28 Aug MACT – Claiming Compensation
In day-to-day life, travelling through road transport is increasing rapidly and so have accidents.
People are always in rush at road because they all want to reach their destiny as early as possible which may cause accidents. The victims of such accident are entitled for the compensation and in order to do that law provides remedies under the Motor Vehicle Act.
The Motor Vehicle Act (MV Act in short) came into force on 1st July 1989. This Act is an act of parliament which deals with all aspect of road transport vehicles.
This Act created a tribunal i.e., Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT in short) to ensure the cheaper and speedy remedy to the victims of accident of motor vehicle. The Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 empowers the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to deal with the claims related to injury or loss of life/property resulting from the motor vehicle accident.
Who can file a claim petition before the MACT?
As per Section 166(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, a Claim Petition can be filed by:
- the person who has sustained the injury
- the owner of the damaged property
- all or any of the legal heirs (in case of death)
Jurisdiction of claim
As Section 166(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, the Claimant can file the claim either before the Claims Tribunal having jurisdiction over the area in which the accident occurred or before the Claims Tribunal within the local limits of where the Claimant resides or carries on business or within the local limits where the Defendant resides.
Documents required along with Claim Petition
- Copy of FIR registered in respect of the said accident
- Copy of MLC/Post Mortem Report/Death Report in case of death
- Identity proof of the Claimants and deceased (in case of death).
- Original bills of expenses incurred in the treatment along with treatment record
- Disability Certificate, in case of permanent injury
- Proof of income
Duties of police authorities
- Accident Information Report in Form 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (AIR in short) shall be submitted by the police (Station House Officer) to the jurisdictional Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal within 30 days of the registration of the F.I.R. In addition to the particulars required to be furnished in Form 54, the police should also collect and furnish the following additional particulars in the AIR to the Tribunal: (i) The age of the victim at the time of accident ; (ii) The income of the victim; (iii) The names and ages of the dependent family members.
- The AIR shall be accompanied by the attested copies of F.I.R. site sketch/mahazar/photographs of the place of occurrence, driving license of the driver, insurance policy (and if necessary, fitness certificate) of the vehicle and post-mortem report (in case of death) or the injury/wound certificate (in the case of injury). The names/addresses of injured or dependent family members of the deceased shall also be furnished to the Tribunal.
- Simultaneously, copy of the AIR with annexures thereto shall be furnished to the concerned insurance company to enable the insurer to process the claim.
- The police shall notify the first date of hearing fixed by the Tribunal to the victim (injured) or the family of the victim (in case of death) and the driver, owner and insurer. If so directed by the Tribunal, the police may secure their presence on the first date of hearing.
Duties of Claims Tribunal
- The Tribunal shall maintain an Institution Register for recording the AIRs which are received from the Station House Officers of the Police Stations and register them as miscellaneous petitions. If any private claim petitions are directly filed with reference to an AIR, they should also be recorded in the Register.
- The Tribunal shall list the AIRs as miscellaneous petitions. It shall fix a date for preliminary hearing so as to enable the police to notify such date to the victim (family of victim in the event of death) and the owner, driver and insurer of the vehicle involved in the accident. Once the claimant/s appear, the miscellaneous application shall be converted to claim petition. Where a claimant/s file the claim petition even before the receipt of the AIR by the Tribunal, the AIR may be tagged to the claim petition.
- The Tribunal shall enquire and satisfy itself that the AIR relates to a real accident and is not the result of any collusion and fabrication of an accident (by any `Police Officer – Advocate – Doctor’ nexus, which has come to light in several cases).
- The Tribunal shall by a summary enquiry ascertain the dependent family members/legal heirs. The jurisdictional police shall also enquire and submit the names of the dependent legal heirs.
- The Tribunal shall categories the claim cases registered, into those where the insurer disputes liability and those where the insurer does not dispute the liability.
- Wherever the insurer does not dispute the liability under the policy, the Tribunal shall make an endeavour to determine the compensation amount by a summary enquiry or refer the matter to the Lok Adalat for settlement, so as to dispose of the claim petition itself, within a time frame not exceeding six months from the date of registration of the claim petition.
- The insurance companies shall be directed to deposit the admitted amount or the amount determined, with the claims tribunals within 30 days of determination. The Tribunals should ensure that the compensation amount is kept in Fixed deposit and disbursed as per the directions contained in General Manager, KSRTC v. Susamma Thomas [1994 (2) SCC 176].
- As the proceedings initiated in pursuance of Section 158(6) and 166(4) of the Act, are different in nature from an application by the victim/s under Section 166(1) of the Act, Section 170 will not apply. The insurers will therefore be entitled to assist the Tribunal (either independently or with the owners of the vehicles) to verify the correctness in regard to the accident, injuries, age, income and dependents of the deceased victim and in determining the quantum of compensation.
Role of Insurance Company
The Insurance Company plays a vital role in the Motor Vehicle Act. The motor insurance portfolios have two distinct sections i.e., (i) one relating to the cover for the vehicle and its physical damage (OD) and the other relating to injury or death of other parties (TP) and the third party insurance is mandatory. Therefore, as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, the insurance company becomes liable to give compensation to the claimant on behalf of Respondent under Third Party Insurance.
- Section 173 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 empowers the High Court to entertain the Appeal against the award of the Claims Tribunal.
- Aggrieved Party can challenge the said award before the High Court within the period of ninety days from the date of award.
- Section 173 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 also empowers the HC to entertain the appeal after the expiry of such period if it is satisfied that the Appellant has sufficient cause for delay in filing the Appeal.
Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 came into existence on 1st July 1988. The Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 gave powers to the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal in order to provide cheap and fast remedy in form of compensation to the victims of accident occurred due to the accident.
The person who has sustained injury or owner of the damaged property or one or all legal representatives (in case of death) case file a Claim Petition before the Claims Tribunal. The Claimant must show that the Respondent was rash or negligent in his actions which led to the commission of the accident.The Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 empowers the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal to liable the Respondent to pay compensation to the Claimant and in case of insurance, Insurance Company will be liable on behalf of the Respondent.
Magnus Legal Services LLP has been successfully dealing with cases falling under the purview of MACT.
 (2010) 2 SCC 607 (https://indiankanoon.org/doc/49727603/)