The Delhi High Court has given the central government six months to enforce provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act that provide for grant of compensation to road accident victims even if the errant vehicle is uninsured as well as in cases of hit-and-run.
The direction was passed by a Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on January 11, taking into consideration the Centre’s submission that it be given “some breathing time”.
Since April 1, 2022
Stating that the amendment pertaining to uninsured vehicles came into force on April 1, 2022, the Centre sought six months’ time to do the “needful” to ensure implementation of Sections 145-165 of the Motor Vehicles (32nd Amendment) Act, 2019 across the country.
The High Court’s direction came while hearing a petition by the legal heirs of the deceased victim of a road accident. The victim had died in a road accident in August 2011, caused by an uninsured tractor.
The petitioners sought compensation for themselves as well as other victims of road accidents for the loss suffered due to non-implementation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and its rules.
While raising serious concerns over accidents caused by uninsured vehicles and hit-and-run cases, the petitioners urged implementation of various amendments under the Motor Vehicles Act in order to ensure that victims even in such cases get the compensation.
The plea drew the court’s attention to the Motor Vehicles (32nd Amendment) Act, 2019, which introduced Sections 145-165 to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to ensure that a scheme is in place for granting compensation to road accident victims even if the accident causing vehicle is uninsured.
The plea stated that even as the statute provides for compensation to road accident victims in such cases, the Centre has not yet framed any rules or guidelines in this respect.