SUPREME COURT ISSUES DIRECTIVES FOR UNIFORM PROCEDURE FOR COMPENSATION IN MOTOR ACCIDENT CLAIM CASES
The Two Judge Bench of the Hon’ble #SupremeCourt of India comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R. Subhash Reddy passed an Order dated 16.03.2021 in the case of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Private Ltd. v. Union of India & Ors. Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s). 534/2020 and issued certain #Guidelines regarding the process of disbursement of #compensation as well as expediting the matter before the #MotorAccident Claim Tribunals (‘MACTs’) in the country.
The Bench in the present case issued the following slew of directions:
- Accident Information Report
The Jurisdictional Police Station has the duty to report the accident under Section 158(6) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 (the ‘Act’) and subsequently under Section 159 (post 2019 Amendment) to the MACT as well as the Insurer within first 48 hours either over email or a dedicated website.
- Detailed Accident Report
The Police Authority shall collect the relevant documents pertaining to the accident for the purpose of computation of compensation and shall also verify the information and documents. These documents shall form a part of the Detailed Accident Report (hereinafter the ‘Report’). The Police has to email the Report to the MACT and the Insurer within three months. Under Section 166 of the Act, the claimants may be permitted to email the Application for Compensation along with supporting Affidavits to the MACT as well as the Insurer.
- The MACT shall issue summons along with the Report or the Application for Compensation to the Insurer by email.
- The Insurer shall email their offer for settlement/response to the Report or the Application for Compensation to the MACT along with proof of service on the claimants.
- The MACT shall email an authenticated copy of the award to the Insurer.
- The MACT is under an obligation to maintain a bank account and record the relevant account details along with the directions for payment to the Insurer in the award. The Insurer shall deposit the amount awarded into a bank account by RTGS or NEFT.
- Every MACT has to create an email ID for receiving the emails from the Police and the Insurer. Similarly, all the Insurers across the country have to create an email ID peculiar to the jurisdiction of each Claim Tribunal. For the benefit of the Claimants, these email IDs would be prominently displayed at MACT, Police Stations and the office of the Insurers.
- Insurers have the duty to appoint nodal officers for each MACT and shall provide their contact details, and email addresses to the Director General of State Police and the MACTs.
The Apex Court held that these Guidelines shall apply across the country so that a uniform practice is followed in motor accident claim cases.
The Indian Lawyer & Allied Services