Indian Motor Vehicle Act is the important piece of legislation that controls the use and maintenance of motor vehicles in India is the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. In order to guarantee traffic safety, effective transportation, and the defense of road users’ rights, the Act offers a thorough framework for licensing, vehicle standards, traffic laws, and fines for infractions.
We’ll examine the main clauses of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 in this post, emphasizing how they affect traffic safety and the different ways that the law helps to keep the peace on Indian roads.
The Principle of No-Fault Liability
Section 140 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
It addresses the idea of “no-fault liability.” This principle states that the owners of motor vehicles are responsible for compensating the victims of accidents that they cause. When a person’s death or permanent disability results from operating a motor vehicle, the owner of the vehicle becomes equally and severally liable for compensating the victim for the loss. This is the basis for claiming no-fault liability. The set sum to be given in the event of death is Rs. 50,000. In the event of permanent disablement, which covers permanent loss of hearing, vision, or mobility in the joints, as well as permanent damage or impairment to the head or face ,to the powers of any member or their joints), a sum of Rs. 25,000.
An other characteristic of the no-fault liability principle is that the claimant need not prove that the owner’s wrongdoing, negligence, or default caused the death or permanent disability. The same claim cannot be refuted, nor can the amount of compensation be decreased, based on the claimant’s proportionate share of the victim’s death or permanent disability.
It is significant to remember that anyone charged under MVA Section 140 may also be required to pay damages under any other
law. The amount paid under Section 140 of the MVA will also be reduced from the compensation granted under Section 163A if such a situation arises. The main purpose of Section 140 is to provide aid in cases of emergencies and as such the claims under this section are to be disposed of first even if a claim is made under Section 163A and the individual is later required to pay the difference in the sums (if the first amount is more then the second amount need not be paid).
Landmark judgments under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd v. Hansrajbhai V. Kodala & Ors (2001)
In this case, the question was with regard to whether a claim for compensation under Section 163A on the structured formula basis would be in addition to or an alternative measure to a claim for compensation under Section 140 of the MVA.
The Court held that the compensation granted under Section 163A is a final measure and not an interim one. As such, the adjustment of compensation paid under Section 140 is awarded under the fault liability principle that is payable under Section 168 of the MVA and not under Section 163A.
Thus, Section 163A excludes the payment of compensation on the basis of the fault and the addition to claim compensation under Section 163A is in addition to Section 140 was rejected by the Court.
Written by Adv Abhishek Chauhan