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Report No. 149

Chapter 9

Impact of other Statutes

9.1. Section 167 of the Act lays down that when a claim arising under this Act is by a person who is also entitled to lodge a claim under the Workmen's Compensation Act, the person entitled to claim compensation can do so only under either of the Acts but not under both. It has been pointed out earlier1 that this provision for a choice of remedies in such cases is unhelpful and that a workman or employee injured in a motor vehicles accident (or his dependants, where death results) should have the same remedies, under this Act, as any other person injured or killed in such an accident. Section 167, therefore, needs amendment.

1. See paras. 3.10 to 3.14 above.

9.2. It is also necessary to make a reference to cases where an employee who is injured (or his dependants where he dies) in a motor accident become entitled to payment of benefits under the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948. It will be salutary to provide that any such claimant also should seek his remedies only under this Act and not the 1948 Act.

9.3. It is also advisable to make it clear that where death results from a motor vehicles accident, the provisions of this Act will over-ride those of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855. Such a provision is necessary as there are some limitations imposed under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 which it is not advisable to import into the present statute.1

1. See for example, the discussion in Chapter 6 above in respect of the persons who are entitled to claim compensation in such cases.

9.4. The Motor Vehicles Act is a special enactment codifying all liability arising in respect of motor vehicles accidents, and this Act should be the only code within the four corners of which relief should be sought by persons injured or dependants of persons killed in such accidents, even though there may be some other enactments protecting some special interests (as for e.g. workmen or employees) generally against injuries suffered by them in certain situations (for e.g. in the course of their employment).1

The Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 and the Employees' Insurance Act, 1948 are general in nature providing relief to all class of employees engaged in workshops, factories or business premises. These statutes also provide for compensation in the event of death or injury caused during the course of employment but since the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is later in time and further as it specially provides for compensation for death and injury arising out of motor accident, this Act alone should apply even to employees who may suffer injury or death on account of motor accident, and the application of other acts should be excluded.

1. Particularly as the benefits provided under this Act are in no way less beneficial than the benefits provided to those employees under those enactments.

9.5. We, therefore, recommend that the following section should be substituted in place of the present section 167 of the Act:

"Notwithstanding anything contained in the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855, or the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 or the Employees' State Insurance Act, 1948 or any other law for the time being in force, the provisions of this Act alone and no other shall apply where the claim made for compensation is in respect of the death of, or bodily injury to, any person caused by or arising out of the use of a motor vehicle in a public place."

Removing certain deficiencies in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 Back

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