Labeling the current compensation amount of Rs 25,000 to hit-and-run victims as ‘low’, the Supreme Court in the country has sought a substantial increase to Rs 2 lakhs. A bill to this affect has been proposed and is pending before the Parliament.
The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha in April 2017. It was sent to the committee of the Rajya Sabha which presented its report on December 22, 2017.
However, today, the Supreme Court has ruled this amount of compensation at Rs 25,000 as ‘abysmally low’ and a proposal to increase this amount to INR 2 lakhs has been proposed. The Bill is pending and awaits passing.
The bench comprised of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta raised this issue, while Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Centre, said that the Bill was pending in the Parliament.
At the same hearing, the issue of potholed roads across Mumbai and Delhi was also raised. The Court questioned the stand being taken to repair these potholes which were among the major causes of accidents. The Court ruled that the appointed committee on road safety had collected the data from various states and the next step should be in the allocation of funds towards road repair.
The amicus also drew attention to the large number of road accidents in India. In 2016, there were around 1.60 lakh deaths due to road accidents, out of which 20,000 persons died in hit-and-run incidents. It was suggested that the Center come out with a scheme to sell two and four wheelers with extended third party insurance for a period of 3 years as against the present 1 year which would ensure that a larger number of vehicles on the road are insured.