Srinagar: Motor Accident Claims Tribunal ( MACT) Baramulla has awarded a compensation of over Rs 68 lakhs to a man disabled in a road accident, even as it said a policy is required for management and regulation of traffic movement including a limit on the purchase of vehicles by a household.
Presiding Officer MACT (Principal District Judge) Baramulla, Mohammad Yousuf Wani, awarded the compensation in favor 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 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 @ 6% per annum from the date of the petition that is "from 07-10-2016 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 of his legs were amputated.
In its decision, the MACT has spelled out the reasons for frequent road accidents and the measures required to avoid the mishaps.
“......time is ripe when the Centre and other state governments including our own UT shall think of coming forward with some policy/rules for management and regulation of traffic movement including the limit on the purchase of vehicles by a household,” the Tribunal said, adding, “it is strange that the huge number of vehicles is 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 the “Right to Life.”
While the court noted that road traffic accidents are the worst killers of "our country," it said hardly a day passes when "we do not hear about the occurrence of tragic and horrible road traffic accidents taking precious human lives."
The uncontrolled flow of vehicular traffic, the court said, is the main cause of road traffic accidents. “Unworthy condition of roads, especially of N.H.W’s lapses on the part of traffic police and motor vehicle department are the other reasons.”
The Tribunal said that the alarming increase in road transport flow has made the life of the 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 a valid and effective driving license are enjoying the driving on the roads without caring for the consequences, the Court asked the traffic police and motor vehicles departments to “rise to the occasion and shoulder their responsibilities so that unauthorized persons are kept away from driving which shall definitely minimize the road traffic accidents”.
The fundamental right of Trade and Commerce, the court said, needs to be balanced against the most cherished and sacred fundamental right of life guaranteed by the Constitution.
“The alarming increase in Road Traffic Accidents and incidence of Traffic Jams has the effect of taking away the privilege of the Right to Life”, it added.
The court also termed it astonishing that uninsured vehicles are being 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 an unfortunate road accident,” the court said.
“Even an owner of the uninsured vehicle is under a legal obligation to furnish reasonable cash security even at the time of applying for the 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,” it added.
Meanwhile, the court also expressed concern over the no compliance of Supreme Court’s directions "in “Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company (P) Ltd vs. Union of India and others” in 2021 regarding the submission of the First Accident Report (FAR), Interim Accident Report (IAR) and Detailed Accident Report (DAR) to the Claims Tribunal concerned, Insurer, Insured, Victims/Claimants, Legal Services Authority concerned by the Investigating Officer of the criminal case relating to road accident respectively within 48 hours, 50 days and 90 days of the accident respectively."