The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to ensure within six months the enforcement of legal provisions pertaining to the grant of compensation to victims of road accidents caused by an uninsured vehicle as well as in cases of hit and run.
The central government told the court that it has amended the law pertaining to motor vehicles to grant compensation in case of accidents caused by uninsured vehicles but guidelines were yet to be framed. It said now a scheme is in place for granting compensation to road accident victims even if the accident causing vehicle is uninsured and urged the court to give it a breathing time of six months to implement the change throughout the country.
“Resultantly, as the statute provides for a remedy for grant of compensation to the road accident victims even if the accident causing vehicle is uninsured as well as in the accidents caused by hit and run cases, Union of India is granted six months' time to enforce the provisions which are now in the statute books,” said a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad in a recent order. The court's order was passed on a petition by the legal heirs of a deceased accident victim, who sought compensation for themselves as well as other victims of road accidents for the loss suffered by them due to non-implementation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and its rules.
The victim died in the road accident in August 2011, caused by an uninsured tractor, and the petition raised serious concerns in respect of accidents caused by uninsured vehicles and also in hit and run cases.The petitioners sought implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act as well as directions to the authorities to give the data of accidents caused by uninsured vehicles or by a person driving the offending vehicle without driving license and the steps taken thereof to eradicate such menace and for prosecution of such offenders.
The Centre said the amendment with respect to uninsured vehicles has come into force with effect from April 1, 2022, and some time was needed to implement Sections 145-165 of the Motor Vehicles (32nd Amendment) Act, 2019.