Says The Amendment Would Make It Difficult For Families Of Road Accident Victims To Get Complete Compensation
Mumbai : A proposed amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act to limit liabilities of vehicle insurance companies is being opposed by the Bar Association of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) which believes that if the amendment is passed by the Parliament, families of the road accident victims will be the ones to suffer.
As per the current laws, if a person dies in a road accident the immediate family of the deceased can file for claims in the MACT of the city. Following the same, the judge calculates annual income of the person, considers the victim’s age and after making deductions of his approximate monthly expenditure, asks the insurance company to pay a said amount to the family of the deceased on behalf of the person who has caused the accident.
As of now, this amount has no limit. Sources in the MACT said that the judges ask insurance companies to pay the victim’s families a compensation amount which starts from Rs 50,000 and goes to even Rs 1 crore and above, depending on the victim’s earning.
However, the bill proposes that this amount, to be paid by the insurance companies, should now be limited to Rs 15 lakh only while the remaining amount should be borne by the owner of the vehicle. “The major problem here is that if the judge, for example, asks for a compensation of Rs 40 lakh to be given to the victim’s family, Rs 15 lakh will be paid by the insurance company while the remaining Rs 25 lakh will be expected to be paid by owner of the vehicle. Now it will often be so that the owner of the vehicle cannot afford the amount. So ultimately, it is the victim’s family members who will suffer as they won’t receive the compensation amount,” said senior advocate V S Chaugule who is also a member of Bar Association of MACT.
The Bar Association of MACT also met social activist Anna Hazare on March 5 to seek his support to oppose the bill.