Nath favours fast-track courts for road accidents

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | Praveen Kumar Singh | Praveen Kumar Singh | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 30 2010, 03:19am hrs
Road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath has asked the law ministry to set up a special court in each district of the country to expedite the pending motor vehicle accident cases.

In India, most of the pending court cases are related to dishonour of cheque and road accidents. More than 38 lakh cases are pending owing to bouncing of cheques, while over 3 lakh road accident cases are awaiting verdict and the number has been increasing every year.

The number of cases and the claim involved is huge in motor vehicle accidents. It is difficult for the regular courts to deal with them in a time bound manner as they have other issues to handle. Therefore, we have demanded setting up of fast track courts through law ministry. If these courts are set up, we expect a quick redressal of accident cases, road ministry joint secretary Saroj Kumar Dash told FE.

The law ministry has accepted the demand but asked Nath to foot the bill for establishing the courts. We already have a proposal to set up a set of fast track courts to deal with nearly 38 lakh cheque bounce cases. The roads and highways ministry has also sent us a proposal to set up 600 such courts for motor vehicles cases as well. We have said that the finances for this will have to come from them. We are willing to set up the courts, minister for law and justice M Veerappa Moily told FE.

Dash, however, refused to have received any formal communication on the demand for funds. I would not be able to say anything on that as our ministry has not received any formal response from law ministry, he clarified.

International Road Federations World Road Statistics Report 2009 ranks India at the 12th position in terms of deaths in road accidents. In 2008, 4.85 lakh road accidents were reported to police of which 1.07 lakh were fatal. The number of accidents in 2008 increased from 4.8 lakh in the previous year. The number of accidents may be higher as there has been an under-reporting of cases to the police, according to the rural ministry.