- Apprentice Lawyer
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday pulled up the State Government for its laid back approach in extending the benefit of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (crop insurance scheme) to families of farmers, who have died by suicide.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice SS Magadum, said in its order that there was "complete insensitivity" on the part of the State government officers in this regard.
"Prima facie, it shows complete insensitivity on the part of officers of the State in dealing with imparting the benefits of crop Insurance scheme," the Court said.
The Court was hearing a petition moved by Akhanda Karnataka Raitha Sangha highlighting the growing number farmer suicides in Karnataka's Shahapur Taluk.
The State government had filed an affidavit stating it had received no complaints from families of farmers regarding poor implementation of crop insurance scheme.
However, the Bench reminded the State that in the plea itself, about 10 complaints from farmers were annexed. Moreover, many complaints were forwarded to various officials, including the Chief Minister's office.
Therefore, the statement made by the State government informing that it received no complaints is completely "incorrect", the Court underscored.
"We are dealing with cases related to farmer suicides. And your (government's) officer is saying that no complaints were received? What is this casual approach. This is nothing short of insensitivity," the Bench orally remarked.
To this effect, the Bench directed the State to find out and place all such complaints related to the crop insurance scheme before the concerned committees within a period of one week.
The Bench also looked into the issue of 189 persons with insurance claims, not receiving the fruit of the crop insurance scheme though their proposals were approved by the State.
The Court noted that the State had not disbursed the amounts to the deserving farmers on the ground that that the latter's bank accounts were not functional.
"No attempt was made to contact the farmers and ensure that they get the benefit of the crop insurance policy," read the Court order.
The Court also asked State to find out whether the families of those farmers, who had gotten money from private individuals, were entitled to the benefits under the crop insurance scheme.
The matter will be next heard on February 12.
In its previous order, the Court had passed a detailed order on the implementation of the crop insurance scheme by the State government. Terming the rise in farmers' suicide a serious issue, the Court had in that order, directed the State government to provide details of aid/grant extended to the families of deceased farmers.