The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is a piece of social legislation and its provisions are designed to protect the rights of road accident victims where the identity of motor vehicle causing the accident cannot be established. The relevant legal provision is enshrined in Section 161 of Motor Vehicles Act where a “hit and run motor accident” is defined as an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles the identity whereof cannot be ascertained in spite of reasonable efforts for the purpose. This Scheme came into force from 1.10.1982.
This Section provides for payment of compensation (solatium) as follows:
- In respect of the death of any person resulting from a hit and run motor accident, now a fixed sum of Rs.25,000
- In respect of grievous hurt to any person resulting from a hit and run motor accident, now a fixed sum of Rs.12,500
HIT & RUN CLAIMS PROCEDURE
The victim of the “hit-and-run” vehicle or his legal representative shall make an application to the Claim Enquiry Officer in each Taluka. After due enquiries, the Claims Enquiry Officer will submit a report together with certificate of post mortem or injury certificate to the claims settlement commissioner who will either the District Collector or the Deputy Commissioner at the District level. He will process the claims and sanction the payment within 15 days from the receipt of report from Claim Enquiry Officer and communicate sanction order to the nominated office of the Insurance Company. The compensation under Hit and Run Accident cases are made from a Solatium Fund which is contributed by General Insurance industry under an agreed formula. The administration of claims is done by New India Assurance Co Ltd which has nominated one Divisional Manager in each district at District Level Committee which is headed by District Collector.