The Rajasthan High Court directed Agricultural Insurance Company of India (AIC) to release the amount due to the petitioner farmers of Satalana village under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna within a period of four weeks from the date of order.
The order was passed in a Public Interest Litigation filed before the High Court by the Sarpanch of Satlana gram panchayat Bhala Ram Patel on behalf of thousands of farmers of the village who haven't received insurance claims due to them for two seasons- Kharif 2016 and Kharif 2017 of crop failure.
The farmers who have been denied their insurance cover for Kharif 2016 since three years had alleged in their petition to the Court that the insurance company AIC is making absurd excuses to deny the insurance claim due to the farmers owing to a substantial yield loss in the season of Kharif in the year 2016.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Vijay Bishnoi noted that the insurance company has calculated the claims and dues of farmers of the village Bank and has computed the payable dues to the farmers to be around Rs. 81 lakhs. The Co-operative bank where the farmers held their accounts had provided the requisite details of the dues of 1052 Satlana farmers who had paid their insurance premium to AIC on its demand to provide a soft copy of their claims. The amount of claim was arrived in accordance with the provisions of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna scheme.
However, the insurance company had submitted to the Court that it was entitled to get subsidy from the State Government as well as premium from the Co-operative bank with respect to this insurance policy claim due to the farmers and the same had not been received by it.
The Court stated that the issue of disputed subsidy and premium due to the Insurance Company by the State and the Co-operative Bank cannot come in the way of payment due to farmers while ordering the entities to resolve issues between.
"We leave these things to be sorted by the respondents concerned and if the State Government is required to pay any subsidy to the Insurance Company and the Co-operative Bank is required to pay any premium, they shall settle the issue between themselves."
Finally, the Court took into account the long-lasted anguish of the poor farmers due to the non-payment of insurance money which was due to them since 2016 and ordered the Insurance Company to clear the said dues of farmers for Kharif 2016 within four weeks. It stated that
"The petitioners, who are poor farmers and anguishing years together for payment of insurance, cannot be denied that benefit due to any pending issue between the Insurance Company, State Government and the Bank. We therefore, direct the respondent No.2- Insurance Company to immediately release the amount due to the petitioners-farmers in accordance with Annexure-R/2/18 within a period of four weeks from today."
The Court has also ordered the Insurance Company to file a compliance report with the Court within two weeks after the elapse of the four week time period provided for clearing the dues of the farmers.
The matter has been listed for 16th September, 2020 along with an order to filer a compliance report by the date of the next listing.