Srinagar, Apr 14: Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) Baramulla awarded a compensation of Rs 68,12,000 lakh to a man disabled in road accident and said a policy was required for management and regulation of traffic movement including the limit on the purchase of vehicles by a household.
Presiding Officer MACT (Principal District Judge) Baramulla, Muhammad Yousuf Wani, awarded the compensation in favour of one Altaf Ahmad Chopan of Rangi Khoie Sopore in Baramulla district for suffering permanent disablement due to a road accident in October 2015 in Rajasthan.
The court directed the General Manager, Cholamandlam MS General Insurance Company Ltd Chennai to deposit with it the award amount within a period of 30 days together with simple interest at 6 percent per annum from the date of petition that is from October 7, 2016, till the final liquidation.
At the time of the accident, Chopan was a young boy of 25 years and the only earning member of his family.
After the accident, he underwent a series of surgeries and both his legs were amputated.
In its decision, the MACT has spelt out the reasons for frequent road accidents and the measures required avoiding the mishaps.
“Time is ripe when the Centre and other state governments including our own UT will think of coming forward with some policy and rules for management and regulation of traffic movement including a limit on the purchase of vehicles by a household,” the tribunal said. “It is strange that a huge number of vehicles are possessed by a single household.”
The MACT underscored that the alarming increase in road accidents and incidence of traffic jams has the effect of taking away the privilege of ‘Right to Life’.
While the court noted that traffic accidents were the worst killers in the country, it said hardly a day passes when one does not hear about the occurrence of tragic and horrible road traffic accidents, taking precious human lives.
The court said that the uncontrolled flow of vehicular traffic, the court said, was the main cause of traffic accidents.
It said that unworthy condition of roads, especially of the National Highways lapses on the part of the Traffic Police and Motor Vehicles Department are the other reasons.
The tribunal said that the alarming increase in road transport flow had made the life of common man “miserable so much so that if the situation goes unchecked, people will prefer to move on foot than to think of motor vehicles”.
Pointing out that teenagers and other persons without valid and effective driving license were enjoying driving on the roads without caring for the consequences, the court asked the Traffic Police and the Motor Vehicles Departments to “rise to the occasion and shoulder their responsibilities so that unauthorised persons are kept away from driving which shall definitely minimise traffic accidents”.
The court said that the fundamental right of Trade and Commerce needs to be balanced against the most cherished and sacred fundamental right of life guaranteed by the constitution.
“The alarming increase in traffic accidents and incidence of traffic jams has the effect of taking away the privilege of Right to Life,” it said.
The court also termed it astonishing that uninsured vehicles plied on roads unmindful of the situation arising out of the omissions and blunders.
“The owner of a motor vehicle for his reckless failure to insure his vehicle against a payment of a premium amount of some thousands of rupees runs a risk of being accountable for payment of huge compensation amount of lakhs of rupees in case of unfortunate road accident,” it said. “Even an owner of an uninsured vehicle is under a legal obligation to furnish the reasonable cash security even at the time of applying for release of an offending vehicle from the criminal courts on account of the advance deposit of the amount before the concerned Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.”
Meanwhile, the court also expressed concern over the no compliance of Supreme Court’s directions in ‘Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company (P) Ltd versus Union of India and others’ in 2021 regarding submission of First Accident Report (FAR), Interim Accident Report (IAR) and Detailed Accident Report (DAR) to the Claims Tribunal concerned, insurer, insured, victims and claimants, legal services authority concerned by the Investigating Officer of the criminal case relating to accident within 48 hours, 50 days, and 90 days of the accident.