hearing two pleas seeking compensation for the families of people that have died as a result of COVID, the Madras High Court held that it cannot issue a writ of mandamus directing compensation for every victim of COVID.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in regard to compensation for family members and heirs dependent on the deceased advocates held that such a matter depends upon the policies of State, which would only be decided considering the class and extent of compensation required. Such a matter lies in the exclusive domain of the State and the Court cannot give preferential status to any advocate by picking and choosing at its own discretion.

A similar plea being dealt with in the same hearing was in relation to seeking of compensation and grant of necessary relief required to the kith and kin of the deceased. It sought such a relief for the welfare of the children and relatives dependent on the deceased as well as for the funeral expenses.

The bench observed that it has become a routine for this Court to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution through the means of PIL or even to seek extraordinary orders that the Judiciary simply has no competent jurisdiction to pass.

Such a matter lies within the policy matters of the State which has the power to decide and extend relief in accordance with the severity of the situation at hand.

It further noted that several schemes are functional both at Central and State level and that it would be best if such matters are left for the executive to decide without any Court interference.

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