The Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan, Jodhpur Bench vide order dated 27.07.2020 held that poor farmers cannot be denied payment of insurance due to a pending issue between the Insurance Company, State Government and the bank, and thereby directed the 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 the present order.

The order was passed in response to a petition filed 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 Petitioner farmers who have been denied their insurance cover for Kharif 2016 for three years alleged in their petition to the Court that the insurance company viz. Agricultural Insurance Company of India is making absurd excuses to deny the insurance claim.

Counsel for Respondent No.4, i.e. the Cooperative bank had in perusance of the High Court’s order dated 04.02.2020 provided Agricultural Insurance Company of India (Respondent No.2) with the details of Satlala Pacs farmers and requisite data of the farmers who had paid insurance premium.

Thereafter, Respondent No.2, viz. the Insurance Company submitted that they had also filed an affidavit along with documents containing coverage and claims of Satlana Pacs farmers as provided by the Respondent-Bank on 04.02.2020 for Kharif 2016 season. Claims were calculated as per PMFBY scheme provision.

The division bench comprising of Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Vijay Bishnoi noted the total amount payable to the Petitioner farmers to be around Rs. 81, 00, 000/- (Rupees Eighty One Lakh Only) .

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.

After taking note of the merits of the present matter, the Hon’ble division bench held that the ongoing dispute between the Insurance Company and the Cooperative bank could not come in between the payment of dues to the farmers. The bench stated as follows, “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.”

Therefore, taking into account the anguish being suffered by the farmers , the Hon’ble High Court directed the Respondent Insurance Company to release the amount due to the Petitioners-farmers within a period of four weeks from the present order, and thereafter file a compliance report within two weeks of such payment.

The case has been listed for 16. 09.2020.

Order: Rajasthan HC Order