The Delhi High Court on Wednesday initiated steps to formulate a first-of-its-kind compensation scheme for victims of road accidents with a higher rate of interest for victims.
It also proposes higher rates if the closest relative of the victim is a widow or a senior citizen.
Justice JR Midha, who is aiming at reforming the accident claims mechanism, also envisages to put in place a system where insurance companies can be asked to put a lumpsum amount in a bank fixed deposit and release the interest every month as compensation to the claimant.
The entire compensation amount will be released to the victims or their kin when the fixed deposit matures.
Justice Midha has formed a four-member committee to look into various issues involved before the scheme is formulated.
It comprises advocates AJ Bhambani and VP Choudhary appointed amicus curiae (senior lawyers who assist the court on an issue), Additional Solicitor General AS Chandiok who appears for the government and an actuary (person who assesses claims) KK Wadhwa.
Who will benefit?
According to Bhambani it is aimed at poor people. “For example, if a labourer gets a compensation amount of Rs 6 or Rs 10 lakh after an accident, he does not know how to manage the money. He may just fritter it away. But if the insurance company deposits it in a bank and pays him monthly a amount he and his family benefits,” he says.
The court asked the committee whether senior citizens can be paid an extra .5 per cent and accident victim an additional 1 per cent on fixed deposits on compensation amount.
The court mooted the idea in a case where Oriental Insurance Company was asked to put the compensation amount to be paid to one Chaman in a fixed deposit.