Supreme Court: With an aim to curtail the pendency before the High Courts and for speedy disposal of the appeals concerning payment of compensation to the victims of road accident, the bench of SA Nazeer* and Krishna Murari, JJ has asked the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice to consider constituting ‘Motor Vehicle Appellate Tribunals’ by amending Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act so that the appeals challenging the award of a Tribunal could be filed before the Appellate Tribunal so constituted.
The order came after the Court noticed that a large number of claim petitions, under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 are being filed before the various Claims Tribunals established thereunder throughout the country. Against the awards of the Tribunals, appeals are filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 before the relevant High Court, either by the claimants or by the insurers and owners of the offending vehicles. Large number of such appeals are pending before the various High Courts.
The Court went on to give the following suggestions:
- The various Benches of such an Appellate Tribunal could consist of two Senior District Judges.
- To ensure access to justice and to avoid pendency, Benches of the Appellate Tribunal in various regional cities may be set up, in addition to the capital city of each State as may be indicated by the relevant High Court. For this purpose, appropriate rules governing the procedure of the Appellate Tribunal may also be framed.
- No further appeal against the order of the Appellate Tribunal need be provided. If any of the party is aggrieved by the order of the Appellate Tribunal, he can always invoke the writ jurisdiction of the concerned High Court for appropriate reliefs.
[Rasmita Biswal v. National Insurance Company Ltd., 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1193, decided on 08.12.2021]
*Judgment by: Justice SA Nazeer