The central government has sent teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh to scrutinise five per cent claims filed for Covid-19 ex-gratia compensation.

"This is in pursuance of Hon'ble Supreme Court's Order dated 24th March 2022 passed in the Miscellaneous Application No. 1805 of 2021 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 539 of 2021," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement.

The three member team to Maharashtra will be led by Sunil Gupta, Principal Consultant of the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). In Kerala it will be led by P Ravindran, advisor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The team to Calicut in Gujarat will be led by Dr S Venkatesh, Principal Advisor at NCDC while in Andhra Pradesh the team will be headed by S.K. Singh, Director of NCDC.

The teams will examine the on-field implementation of the ex-gratia being paid as per the directions of the Supreme Court and the guidelines issued by the NDMA.

The teams will also undertake random scrutiny of 5 per cent claims applications filed for payment of ex-gratia assistance and will also ascertain the process followed for its payment. It will examine the details of cases approved or rejected, including its documentation or verification undertaken by the district authorities.

The ministry said that making a false claim or submitting a false certificate to avail the ex-gratia is liable for punishment under Section 52 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.