Supreme Court To Examine Methods For Expediting Compensation Procedure In Motor Accident Cases The Supreme Court (SC) soon will examine methods to expedite the grant of compensation in motor accident cases and the Central Government has agreed to coordinate with all stakeholders including Bajaj Allianz's case regarding disbursement of compensation and expeditious adjudication of motor...
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Supreme Court To Examine Methods For Expediting Compensation Procedure In Motor Accident Cases
The Supreme Court (SC) soon will examine methods to expedite the grant of compensation in motor accident cases and the Central Government has agreed to coordinate with all stakeholders including Bajaj Allianz's case regarding disbursement of compensation and expeditious adjudication of motor accident claims by an online mechanism.
The three-judge Bench of SC comprising of Justices S.K. Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Hrishikesh Roy heard the plea on 24 February 2021, in the case titled Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Pvt. Ltd. (Petitioners) v. Union of India & Ors. (Respondents).
A plea was filed before the Top Court by the Insurance Company Bajaj Allianz for seeking directions in the matter. The petitioner filed a plea before the SC for seeking implementation of an online and virtual mechanism for collection of information ensuring expeditious payment of compensation in motor accident claims and a functional common online virtual platform to ensure filing of such claims.
The petitioners further prayed before the Court to permit them to make online payments to satisfy the awards passed by the Tribunals into the bank accounts maintained by the Tribunals.
They sought directions to the respondents to create a common online virtual platform accessible by all stakeholders including the police authorities, insurer, respective tribunals, and the claimants.
Directions were sought for the Union of India and States to develop software for submission of the documents mentioned in the prayers as early as possible within a limited
The petition was filed for implementation of provisions of Section 158, 159, and 165 of the Motor Vehicles Act (Act) that mandated the provision of certificates in certain cases under the Act.
Section 158, read with Section 159 after the 2019 amendment mandates that in event of a motor vehicle causing death or bodily injury, the police must collect the certificate of insurance and registration for all types of vehicles, and the certificate of fitness and transport permit for transport vehicles along with the driving license of the driver. These documents must be collected contemporaneously with the occurrence of an accident.
The document must then be submitted by the officer in charge of the jurisdictional police station before the jurisdictional tribunal and the insurer in terms of Section 158(6). The said report has to be treated as an application for compensation in terms of Section 166(4).
The petitioner contended that when Section 166(4) is read with 158(6) it ensures expeditious payment of compensation to third party victims. Hence, necessary measures should be taken to ensure the application of the said provision of the Act.
The Court had in its previous hearing directed the petitioner, to come up with draft directions and guidelines it seeks for facilitating the compensation disbursement process and expedition of cases before Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (Tribunal) in terms of previous orders of the High Court (HC).
The SC observed that on 18 February 2021, the bench had directed the petitioner to submit a note indicating the directions within 10 days, but the petitioner failed to do so.
The Additional Solicitor General Jayant Sud assured the Apex Court that coordinated effort will be made and a virtual conference with all the stakeholders represented the Court will be held and the agreed directions will be given to the Court along with the different perceptions of all the stakeholders involved.
Advocate Sourav Roy, Deputy Advocate General appearing for the State of Chhattisgarh submits that the Ministry of Road and Transport (MORT) should also assist in this behalf because they have some aggregated platforms which may also be of assistance in arriving at those agreed directions.
Advocate Meenakshi Arora representing the petitioners had informed the Top Court that she had submitted the required note wherein she had incorporated various directions given by the Delhi High Court (HC) and other HCs across India dealing with compensation disbursement process and expedition of cases pending before the Tribunal.
Justice Kaul clarified that the SC bench had asked the petitioner to prepare 'draft directions' for it to look into the aspect of its implementation. He added that "You cannot put everything on Court and say you do it. You should have framed the guidelines. You've not done the exercise."
The bench stated, "We asked you for directions related to disbursement of compensation and expedition of MACT cases, which would have then modulated for a uniform application. We are trying to help you out. We will give you one more chance. Otherwise, we will close this case." It directed the petitioners to submit the requisite draft by 12 March 2021.
The matter is listed on 16 March 2021 before the SC for further hearing.