New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday approved the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill which seeks to raise compensation for death resulting from a hit and run accident to Rs one lakh and Rs 50,000 for the injured in such incidents.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2007, piloted by Surface Transport and Highways Minister CP Joshi, was passed by voice vote after an hour-long debate.
The minister said the Centre intends to establish a fund to be known as "Solatium Fund" which shall be utilised for paying compensation to people dying or receiving grievous injuries in hit and run road accidents.
The hike in compensation has been decided keeping in view the high inflation rate.
On charges levelled by some opposition members that the Bill was intended to benefit private insurance companies, Joshi refuted the allegation and said the changes have been brought on the basis on the report of Parliamentary Committee on Transport, which submitted its recommendations in January.
The minister said though casualties in road accidents are high in India, it is still much less than those in developed countries like US, UK and Germany.
He said his ministry was waiting for views from states on further strengthening traffic rules to cut down accidents substantially. Based on the comprehensive views, a separate comprehensive legislation would be brought in Parliament to regulate traffic rules violation.
Earlier, members sought stringent punishment for drunken driving and use of mobile phones while plying vehicle.
Narendra Kumar Kashyap (BSP), KN Balagopal (CPI-M), Bharatkumar Raut (Shiv Sena), Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP), Ramkripal Yadav (RJD), MP Achuthan (CPI) and Anil Desai (Shiv Sena) participated in the debate.