Farmers’ Compensation: Supreme Court Suspends HC Injunction Against Bajaj Allianz But Asks It To Deposit Rs 200 Crore

In a relief for the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, the Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the Bombay Supreme Court decision ordering it to compensate more than 0.35 million farmers from the Osmanabad district of Maharashtra, on the condition that the private insurer pays Rs. 200 crore deposited with his registry within six weeks. It also said that if the insurance company does not deposit the amount, the residence order will be automatically vacated.

A holiday bank made up of Judges JK Maheshwari and Hima Kohli, while asking for a response from the Union Ministry of Agriculture, Maharashtra government and others, said it will make the decision to refund the amount so paid by the insurance company. has been deposited on the next hearing date to be released in August.

On May 6, the HC had ordered Bajaj Allianz, one of the stakeholders of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY scheme), to punish up to 357,287 farmers in Osmanabad district and pay compensation for post-harvest damage. caused to the soybean crop due to heavy rains in Kharif 2020 season. The HC had also ruled that if the amount was not paid by the insurance company within six weeks, the Maharashtra government would have to pay such claim within six weeks.

While Bajaj was represented by senior counsel Vivek Tankha, counselors Atul Babasaheb Dakhi, Sandeep Sudhakar Deshmukh and others appeared before farmers.

The HC order came on a PIL to offset or pay the crop insurance claims to all insured farmers of Osmanabad district for their insured crops of Kharif 2020 season.

While Osmanabad district authorities had informed Bajaj of the estimated loss of 33% and a total of 457,216 farmers affected, the insurance company had refused to grant benefits to some on the weak ground that the complaints should have been filed within 72 hours of the date. of the alleged damage suffered by them.

The state government had also taken a stand for the HC that Bajaj had received Rs 639.94 crore as a premium but had only sanctioned Rs 87.83 crore for insurance claims from some of the farmers.

Bajaj stated that the HC had virtually rewritten the executive/policy decisions of the central and state governments, acting to the extreme disadvantage of the private insurer, Bajaj told the highest court that the contested verdict was “too broad” and imposed and imposed and Bajaj has imposed new obligations and liabilities when his specific role, responsibilities and obligations were clearly delineated and defined under the Government Resolution of June 29, 2020 and the underlying operational guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government for the implementation of the PMFBY scheme, it said the profession.

According to the insurance company, reporting loss within 72 hours of the occurrence of the incident by the farmer/designated authorities was essential, as the loss/damage for local calamities and post-harvest losses had to be assessed at the level of the individual insured. farm. About 65,307 farmers, who had made loss declarations under the PMFBY scheme, received aid in a proper and timely manner amounting to Rs 87.87 crore, Bajaj said.

It further said that when determining compensation under the PMFBY scheme, the figures provided by any government department/institution cannot be taken into account.

“In fact, Clause 21.6.5 of the Operational Guidance issued by the Kharif 2020 Central Government clearly states that on the basis of the submission of a duly completed claim form, along with all relevant documents, by the affected farmer, the insurance company would declare loss assessors to assess post-harvest losses and to ensure strict compliance with its provisions,” the appeal said, adding that no credible or relevant data or figures have been produced to support such losses to farmers.

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