IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.9322 OF 2022 [ARISING OUT OF SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) NO. 32448 OF 2018]
Gohar Mohammed ...Appellant
Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation & others ...Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
J.K. Maheshwari, J.
2. The instant appeal has been filed assailing the final order dated 06.09.2018 passed by the High Court of Allahabad in First Appeal from Order No. 3303 of 2018, vide which the appeal preferred by the appellant against the award dated 04.05.2018 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (for short ‘MACT’) in MACP No. 1107 of 2012 has been dismissed. MACT allowed the claim petition and 1 awarded a compensation of Rs. 31,90,000/ (Thirtyone lacs and ninety thousand only) in favour of respondent Nos. 6, 7 and 8 (legal representatives of deceased and hereinafter referred to as ‘claimants’) to be paid by respondent No. 5 (Insurance Company), with further direction to recover the same from appellant (hereinafter referred as owner) who was saddled with liability.
3. Facts briefly put are that, on the date of accident, i.e., 29.07.2012, the deceased was 24 years old and working as Managing Director at DRV Drinks Pvt. Ltd. While he was returning from factory to residence, his car was hit from behind by a bus owned by appellant on the bypass road near Sanhwali village (U.P.). The deceased sustained severe injuries and died on the way to hospital. FIR was lodged against the driver as well as owner of the offending vehicle and on 19.01.2012, claim petition was filed by claimants before MACT seeking compensation of Rs. 4,19,00,000/ (Four crores and nineteen lacs only) under various heads.
4. The MACT vide order dated 04.05.2018, allowed the claim petition and awarded a total sum of Rs. 31,90,000/ alongwith 7% interest. While computing the loss of dependency, the annual income of the deceased was accepted as Rs. 3,09,660/ after making deduction towards personal expenses, multiplier of 18 was applied. It was held that the vehicle was not being operated as per the terms of permit and was in violation of terms and conditions of insurance policy, therefore the owner of the offending vehicle was held liable to pay compensation.
5. Appellant filed appeal before the High Court assailing the issue of liability contending, inter alia, no violation of guidelines as such was there and submitted that the offending vehicle was insured with insurance company indemnifying the liability. Appellant further contended that he had Special Temporary Authorization (in short ‘permit’) to operate the bus on the route for which the fee was paid. The High Court vide impugned order affirmed the findings of MACT and held that the vehicle owner failed to produce the original permit and also could not get the same proved calling the person from the Transport Department, in absence, the Claims Tribunal rightly decided the issue of liability against the owner.
6. Challenging the concurrent findings of the Courts below, the appellant contested the instant appeal largely on the ground that failure to produce the original permit cannot lead to an inference against him, especially when such permit has been duly issued by Transport Authority and confirmed in the reply under Right to Information Act (for short ‘RTI Act’). It was further contended that the appellant had valid permit as he deposited the due fee on the next day after the date of issuance of permit and hence, the finding of Courts below that the appellant did not have a valid permit, as such fastened the liability for payment of compensation is unjust.
7. Per contra, the State as well as Insurance Company mainly relied on the findings recorded by the Courts below to contend that the offending vehicle was not being plied as per the terms and conditions of the permit and also in violation of the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. It has further been contended that the offending vehicle stood withdrawn from State transport services way back in 4 2009 and was no more under the control of respondent No. 1, hence, the issue of liability has rightly been decided.
8. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the material available on record, it clearly reveals that on the date of accident, the appellant did not have a valid and effective permit to ply the offending vehicle on the route where accident took place. Having extensively gone through the factfinding exercise, it is categorically recorded by MACT that the appellant was neither able to produce/prove the original permit nor was able to prove the information received under RTI Act. Even if RTI information is considered by which it is not clear as to when the disputed permit was issued and by whom. The alleged permit was issued on 28.07.2012, i.e., on Saturday and no explanation is on record as to why deposit of fee was asked on the next day i.e. Sunday. Moreover, assuming that permit was valid as per letter of Transport Authority, but it does not of any help to the appellant since the vehicle was being plied on a route different than specified in permit. The appellant has failed to give any explanation to refute the observations made by MACT to ply the vehicle on Roorkee bypass to Haridwar via Meerut which did not fall within the route of permit issued by Transport Authority. The said findings of fact have been affirmed by the High Court by the impugned order.
39. On perusal, it is clear that in the case of injuries or of death or of damage of property arising out of motor accident at a public place, application for grant of compensation can be submitted directly to the Claims Tribunal by the claimants. In the case of death, all the representatives of the deceased or any of them may file an application. If all have not joined as applicant(s), remaining may be joined as respondents. Under this Section, if the claimant(s) apply for 41 grant of compensation, they have option to choose the place or the Claims Tribunal, which may have the jurisdiction either where, the accident occurred or the claimant(s) resides or carries business or in the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant resides. For taking recourse under the aforesaid Section, the application seeking compensation can be entertained if it is filed within six months from the date of the accident. As per second proviso of subsection (1), it is apparent that in case recourse under Section 164 or as per the procedure specified in Section 149 has been taken and the compensation is accepted by the claimant(s), then recourse under Section 166 would not be available. But, in case the compensation has not been accepted under Section 149 or the recourse of Section 164 has not been taken, the Claims Tribunal, in whose jurisdiction the accident occurred, shall treat the report of Section 159 as claim petition under this Act and may proceed to decide the same in accordance with law.
40. On perusal of the scheme of the Act, it is clear that as a first recourse by not pleading or establishing proof of wrongful act, neglect or default of the owner or driver or of 42 the vehicle, the compensation can be claimed under Section 164, but such compensation is of limited amount to the tune, as specified in case of death or grievous injury. The second recourse available to the claimant(s) is to apply by proving wrongful act and neglect of the owner(s) or the driver(s) before the Claims Tribunal by opting the jurisdiction at a place specified under subsection(2) but such claim must be filed within six months from the date of accident and be adjudicated by the Tribunal. The third recourse has been prescribed by introducing Section 149 of M.V. Amendment Act by which in case the claimant(s) have failed to take recourse either under Section 164 or Section 166 within the prescribed period of limitation, the report submitted by the investigating officer to the Claims Tribunal, within whose jurisdiction the accident occurred, may be treated as claim application under Section 166(4) and would not debar the claimant(s) to seek compensation if he/they could not file the application under Section 166(1) of the Act.
41. As discussed above, Section 149 lays emphasis on the settlement of the claim in case the liability of the insurance company is not in dispute subject to complying other necessary formalities, as prescribed. The said provision also emphasize the determination of compensation within time frame without delay, thereby the victim may get compensation for the damages at the earliest. On harmonious reading and construing the said three Sections, it is therefore clear that the M.V. Amendment Act emphasizes the need to pay compensation to the claimant(s) or legal representative(s) and decide the claim by taking recourse whatever is opted by the claimant(s) at the earliest and the family should not be left to suffer without payment of damages. In cases of rash negligent driving where DAR does not bring the charge of negligence or the claimant(s) choose to claim compensation under no fault despite the charge of negligence, the said claim shall be registered under Section 164 and it be dealt with accordingly.
42. As per Rules, except in cases under Section 164, for the claims either under Section 149 or 166, the procedure prescribed in the M.V. Amendment Rules is required to be followed by the Claims Tribunal. As specified, on receiving the FAR, the Claims Tribunal is required to register such 44 FAR as Miscellaneous Application. On filing the IAR and DAR, it shall be attached and be made part of the Miscellaneous Application. The Claims Tribunal is required to examine the FAR, IAR or DAR, as the case may be and in the proceedings of the said Miscellaneous Application, appropriate direction for production of requisite forms prescribed in the Rules through claimant(s), driver(s), owner(s) or extension of time, as specified, may be directed. It should be kept in mind by the Claims Tribunal that the said DAR may be treated as an application under Section 166 as per subsection (4) thereof. In case the claimant(s) have taken the recourse under Section 166(1) & (2) and filed a separate claim petition, the said DAR may be tagged with the said claim petition, otherwise the proceedings under Section 149 shall continue. The Claims Tribunal awaiting the report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. may satisfy itself with respect to the negligence before passing an award.
43. On filing FAR, if IAR/DAR is not complete, the time shall be fixed by the Claims Tribunal to complete the same and on completion, the date for appearance of the driver(s), 45 owner(s), claimant(s) and eye witness(s) shall be fixed and they shall be produced by the Investigating Officer on the date so fixed. It shall also be the duty of the Investigating Officer to intimate the Nodal Officer of the insurance company and also the insurance company to secure their presence on such date.
44. After lodging the FIR and on receipt of information by the insurance company, it would be the duty of the company to appoint a Nodal Officer and furnish the intimation to the state police, who shall coordinate with all stakeholders. On receiving the information through Nodal Officer, the insurance company shall verify the claim up to the stage of filing the DAR. In case it is found that DAR is not correct, the Designated Officer of the insurance company shall send a copy of the report of the surveyor/investigator to the Deputy Commissioner or equivalent officer of the Police Department or otherwise to carry out the purpose of Section 159. The said officer shall make an offer to the claimant(s) for settlement before the Claims Tribunal, specifying the details of offer and submit the said proposal within 30 days of 46 DAR in FormXI along with the report of the surveyor/investigator. On submitting such form, the claimant(s) may accept the offer of the insurance company or may reject the same. In case the offer is accepted, the Claims Tribunal shall take such offer on record and by the consent the claim be settled recording satisfaction that the compensation, as settled, is just and reasonable and pass an award in terms of such settlement. Prior to passing an award, it is open to the Tribunal to examine the claimant(s) for ascertaining their financial condition, owner(s), driver(s) and the insurer to submit their defence, if any to satisfy itself. In case the offer made by the Designated Officer is not accepted by the claimant(s), rejecting such offer, the claimant(s) are required to file relevant material asking more amount of compensation for which the date of hearing shall be fixed by the Tribunal to adjudicate the claim on merit. After fixing the date and recording the evidence, if required, written submissions may be taken and thereafter Tribunal shall finally adjudicate and decide the claim. After passing the award, copy of the DAR and the award so passed be sent to the criminal court and accordingly, the Miscellaneous 47 Application registered by the Tribunal shall be treated as disposed of.
ANALYSIS OF THE M.V. AMENDMENT ACT AND RULES WITH AN INTENT TO FIND OUT CONVENIENT PROCEDURE FOR ADJUDICATION OF THE CLAIM CASES WITHOUT ANY DELAY.
45. As per the discussion made hereinabove, it is made clear that the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules have been introduced with an advent to implement the steps taken by the Court issuing directions to carry out the purpose of the benevolent legislation. As per the M.V. Amendment Act, insurance of the vehicle, until exempted, is made necessary to carry out the purpose of the Act and the Rules subject to the conditions, as specified under Section 147.
46. The claimant(s) have been given three options to claim compensation before the Claims Tribunal. As discussed hereinabove, the option under Section 164 is without pleading the proof of negligence while option under Section 166(1) & (2) by the claimant(s) is by proving the negligence of the offending vehicle. In addition, Section 149 is added by which the de novo procedure has been prescribed 48 immediate on registration of FIR by taking action through the police officer before the Claims Tribunal. It is urged by learned Amicus Curiae that the said procedure is not being followed in most part of the country by the Claim Tribunals though the said Section is a complete code in itself in the matter of distribution of the compensation. Therefore, appropriate directions are required.
47. As prescribed under M. V. Amendment Act and Rules, the police officials and the registering authority are bound to take action in the event when an accident takes place and the information is received by them. Further, it is seen that as per Rule 3 of the M.V. Amendment Rules, the police officer is required to furnish the details to the victim(s) regarding his/their rights in a road accident and the flow chart of the scheme along with FormII is required to be furnished to them. The said flow chart and all other documents, as specified in the Rules, must be either in vernacular language or in English and shall be furnished to the claimant(s) or other affected persons, as per their convenience. They are required to take immediate action and submit the report to the Claims Tribunal informing the 49 victim(s), driver(s), owner(s), insurance company and other stakeholders with an intent to facilitate them, subject to the directions of the Claims Tribunal. The Claims Tribunal is also duty bound to take immediate action and to proceed in the matter as required under the Act and the Rules.
48 In our view, the contentions advanced by the learned counsels deserve to be allowed. The police officers and registering authority are duty bound to act as per the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules and are required to submit the FAR, IAR and DAR within the prescribed period under the Rules. The registering authority is also bound to take action in the matter of verification of the permit, fitness of vehicle, driver licence and on other ancillary issues. The insurance company is bound to appoint the Nodal Officer as per Rule 24 to facilitate the Investigating Officer in the matter of enquiry and investigation, submitting details regarding insurance and coordinate with the stakeholders.
49. In our view, the procedure carved out under Section 149 of the Amendment Act is de novo on filing the FAR before the Claims Tribunal and Tribunal is required to 50 register such proceedings as Miscellaneous Application. On filing IAR and DAR by the police officer within the time as specified, it shall be made part thereof. If the claimant(s) has not opted for taking recourse under Section 166(1) within the time limit of six months, such Miscellaneous Application may be treated as an application under Section 166(4) of M.V. Amendment Act and be adjudicated in accordance with law. Therefore, the procedure as prescribed under Section 149 is in addition to the proceedings of Sections 164, 166 of M.V. Amendment Act and such mandate of law is required to be followed in true sense and spirit.
50. Learned Amicus Curiae contends that in a situation where the claimant(s) opts to file a claim petition under Section 166 other than a place where the accident has taken place taking recourse of Section 166(2) of the M.V. Amendment Act, the proceedings initiated under Section 149 is required to be closed and tagged with those proceedings. It is also urged that possibility of filing application by opting the Claims Tribunals at different places within territorial jurisdiction of different High Court by other claimant(s) 51 cannot be ruled out. It is further contended that in case the claim petitions have been filed at different places by different claimant(s) within the territorial jurisdiction of different High Courts, appropriate directions to transfer those cases at one place in exercise of the power under Section 142 of the Constitution of India needs to be issued, thereby the delay may be curbed in proceeding the claim case.
51. In our view, the argument as advanced is having force, therefore, we direct that on initiation of the proceedings under Section 149 registering a Miscellaneous Application by the Claims Tribunal, in whose jurisdiction the accident occurred would continue until the proceedings under Section 166 has been filed by the claimant(s) separately. In the event of filing a separate application and on receiving the information in this regard either from the claimant(s), or investigating officer or insurance company, the proceedings under Section 149 shall be deemed as closed and be tagged with the proceedings of Sections 164/166 filed by the claimant(s). In case the claimant(s)/legal representative(s) have filed different applications under Section 166 before different Claim Tribunals at different places outside the territorial jurisdiction of one High Court, in the said contingency the Claims Tribunal, where the first claim petition is filed shall have jurisdiction to adjudicate and decide the same and other claim petition(s) filed by the claimant(s)/legal representative(s) in the territorial limits of other High Courts shall stand transferred to the Claims Tribunal where the first claim petition was filed and the proceedings under Section 149 shall be tagged with the said file. In order to curb the delay on account of pendency of claim petition(s) before different Claim Tribunals within the territorial jurisdiction of different High Courts, such direction is necessary. Therefore, we deem it appropriate to exercise our power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India. It is directed that Registrar General of the High Courts shall issue appropriate orders for transferring the subsequent proceedings and records to the Claims Tribunal where the first claim petition filed by the claimant(s) is pending. It is made clear here that the parties are not required to file any transfer petition before this Court seeking order of transfer in such individual cases pending in the jurisdiction of different High Courts 53 52. Learned Amicus Curiae has further pointed out that in some High Courts, distribution memos attaching the Claims Tribunal to the police stations have not been issued, however taking recourse under Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act is not possible within the prescribed period of time, therefore directions may be issued to prepare the distribution memos by the High Courts with respect to police stations and Claims Tribunals in order to implement the recourse of Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules may be issued and the same be notified in public domain for the convenience of public.
53. In this regard, it would suffice to observe that in the High Courts, where the distribution of police stations and specified Claims Tribunals is not already in force, steps shall be taken by the Registrar Generals to prepare distribution memos and notify the same time to time, thereby the proceedings under Section 149 may continue effectively in such Claim Tribunals without any delay. The Tribunals, as notified, shall take recourse as discussed and on appointment of the Designated Officer as per Rule 23 of the Rules, the settlement of claim may be processed by the 54 insurance company. The said proceedings would continue until it is tagged with the claim petition, if any, filed under Section 166 of the M.V. Amendment Act. It is also made clear that if the claimant(s) have not taken any recourse under Section 166, then the miscellaneous application be treated as claim petition under Section 166(4) of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Claims Tribunal is duty bound to decide such claim by following the procedure in accordance with law. 54. It is contended by learned Amicus Curiae that in case the liability of the insurance company is not disputed in terms of the policy conditions commensurate to Section 147 of the Act, the offer so made by the Designated Officer ought to be reasonable specifying the detailed reasons to make such offer within the time as prescribed. On the said offer, the Claims Tribunal shall seek consent of the claimant(s), whether they agree for the same. In case, the claimant(s) does not agree with the said offer, the enquiry under Section 149(3) should be limited to the extent of enhancement of compensation shifting onus to claim such enhancement on 55 claimant(s) which is required to be discharged by the claimant(s).
55. We find force in the said contention. Therefore, we direct that the Designated Officer, while making offer, shall assign detailed reasons to show that the amount which is offered is just and reasonable. In case, the said offer is not accepted by the claimant(s), the onus would shift on the claimant(s) to seek for enhancement of the amount of compensation and the said enquiry under Section 149(3) would be limited for enhancement only.
56. Learned Amicus Curiae further submits that in case the claimant(s) wishes to opt to take recourse under Section 166 of the M.V. Amendment Act opting jurisdiction of Claims Tribunal as specified under Section 166(2), in such cases, directions may be issued to join the Nodal Officer/Designated Officer of the insurance companies of a place where the accident took place. The said recourse is necessary to further curb the delay in tagging the proceedings of Section 149. Those Designated Officer/Nodal Officer may be in a position to clarify regarding the details of the proceedings 56 already taken under Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act before the Claims Tribunal concerned.
57. We find force in the said contention. Therefore, we direct that if the claimant(s) wants to exercise the option under Section 166(2) of the M.V. Amendment Act, he/they are free to take such recourse by joining the Designated Officer/Nodal Officer of the insurance company of the place where the accident occurred as respondent in the claim petition.
58. It is further urged by learned Amicus Curiae that the Claims Tribunal, police officials and the insurance companies must be sensitized by the State Judicial Academies working under the control of the High Courts with respect to the provisions of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules, thereby the said procedure must be adopted incoordination with the police officials, insurance companies and other stakeholders. We are in agreement to the said submission and direct the State Judicial Academies to take recourse to sensitize the stakeholders including the said subject in their annual training calendar as early as possible.
59. Learned Amicus Curiae has shown the apprehension that the procedure, as specified under Sections 149,159 and 160 of the M.V. Amendment Act and Rules, is for seeking compensation de novo. As per the said procedure, the greater liability has been fastened on the police officers, registering authority, Nodal Officer and Designated Officer of the insurance companies. In such a situation, at least officers of the police department must be well equipped and conversant with the provisions and rules and efficient to discharge the function as specified in the Act and the Rules. Ordinarily the police officers may be efficient in investigation of the complicated criminal cases but the procedure as prescribed in the M.V. Amendment Act and Rules is different than the procedure of investigation in criminal cases. In fact it fasten duty on the police officer as a facilitator, in addition to the investigator and submit the report in prescribed forms. Therefore, the trained and equipped police officers may be posted in the police stations constituting a special unit to make investigation for motor accident claim cases. After going through the procedure, as discussed in detail above, we find some substance in the argument. In our view, the head of the Home Department of the State and the Director General of Police in all States/Union Territories shall ensure the compliance of the Rules by constituting a special unit in the police stations or at least at town level to investigate and facilitate the motor accident claim cases. The said action must be ensured within a period of three months from today.
60. The learned amicus curiae further submitted that in recording the evidence by Claims Tribunal, appointment of local commissioner as per Rule 30 of the MV Amendment Rules 2022 may also be directed, otherwise looking at the pendency of claim cases before the Tribunals, it will cause delay in disposal.
61. In our view the said contention is as per Rule 30. Where the insurance company disputes the liability, the Claims Tribunal is duty bound to record the evidence through the local commissioner and the fee/expenses of such local commissioner shall be borne by the insurance company.
62. Accordingly, this appeal is decided with the following directions: i) The appeal filed by the owner challenging the issue of liability is hereby dismissed confirming the order passed by the High Court and MACT. ii) On receiving the intimation regarding road accident by use of a motor vehicle at public place, the SHO concerned shall take steps as per Section 159 of the M.V. Amendment Act. iii) After registering the FIR, Investigating Officer shall take recourse as specified in the M.V. Amendment Rules, 2022 and submit the FAR within 48 hours to the Claims Tribunal. The IAR and DAR shall be filed before the Claims Tribunal within the time limit subject to compliance of the provisions of the Rules. iv) The registering officer is duty bound to verify the registration of the vehicle, driving licence, fitness of vehicle, permit and other ancillary issues and submit the report in coordination to the police officer before the Claims Tribunal. 60 v) The flow chart and all other documents, as specified in the Rules, shall either be in vernacular language or in English language, as the case may be and shall be supplied as per Rules. The Investigating Officer shall inform the victim(s)/legal representative(s), driver(s), owner(s), insurance companies and other stakeholders with respect to the action taken following the M.V. Amendment Rules and shall take steps to produce the witnesses on the date, so fixed by the Tribunal. vi) For the purpose to carry out the direction No. (iii), distribution of police stations attaching them with the Claim Tribunals is required. Therefore, distribution memo attaching the police stations to the Claim Tribunals shall be issued by the Registrar General of the High Courts from time to time, if not already issued to ensure the compliance of the Rules. vii) In view of the M.V. Amendment Act and Rules, as discussed hereinabove, the role of the Investigating Officer is very important. He is required to comply with 61 the provisions of the Rules within the time limit, as prescribed therein. Therefore, for effective implementation of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules framed thereunder, the specified trained police personnel are required to be deputed to deal with the motor accident claim cases. Therefore, we direct that the Chief Secretary/Director General of Police in each and every State/Union Territory shall develop a specialized unit in every police station or at town level and post the trained police personnel to ensure the compliance of the provisions of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules, within a period of three months from the date of this order. viii) On receiving FAR from the police station, the Claims Tribunal shall register such FAR as Miscellaneous Application. On filing the IAR and DAR by the Investigating Officer in connection with the said FAR, it shall be attached with the same Miscellaneous Application. The Claims Tribunal shall pass appropriate orders in the said application to carry out the purpose of Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules, as discussed above. ix) The Claim Tribunals are directed to satisfy themselves with the offer of the Designated Officer of the insurance company with an intent to award just and reasonable compensation. After recording such satisfaction, the settlement be recorded under Section 149(2) of the M.V. Amendment Act, subject to consent by the claimant(s). If the claimant(s) is not ready to accept the same, the date be fixed for hearing and affording an opportunity to produce the documents and other evidence seeking enhancement, the petition be decided. In the said event, the said enquiry shall be limited only to the extent of the enhancement of compensation, shifting onus on the claimant(s). x) The General Insurance Council and all insurance companies are directed to issue appropriate directions to follow the mandate of Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act and the amended Rules. The appointment of the Nodal Officer prescribed in Rule 24 63 and the Designated Officer prescribed in Rule 23 shall be immediately notified and modified orders be also notified time to time to all the police stations/stakeholders. xi) If the claimant(s) files an application under Section 164 or 166 of the M.V. Amendment Act, on receiving the information, the Miscellaneous Application registered under Section 149 shall be sent to the Claims Tribunal where the application under Section 164 or 166 is pending immediately by the Claims Tribunal. xii) In case the claimant(s) or legal representative(s) of the deceased have filed separate claim petition(s) in the territorial jurisdiction of different High Courts, in the said situation, the first claim petition filed by the claimant(s)/legal representative(s) shall be maintained by the said Claims Tribunal and the subsequent claim petition(s) shall stand transferred to the Claims Tribunal where the first claim petition was filed and pending. It is made clear here that the claimant(s) are 64 not required to apply before this Court seeking transfer of other claim petition(s) though filed in the territorial jurisdiction of different High Courts. The Registrar Generals of the High Courts shall take appropriate steps and pass appropriate order in this regard in furtherance to the directions of this Court. xiii) If the claimant(s) takes recourse under Section 164 or 166 of the M.V. Amendment Act, as the case may be, he/they are directed to join Nodal Officer/Designated Officer of the insurance company as respondents in the claim petition as proper party of the place of accident where the FIR has been registered by the police station. Those officers may facilitate the Claims Tribunal specifying the recourse as taken under Section 149 of the M.V. Amendment Act. xiv) Registrar General of the High Courts, States Legal Services Authority and State Judicial Academies are requested to sensitize all stakeholders as early as possible with respect to the provisions of Chapters XI and XII of the M.V. Amendment Act and the M.V. 65 Amendment Rules, 2022 and to ensure the mandate of law. xv) For compliance of mandate of Rule 30 of the M.V. Amendment Rules, 2022, it is directed that on disputing the liability by the insurance company, the Claims Tribunal shall record the evidence through Local Commissioner and the fee and expenses of such Local Commissioner shall be borne by the insurance company. xvi) The State Authorities shall take appropriate steps to develop a joint web portal/platform to coordinate and facilitate the stakeholders for the purpose to carry out the provisions of M.V. Amendment Act and the Rules in coordination with any technical agency and be notified to public at large. 62. Registry of this Court is directed to circulate the copy of this judgment to the Registrar General of all High Courts and the Chief Secretary/Administrator of all the States/Union 66 Territories for implementation and to carry out the purpose of Motor Vehicle Amendment Act and the Rules made thereunder.
..………….……………….J. (S. ABDUL NAZEER)
..………….……………….J. (J.K. MAHESHWARI)
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