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SC questions state buses’ insurance waiver | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has asked the Union government to consider withdrawing the exemption from insurance to 1.5 lakh buses owned by state road transport corporations (SRTCs), steeped in heavy losses, as it found victims and injured in accidents involving these buses are made to wait for years to get compensation from government-run corporations.
This was one of the major issues before a bench of Justices Sanjay K Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, which for the last six months is engaged in streamlining the process for speedy disbursal of compensation to victims or injured by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACTs). The bench has entrusted additional solicitor general Jayant Sud with the task of analysing the difficulties, devising innovative solutions in coordination/consultation with the states and appraising the court for issuance of directions for all-India implementation.
During a hearing on the issue last week, Justice Kaul-led bench said, “The vehicles of the State Transport Corporations are not insured because of exemption provided and, as a result thereof, compensation is not paid for long period of time as most of these corporations are running in losses”.
It is reported by the Union ministry of transport and highways that 49 of the 56 SRTUs suffered losses. Top five loss-making SRTUs during 2016-17 were – Delhi Transport Corporation (Rs 3,832 crore); Kerala SRTC (Rs 1,771 crore); BEST Undertaking (Rs 990 crore); Telangana SRTC (Rs 749 crore) and Haryana ST (Rs 598 crore). These five together accounted for about 69% of the total losses by SRTUs. .
The bench said, “In fact, there are numerous illustrations where the vehicles had to be attached for coercive recovery from the SRTUs to make payment to the claimants”. The SC again fell back on the ASG to “examine the possibility of either withdrawing the exemption (from insurance for SRTUs buses) or for (devising) a mechanism to ensure that sufficient fund pool is available with these corporations for meeting their liabilities (in motor accidents involving SRTUs buses) towards claimants.
Sud informed the court that efforts to streamline the process for speedy payment of compensation to the kin of accident victims or injured through development of a mobile application gained sufficient traction as he has been able to bring on board all 26 insurance companies.




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