The Allahabad High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Oriental Insurance Company Limited for filing a petition without consideration in the matter, challenging the order of the District Review Committee to pay compensation under the ‘Mukhyamantri Kisan Evam Sarvahit Bima Yojna’ (MKSBY).
The Lucknow Division Bench of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh on Monday passed this order, while hearing a petition filed by the insurance company, through its Manager.
The plea said the petitioner being Insurance Company, which is a party to the agreement dated September 13, 2018 with regard to the enforcement of MKSBY, launched by the state government vide Government Order dated June 20, 2017, is challenging the decision of the District Review Committee headed by the District Magistrate, Ambedkar Nagar, UP, in order to deny compensation to the dependents of the deceased/claimant.
The Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the District Review Committee headed by the District Magistrate, Ambedkar Nagar has violated the terms of the agreement as the dependents of deceased who are also claimants were not entitled to get any compensation as they have not deposited the Income Certificate within the stipulated period of 45 days from the date of death.
It is submitted that the petitioner has a right to challenge the decision of the District Review Committee as the judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is permitted.
The Court noted that under the Mukhyamantri Kisan evam Sarvahit Bima Yojna, the District Review Committee headed by the District Magistrate shall be the final authority on all the claims including the claims which can be discrepant/controversial.
The Insurance Company shall be bound to adhere to the decision taken by the Committee and make the payment within one month. The Insurance Company shall submit a cheque of amount payable to the District Magistrate who will handover the cheque to the concerned Head of Family/bread-winner/nominee/legal heir (as applicable) within 15 days.
It is further noted that the agreement provides conflict resolution in case of claim rejections. Under the said conflict resolution, it is provided that in case any conflict arises due to rejection of insurance claim, incomplete documents or inappropriate and untimely payment by Insurance Company to the hospitals, the decision taken by the Committee headed by the District Magistrate concerned shall be final and accepted by the Insurance Company.
“We are of the considered view that it is not open for the Insurance Company to challenge the decision of the District Review Committee headed by the District Magistrate concerned and file a writ petition and claim that judicial review is open against the decision of the District Review Committee. The Insurance Company is privy to the agreement entered between the Insurance Company and the State Government and it cannot wriggle out of the said agreement,” the Court observed.
“We are surprised and shocked as to how the Insurance Company, which is a state instrumentality, has approached the Court by filing the instant writ petition. Such writ petitions, if allowed to be entertained, would open the flood gates and no claim can be settled under the Mukhyamantri Kisan evam Sarvahit Bima Yojna,” the Bench said.
“We deprecate the practice of Insurance Company to file such writ petitions. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed with a cost of Rs 25,000, which shall be deposited in the Government Treasury within one month from today, failing which it shall be recovered as arrears of land revenue. The petitioner/Insurance Company is directed to ensure compliance of the District Review Committee without any further delay and make the payment to the claimant at the earliest, say, within a period of one month,” the Court ordered.