The Supreme Court has said third party insurance of four-wheelers and two-wheelers be made “mandatory” so that victims of road accidents could get compensation and insurance firms should look into it from a “human point of view” and not from commercial point.
The apex court said this while referring to the recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety and observed that over one lakh people were dying in India every year in road accidents.
The committee, headed by former apex court judge Justice K S Radhakrishnan, has recommended that at the time of sale of two or four wheelers, third party insurance should be made mandatory for a period of five and three years respectively instead of one year.
In its report, the committee has said that around 18 crore vehicles were plying on the roads of the country out of which only six crore have third party insurance, and victims of road accidents were not getting the compensation as vehicles do not have third party cover.
The bench said that third party insurance should be made mandatory for four wheelers for a period of three years and for two wheelers, it should be done for five years.
During the hearing, the counsel appearing for IRDA said that third party insurance should not be made mandatory and the authority was also looking into the issue and they would take around eight months time to decide on it.
“You are looking at it from the point of insurance companies. Now, there are people who are dying and there are people who have already died in road accidents. Number of deaths in road accidents is more than one lakh per year in India. Three people are dying per minute in road accidents,” the bench said.
The apex court asked the IRDA to take a decision on the issue on or before September 1.