The Bombay High Court has asked a seed manufacturing company to pay compensation of Rs 45 lakh to 164 farmers in Maharashtra for supplying defective seeds as a result of which the crop quality suffered.
The high court ordered the compensation while upholding an order of the Controller and Director of Agriculture which asked Bayer Bio Science Pvt Ltd to pay the compensation.
The company had challenged the order before the appellate authority which too upheld the order of Agriculture Director dated April 13, 2011.
By that order, the said authority has found 164 farmers entitled to compensation and asked the company to pay that amount within 30 days at 24 per cent interest under rule 12(9) of Maharashtra Cotton Seeds (Regulation of supply, distribution, sale and fixation of sale price) Rules, 2010.
The high court held that Seed Inspector and District Level Investigation Committee functioning under the Act and Rules have discharged their obligation within four corners of law.
“The Controller has looked into entire relevant material and thereafter ordered compensation to be paid to the farmers. In appeal, this exercise has been upheld. Both the authorities have looked into entire material produced before them. There is no perversity in the findings recorded”, noted Justice B P Dharmadhikari in his order on December 11.
“Similarly, there is no jurisdictional error. There are no allegations of bias or malafides. The impugned orders are, thus, in conformity with the scheme and spirit of 2009 Act and 2010 Rules. No case is, therefore, made out for interference in writ jurisdiction. Petition is dismissed”, the judge noted.
The impugned order of April 13, 2011, revealed that the company had disclosed in its leaflet the possibility of occurrence of Alterneria Leaf Blight disease in small percentage.
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