A Division Bench comprising of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Suraj Govindaraj heard the Petition stating that the media houses should be directed to pay RS. 50000/- as compensation in the event of their employee’s death to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the Petition, media reporters are interviewing the doctors, police personnel, government officials, patients and the family members of the patients who are infected by the coronavirus on a day to day basis, they put themselves and their families under great risk of contacting the deadly virus. These people however have no social security benefits, and in the event of their unfortunate death during their duty, they have no means of being compensated by the management or the government.
The Petition also stated that safety kits, masks, gloves, Personal protection equipment should be provided to the media persons who visit hospitals, quarantine Centers and containment Zones and compulsory health check ups should be conducted to identify the suspected cases of corona virus.
The Petition has noted the following Schemes for compensation made by different States:
• RS. 50,00,000 as compensation providing to the kith and kin police personnel in case of their by Maharashtra Government
• RS. 1 crore as compensation providing to the families of health care personnel, police, civil defence volunteers, teachers, fire service personnel etc. If any of these persons were die due to coronavirus, by the Delhi Government.
• Providing compensation to the kith and kin of police personnel in case of their death due to a COVID-19 infection by the Madhya Pradesh Government.
The Petition also states that if such compensation is not provided to media persons and their families and no social welfare scheme is made, it will be violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The Karnataka HC On 11th May 2020, has issued notice on a Petition filed seeking directions to the Government for compensating the families of media and newspaper delivery persons in case of their death due to COVID-19.
By Shubhi Singhal of Law College Dehradun