The Supreme Court has accepted court appointed committee’s recommendation to increase the minimum compensation for death in a hit-and-run case from the existing Rs 25,000 to Rs 2 lakh. The Supreme Court had constituted the committee headed by Justice Radhakrishnan in 2014.
The Court has observed that the present amount of compensation is too less and the law should be amended to enhance the amount. It has directed the Centre and General Insurance Council to frame a scheme of payment of compensation to ensure that the amount is paid to the right claimant till the law is amended. The General Insurance (GI) Council is a part of the Insurance Association of India. It regulates the growth of the general insurance industry and maintains customer service. It was established under the Indian Insurance Act 1938
In ‘Hit & Run’ cases, accident victims are eligible for compensation through a Special Fund constituted in terms of Section 163 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 called ‘Solatium Fund’. It is contributed by general insurance industry under an agreed formula. Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is an act of the Parliament of India which regulates all aspects of road transport vehicles.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017 provides for a) mandatory Aadhaar for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration, b) Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim’s family as compensation for deaths in hit-and-run cases, c) A Motor Vehicle Accident Fund to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents, d) huge increases in various penalties for traffic violations, e) three-year jail for parents of minors drivers causing fatal accidents, f) removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance