Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) deals with matters related to compensation of motor accidents victims or their next of kin. The Tribunal deals with claims relating to loss of life/property and injury cases resulting from Motor Accidents.
Who can apply for compensation?
- The person who suffered the injury
- The owner of the property
- All or any of the legal representatives of the deceased
- An agent authorized by the injured on his/her behalf
Claims tribunal: where to apply?
The application by the claimant can be made in the tribunal with jurisdiction over the area where the accident took place, or in the tribunal in whose jurisdiction, the claimant resides or in the tribunal in whose jurisdiction, the defendant resides.
The Claims Tribunal will have all the powers as that of a Civil Court for the purpose of any dispute resolution.
In areas where claims tribunal have been set up, the civil courts shall have no jurisdiction regarding any questions of compensation and no injunction, in respect of any action taken or any other working of the claims tribunals, can be granted by the civil court.
Liability for compensation in cases of no-fault (section 140)
- In cases of death and permanent disability arising out of an accident of motor vehicles, the owner (s) shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of compensation regarding the same.
- The claimant need not prove any wrongful act, neglect or any default on the part of the owner or any other person, concerned thereof
- The claim shall not be defeated or the quantum being reduced, on the basis of the share of such person in the responsibility of such death or permanent disability.
- The amount of compensation to be paid in case of death is fixed to be Rs. 50,000 and in case of permanent disability is fixed to be Rs. 25,000
- Claim for compensation under the principle of no fault shall be disposed at first place.
- Where compensation is payable under section 140 along with the claim under section 163A of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, the person shall be liable to pay the compensation firstly under section 140 and
- If the amount under 140 is less than the amount under 163A: only the amount exceeding the compensation under 140.
- If the amount under 140 is equal or more than under 163A: no additional amount shall be required to be paid.
Payment of compensation in case of hit and run motor accident
- The General Insurance Corporation of India is responsible for payment of compensation in respect of the death of, or grievous hurt to, persons resulting from a hit and run motor accidents.
- The Central Government shall provide for a scheme specifying, the manner in which the scheme shall be administered by the General Insurance Corporation.
- Subject to the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and the scheme, compensation in respect of death resulting from the hit and run motor accident will be a fixed amount of Rs. 25,000 and of Rs. 12,500, in case of grievous hurt resulting from the same.
Payment of compensation on a structured formula basis (section 163A)
The owner of the motor vehicle of the authorized insurer is liable to pay compensation in case of death or permanent disablement arising out of motor vehicle accident, on the basis of the second schedule, to the victim or their legal heirs.
Major guidelines regarding computation of quantum of compensation have been laid down in the latest and landmark judgment of:
Three major facts for assessing compensation payable in case of death are:
- Age of the deceased
- Income of the deceased
- Number of dependants
Steps for determining compensation in cases of death are:
1. Ascertaining the multiplicand – The income of the deceased per annum should be ascertained and additions and deductions should be made to the same.
- the actual income of the deceased less income tax is taken as the starting point for calculating the compensation.
When the deceased had a permanent job
- 50% of the salary to actual income if the deceased was below the age of 40 years
- only 30% if the age of the deceased was 40 to 50 years
- no addition, where the age of deceased is more than 50 years.
- When the deceased was self-employed
Where the deceased was self-employed or was on a fixed salary (without provision for annual increments etc.), the courts will usually take only the actual income at the time of death.
Deductions for personal and living expenses :
- one-third of the income if the deceased was a married
- and one-half (50%) of the income if the deceased was a bachelor
2. Ascertaining the multiplier – the multiplier can be ascertained on the basis of the age of the deceased from schedule 2.
- The Second Schedule contains a Table prescribing the compensation to be awarded reference to the age and income of the deceased. It specifies the amount of compensation to be awarded reference to the annual income range of Rs.3,000/- to Rs.40,000/-. It does not specify the quantum of compensation in case the annual income of the deceased is more than Rs.40,000/-
- The formula of (2/3 x AI x M), that is two-thirds of the annual income multiplied by the multiplier applicable to the age of the deceased would be the compensation in cases of income above Rs. 40,000/-
- But the multiplier was further corrected in this case on the basis of Tirlok Chandra and Sussama Thomas case as :
multiplier of 18 (for the age groups of 15 to 20 and 21 to 25 years), reduced by one unit for every five years, that is M-17 for 26 to 30 years, M-16 for 31 to 35 years, M-15 for 36 to 40 years, M-14 for 41 to 45 years, and M-13 for 46 to 50 years, then reduced by two units for every five years, that is, M-11 for 51 to 55 years, M-9 for 56 to 60 years, M-7 for 61 to 65 years and M-5 for 66 to 70 years.
3. Actual calculation
- The annual contribution to the family (multiplicand) when multiplied by such multiplier gives the `loss of dependency’ to the family.
- Thereafter, a conventional amount in the range of Rs. 5,000/- to Rs.10,000/- may be added as loss of estate. Where the deceased is survived by his widow, another conventional amount in the range of 5,000/- to 10,000/- should be added under the head of loss of consortium.
- But no amount is to be awarded under the head of pain, suffering or hardship caused to the legal heirs of the deceased.
- The funeral expenses, cost of transportation of the body (if incurred) and cost of any medical treatment of the deceased before death (if incurred) should also add.
Documents to be attached for a claim:
- Copy of the FIR registered in connection with the said accident.
- Copy of the MLC/Post Mortem Report/Death Report, as the case may be.
- The documents of the identity of the claimants and of the deceased in a death case.
- Original bills of expenses incurred on treatment
- Disability certificate issued by the doctor
- Proof of income of deceased/injured
- Proof of age or date of birth proof
- Cover note of third party insurance
- Affidavit of the relationship between the claimant and the deceased/injured.
Any person can appeal for the award of the Claims Tribunal in the High Court, within ninety days from the date of the award.
Appeal may be entertained after the expiry of ninety days if the high court is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient reason for the late filing of the appeal. (after the expiry of 90 days)
Appeal by the defendant will be entertained only if the condition of payment of twenty-five thousand rupees or fifty percent, of the amount, so awarded, whichever is less is fulfilled.