Monday, March 2, 2015

SC: States must aid accident victim's kin if accused is poor

If death is caused by rash and negligent driving and the driver is unable to pay adequate compensation to the victim's family because of his poor financial status, the state government must step in and pay the amount, the Supreme Court has ruled.
“We are of the view that where the accused is unable to pay adequate compensation, the court ought to have awarded compensation under Section 357A from the funds available under the Victim Compensation Scheme framed under the said section,“ a bench of Justices T S Thakur and A K Goel said.
It increased the amount of compensation awarded by the Himachal Pradesh high court to family members of a girl who died in a road accident from Rs 40,000 to Rs 4 lakh. Considering the poor financial condition of the convicted truck driver, the bench directed him to pay Rs 1 lakh and asked the state government to pay the remaining Rs 3 lakh.
The bench said if the driver failed to pay the amount, he had to undergo a six months' jail term and in that case the entire compensation of Rs 4 lakh would have to be paid by the state government.
“We modify the impugned order passed by the high court and enhance the compensation to be paid by the driver to Rs1 lakh to be paid within four months failing which the sentence awarded by the court of sessions shall stand revived,“ it said.
“In addition, we direct the state of Himachal Pradesh to pay an interim compensation of Rs 3 lakh. In case the driver fails to pay any part of the compensation, that part of compensation will also be paid by the state so that the heirs of the victim get total sum of Rs 4 lakh towards compensation. The amount already paid may be adjusted,“ the bench said.

No comments:

Post a Comment