Enforce law on compensation to accident victims: Delhi High Court

A 2019 amendment of the law provides for compensation even if the vehicle causing the accident is uninsured or in hit-and-run cases, but the Centre has yet to frame relevant rules to implement it

Updated - January 23, 2023 01:08 am IST

Published - January 22, 2023 01:48 pm IST - New Delhi

The Delhi High Court’s order was passed on a petition by the legal heirs of a deceased accident victim. File

The Delhi High Court’s order was passed on a petition by the legal heirs of a deceased accident victim. File

The Delhi High Court has given the Central government six months to enforce the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act that provide for a grant of compensation to road accident victims, even if the errant vehicle is uninsured, as well as in hit-and-run cases.

The direction was passed by a Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramanium Prasad on January 11, taking into consideration the Centre’s submission that it be given “some breathing time” to ensure implementation of Sections 145-165 of the Motor Vehicles (32nd Amendment) Act, 2019 throughout the country.

Also read: Supreme Court bats for accident victims from marginalised sections

The Centre said that the amendment had come into force with effect from April 1, 2022 and sought six months’ time to do the “needful”.

The High Court’s direction came while hearing a petition by the legal heirs of a deceased accident victim, who sought compensation for themselves as well as for other victims of road accidents for the loss suffered by them due to non-implementation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and its rules.

The victim died in a road accident in August 2011, caused by an uninsured tractor. The petition raised serious concerns in respect of accidents caused by uninsured vehicles and also in hit and run cases.

The petitioner sought for implementation of various amendments under the Motor Vehicles Act in order to ensure that a victim gets compensation even if the accident is caused by an uninsured vehicle and in hit-and-run cases.

The petitioner drew the attention of the court to the 2019 amendment which inserted Sections 145-165 into the to the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, to submit that now a scheme is in place for granting compensation to road accident victims even if the vehicle causing the accident is uninsured.

The plea states that although the statute provides for compensation in such cases, the Centre has not framed any rules or guidelines in this respect yet.

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