By 2010, road accident victims will be compensated at the earliest because the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal will dispose of cases faster.
Taking suo moto cognisance of a Delhi High Court order, the Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to consider implementation of a provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, which mandates that a copy of the accident report be sent to the Tribunal immediately.
On Tuesday, Prem Kishan Jain, principal secretary (special) of the home department, filed an affidavit saying the state government will implement some of the suggestions. Within six months, the pilot project will be implemented in one district and one commissionerate.
Advocate-general Ravi Kadam and government pleader Nitin Deshpande told the Bombay HC that as Maharashtra was a big state, it would be difficult to implement all the suggestions simultaneously.
“We will start pilot projects in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur,” said Kadam.
Section 158(6) of the Act provides that within 30 days of filing a report or a first information report of an accident, a copy has to be sent to the tribunal. However, this is not implemented strictly.
The state government said the police will send a copy to the tribunal, but not on the same day, as suggested by the Delhi HC. The state also plans to ask government hospitals to post a copy of the post-mortem report and other relevant documents to the tribunal and the investigating officer concerned.
The affidavit also proposes to release offending vehicles only after the driver and owner have produced all relevant documents such as driving licence, registration cover, insurance, permit and fitness.
However, the government has not accepted the suggestion of producing the driver, owner of the offending vehicle and also witnesses before the tribunal due to “paucity of manpower and practical difficulties.”
The state government will launch a website to inform people about the formalities to be followed in accident cases and put up the information on the police website too.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar has kept the matter for hearing after four weeks.