On 22 September 2023, the High Court of Madras heard a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by the wife of a man who worked as a scavenger during the COVID-19 pandemic and died of the disease in October 2020.

The woman had already received a compensation of 50,000 Rupies by the municipality, but deemed such amount insufficient. Therefore, she filed a petition asking for an adjustment of the compensation. The Court considered that the deceased was a front-line worker during the pandemic and ought to be shown due respect. Indeed, the compensation awarded to the petitioner was considered not sufficient and did not reflect such respect. Furthermore, the court analysed the records and documents submitted before it and concluded that both the municipality and the district government tried pass on the other the responsibility to disburse the due compensation.

Therefore, the Court ordered to the State Government to consider the situation of the petitioner and disburse adequate compensation. The government was also ordered to consider the situation in the light of any existing scheme of support for relatives of people deceased due to the pandemic while performing their duties.

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