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Motor Accident Mediation Authority

Latest supreme court judgments on motor accident claims

The Supreme Court in its recent judgment expressed the need for establishing a motor accident mediation authority (MAMA). The supreme court in it the case of M.R. Krishna Murthi v. The New India Insurance[1] said that in order to dispose of the cases of the motor vehicle, there is a need to set up the mediation authority.

The Facts of the case:-

The appellant herein, who is a practicing advocate, had suffered a nasty accident at the young age of 18 years. The accident has caused almost 40% of disability to him. The victim filed the case for compensation. the victim got the compensation but not in proper time. Consequently, the justice given was not adequate. The counsel of the victim expressed the need for the setting up of MAMA. It would lead to the easy disposal of the cases.

Effect of MAMA:-

According to the counsel of the appellant, MAMA has the following advantages:-

(1) Access to justice will substantially increase.

(2) The court costs will reduce.

(3) Insurance sector costs (as a payout) will reduce.

(4) Annuity Certificates of the payout will nearly eliminate the ‘slicing away’.

(5) The actual benefit to the recipients will be more (with Annuity Certificates).

View of the Apex Court:-

The bench of the Apex Court consisting of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer passed the judgment. The bench said they would direct, there should be programs from time to time, in all State Judicial Academies to sensitize the presiding officers of the Claims Tribunals, Senior Police Officers of the State Police as well as Insurance Company as a result for the implementation of the given Procedure.

The Court discussed the case of Raj Kumar v. Ajay Kumar & Anr.[2] And summed up the principles discussed:

“(i) All injuries (or permanent disabilities arising from injuries), do not result in loss of earning capacity.

(ii) The percentage of permanent disability with reference to the whole body of a person cannot be in addition to it be assumed as the loss of earning capacity. The percentage of loss of earning capacity is not the same as the percentage of permanent disability.

(iii) The doctor can give evidence only in regard to the extent of permanent disability. The loss of earning capacity will have to be assessed by the Tribunal with reference to the evidence.

(iv) The same permanent disability may result in different percentages of loss of earning capacity in different persons, depending upon the nature of the profession, occupation or job, age, education, etc.”

Guidelines Issued:-

The Court issued certain guidelines. It gave the responsibility for the implementation of the government as they think fit. The guidelines are as follows:

(a) We impress upon the Government to also consider the feasibility of enacting the Indian Mediation Act to take care of various aspects of mediation in general.

(b) The Government may examine the feasibility of setting up MAMA. It can do so by making necessary amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act. For this purpose, it can consider the two flow charts suggested by the appellant.

(c) In the interregnum, NALSA is directed to set up the Motor Accident Mediation Cell. In addition to which can function independently under the guidance of NALSA or can be handed over to MCPC. Such a framework should be prepared within a period of two months. It should start functioning immediately thereafter at the given levels as suggested in this judgment.

(d) We impress upon the Government to look into the feasibility of framing necessary schemes and for the availability of annuity certificates. This exercise may be done within a period of six months and the decision be taken thereupon.

(e) Likewise, we direct that there should be programs from time to time in all the above-mentioned departments.

Conclusion:-

In conclusion, the court issued some guidelines. The government would implement these guidelines. As a result, these would provide the proper and speedy disposal of the cases under the motor accident claims. Society needs proper implementation of rules. The council would help in meeting the ends of justice. In short, the authority would be set for the speedy trial. The mediation authority would help in order to curb the problems of the people.

[1] CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 2476-2477 OF 2019.

[2] (2011) 1 SCC 343.

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