30 July 2022 1:30 PM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, directed compromisable insurance claims from the High Court and the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (MACT) which adds up to one lakh fifty five thousand cases to be placed before the Lok Adalat that is proposed to be held on 13th August, 2022 for appropriate orders. It also encouraged pre-discussions amongst the organisers of the Lok Adalats, the High...
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, directed compromisable insurance claims from the High Court and the Motor Accidents Claim Tribunal (MACT) which adds up to one lakh fifty five thousand cases to be placed before the Lok Adalat that is proposed to be held on 13th August, 2022 for appropriate orders. It also encouraged pre-discussions amongst the organisers of the Lok Adalats, the High Courts and the insurance companies to facilitate disposal of all these cases.
There are 28000 such compromisable claims before different High Courts, whereas the tally of such cases before the MACT is a little over 1,27,000. The Apex Court all asked the General Insurance Corporation and insurance companies to provide information regarding pendency of motor vehicle claim related cases before different judicial forums.
A bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh was hearing a case wherein the Supreme Court is considering guidelines to streamline the process of disbursement of compensation to the victims of motor vehicle accidents. It passed a slew of directions in this regard. It emphasised that necessary steps be taken across the country to enforce the latest statutory regime.
Cost Imposed on States for not complying with Court's order; Warned to call Chief Secretaries
In its order dated 31.03.2022, the Bench had directed that if State Public Corporation is desirous of insuring its vehicles, the insurance companies will not decline to give insurance merely on the ground that exemption has been provided under Section 146 of Motor Vehicles Act. In this regard response was sought from the State Governments on or before 15.05.2022. The Additional Solicitor General, Mr. Jayant K. Sud informed the Bench that only five States had filed their responses. He added that some States, like Delhi, Manipur and Assam have made belated submissions. The delay has been deprecated by the Bench on several occasions. Considering the same, the Bench thought it fit to impose a cost of INR 50,000 each, on the States which have failed to comply and INR 10,000 each on those that delayed in complying with its order. The cost is directed to be deposited with the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee within four weeks. It warned to call the Chief Secretaries for non- compliance on the next occasion.
Development of Mobile Application
Mr. Sud apprised the Bench that another 4 weeks would be required to get the mobile App operational for Android phone. However, it would take more time; almost 8 weeks for getting it operation for Apple phones considering its higher threshold for security checks. The App is being developed by the General Insurance Council (GIC) and aims at speedy settlement of third-party motor vehicles compensation claims.
On a previous occasion, the Bench had asked the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways and National Informatics Centre to amend and digitise the standard claim application forms. As the amendments are in place, it directed the Ministry and NIC to upload Form XIII of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 digitally on the platform.
Conflicting views of High Court on issue of TDS
Amicus Curiae, Mr. N. Vijayaraghavan informed the Bench that there are conflicting views of the High Courts with respect to applicability of the TDS to compensation received in case of motor accidents. He beseeched the Court to settle the issue once and for all. Accordingly, the Bench asked Mr. Sud and the Registry of the Supreme Court to look into it so that the issue can be settled.
Workshops to facilitate working of the Mob Application
Mr. Sud suggested that workshops be held in all States to facilitate the working of the Mobile App. He sought the Apex Court's direction to the senior level DGPs to conduct such sensitised workshops. The Bench was of the opinion that the DGP of the States should look into this aspect and ensure that workshops are held across different States so that the App has an impact at the ground level. It noted that this exercise has to be undertaken in association with NIC and MoRTH.
Case Title : BAJAJ ALLIANZ GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY PRIVATE LTD. v UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
Click Here To Read/Download Order