The Gwalior bench of the MP High Court has taken a very stern view of the failure of the state government to submit reply to its notice on a public interest litigation (PIL) claiming insurance for farmers for loss of rabi crops last season.
During a hearing on Tuesday, the HC gave a last chance to the government to file its reply by the next date of hearing (November 10), failing which the principal secretary of the state department of farmers' welfare and agriculture would have to personally appear before the court on this date.
The PIL has been filed by Sanjana Singh Raghuvanshi in March this year and the court has already given three chances to the government to file its reply. The PIL seeks crop insurance claims for the farmers whose rabi crop was destroyed due to hailstorm and unseasonal rain under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS).
The PIL has been filed on the grounds that the farmers should get the insurance money as premium (at 1.5% of sum insured) was deducted from Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan accounts of the farmers.
In its reply to the HC notice filed last month, the Agriculture Insurance Company of India (AICI) has refused to pay insurance claim to the farmers, citing that the state government has failed to notify hailstorm as 'localised calamity'. The state is yet to respond in the matter. HT published a report on the matter on September 22.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the division bench of Justices SK Gangele and Rohit Arya said the state was not at all taking a serious view of a very important issue, Pawan Singh Raghuvanshi, advocate for the petitioner said.
The court has asked the additional advocate general MPS Raghuwanshi to ensure the state files reply by next date or the principal secretary is personally present in the court.