The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday told the State government that it could not discriminate among Group D employees, who are required to work by compulsorily wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for COVID-19 health management, with regard to the payment of COVID Risk Incentive of ₹10,000 a month.
The court made this observation on noticing that the Risk Incentive is being offered only to Group D employees of the Health and Family Welfare and the Medical Education Departments who have been deployed at designated COVID-19 health centres, care centres and hospitals.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar pointed out that similarly placed Group D employees like pourakarmikas and sanitary workers, who are deployed in thousands of containment zones across the State are also required to compulsorily wear a PPE kit and they cannot be deprived of the Risk Incentive.
As the government said the proposal to increase the accidental insurance cover from ₹30 lakh to ₹50 lakh for all categories of pourakarmikas, police personnel, anganwadi workers, on a par with health care workers is under consideration, the Bench asked the government to expedite the process. The government also told the Bench that it had modified norms on handling of dead bodies in the context of COVID-19 and recording of cause of death based on the observations made by the court earlier.