Center & Insurers Tell Supreme Court

Insurance companies have developed a web portal under the aegis of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which can be used to upload road accident information and to integrate the claims database.

The portal can be used by the police to upload accident reports. The portal will alert the relevant insurance company and details of vehicles and owners can be retrieved as it is linked to the Vaahan portal. The portal can thus reduce the paperwork associated with the accident claims process and can speed up the settlement of claims.

Previously, the Supreme Court ordered the General Insurance Corporation, the nodal agency for all insurance companies, to develop a mobile application for traffic accident claims.

In response, the Additional Solicitor General informed the Court that a web portal, e-DAR, has been developed by MoRTH which will be an electronic version of the Integrated Motor Vehicle Accident Database. MA Mohan from the National Computing Center demonstrated the portal to the bench including Judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Judge MM Sundresh.

The portal will have features to geolocate accident sites, giving automatic alerts to the investigator concerned. Also, it has provisions to upload photos and videos related to the accident and damaged vehicles. In addition to the state police, an engineer from the public works department or local agency will receive an alert on their mobile device and the relevant official will then travel to the scene of the accident, to examine it and provide details. required, such as road design. Hotspots for accidents would also be identified in order to get solutions to avoid accidents at these hotspots.

The portal will also have a pan-India form “Complete Information Form” which will provide relevant information. A total of 19 forms are provided to different stakeholders and a unique electronically generated PAN India “Complete Information Form” will provide all relevant information.

In addition, the portal will have several controls to limit the filing of false claims. There will be several checks in the e-DAR portal to limit false claims linking the check to the FIR number, the vehicles involved in the accident, the date of the accident and the portal would be interconnected with other government portals, c i.e. Sarthi and Vaahan providing access to information relating to drivers’ licenses as well as vehicle registration.

ASG told the Court that traffic accident data for 24 states has already been uploaded. Taking note of the report, a bench consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundersh granted more time to the Center and the insurers to work on the remaining aspects of the portal.

The court was considering a writ petition filed by the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company seeking directions to streamline the accident claims process.

The Court also suggested that insurance companies take the initiative to settle claims where possible instead of going to court. “We have informed the learned lawyers of the insurance companies that they are in the best position to see which of their cases lend themselves to immediate settlements and after drawing up the list they can inform the respective high courts who can then arrange lok adalats/mediations to resolve at least those cases because in many states MACT cases are the highest category of pending cases,” the Chamber observed.

Case: Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Private Ltd. against Union of India [WPC 534/2020]

Click here to read/download the order

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