“With you, For You Always” goes Delhi Police’s tagline. But many a time it requires a court rap to goad them into action. Delhi High Court found this to be true once again on Wednesday, when a top police official appeared before it with the first-ever blueprint to assist accident claims.
Justice J.R. Midha had on May 28 issued a contempt notice against DCP (Headquarters) H.M. Meena for not complying with rule 158 (6) in the Motor Vehicles Act requiring Station House Officers of police stations to send the accident report to Motor Accident Claims Tribunals within 30 days of recording FIRs, despite repeated court orders.
With nearly 14,000 accident claims pending in the 13 courts, the disposal of each case takes on an average 6 to 7 years.
Delhi has 13 such tribunals and the blueprint will expedite disposal of compensation pleas filed by the injured or kin of those dead.
Stricter vehicle rule
Till now, the owner of a vehicle involved in any accident could get back the vehicle in a couple of days by filing a superdari (submitting a bond) in the court. It was not mandatory for him to submit the documents — driving licence, registration cover, insurance policy, permit and fitness cover — in the court where the victim or his kin filed a plea for compensation as a pre-condition for getting the vehicle back.
“Many times the owner goes missing or fails to submit these documents without which claims proceedings can't start. This is one of the main reasons for delay,” said lawyer A.J. Bhambani, the amicus curiae (advocate appointed by court to assist in an issue) in the case.
The police and Bhambani have urged the judge to issue directions to trial courts to release the vehicle only after the owner submits all documents to the claims tribunal.
Delhi Police is set to create an exclusive website where all accident information reports will be uploaded. Insurance companies and tribunals can download these reports.
Cell for fatal cases
The police said a District Accident Investigation Cell has been created on a trial basis in East, South-West and North-West districts. They will investigate all fatal accident cases and ensure timely delivery of accident information reports to the courts.
Tribunal monitoring cell
Meena said a cell to monitor accident claims tribunals will be created and a register to keep a tab on the delivery of accident information reports will be maintained at all police stations.