Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Monday said it would not encroach upon the jurisdiction of the government and disposed of a petition seeking financial assistance for all citizens, and not just farmers, if they are bitten by snakes or scorpions.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne noted that the court will not direct the state government to device a particular scheme in a specific way.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by a Thane based NGO Nisarg Vidnyan Sanstha that sought an increase in ambit of the Gopinath Munde Farmers Accident Insurance Scheme.
As per the scheme, farmers who have their names on the revenue records of the state, are eligible for compensation of up to Rs 2 lakh depending on the degree of injury suffered in cases of snake and scorpion bites.
The petitioner NGO, which is involved in snake rescue, said in its plea that some of its own members had been bitten by snakes during the rescue process.
The petitioner's advocate Anurag Kulkarni pointed out that Madhya Pradesh had a scheme wherein anyone who had suffered snake or scorpion bite was covered.
Kulkarni also said there were many labourers who work on the farms but are unable to avail benefits of the scheme since they do not have land to reflect in the revenue records.
The HC, however, said such matters are for the legislature to decide.
"Whether a particular scheme is for a particular class or for everyone, that is to be undertaken by the state. The state has considered farmers different from ordinary citizens," the court said.
"This court would not direct the state to device a scheme in a particular manner. That would be encroaching upon the state jurisdiction," it said while disposing of the PIL. PTI SP BNM BNM