‘Rs 25,000 com­pen­sa­tion to ac­ci­dent vic­tim low’

‘Rs 25,000 is low. The pro­posal is to in­crease it to Rs two lakh’, says Supreme Court

The Hitavada - - NATION -

THE Supreme Court on Fri­day said that com­pen­sa­tion amount of Rs 25,000 to a vic­tim of hi­tand-run ac­ci­dent in case of death is “low” and a bill that pro­poses to raise this to Rs two lakh is “pend­ing” be­fore the Par­lia­ment.

The Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles (Amend­ment) Bill, 2016, was passed by the Lok Sabha in April 2017 and was sent to Ra­jya Sabha com­mit­tee, which had pre­sented report on De­cem­ber 22, 2017.

The apex court, which was hear­ing a mat­ter con­cern­ing the is­sues of road safety in India, was told that the amount of com­pen­sa­tion to the vic­tim of hi­tand-run ac­ci­dent was “abysmal”.

“Rs 25,000 is low. The pro­posal is to in­crease it to Rs two lakh. The Bill is pend­ing,” a bench com­pris­ing Jus­tices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said af­ter a lawyer, as­sist­ing the court as an am­i­cus cu­riae, raised this is­sue.

On be­ing asked about it, Ad­di­tional Solic­i­tor Gen­eral Pinky Anand, ap­pear­ing for the Cen­tre, said that the Bill was pend­ing in the Par­lia­ment.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, the bench also raised the is­sue of pot­holes on roads in Mum­bai and Delhi.

“There are 4,000 pot­holes in Mum­bai. What are you do­ing about it,” the bench said, adding, “What about Delhi. Is some­body count­ing the pot­holes in Delhi?”.

At the out­set, the am­i­cus cu­riae told the court that sev­eral States have com­plied with the di­rec­tions of the apex court given in the mat­ter ear­lier while some States were at the stage of com­ply­ing with them.

He said that a court-ap­pointed com­mit­tee on road safety has col­lected data from the States in this re­gard and the next challenge was about util­i­sa­tion of funds which should strictly be for the pur­poses of road safety. On the is­sue of com­pen­sa­tion to vic­tims of hit-and-run ac­ci­dents, the am­i­cus said that in­surance com­pa­nies were on board and they were will­ing to pay Rs two lakh to them.

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