‘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 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.