In our article on monetary compensation available to victims of road accidents, we had mentioned the Solatium Fund, constituted under the Solatium Scheme, under Section 163 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988, for the payment of compensation to victims of hit and run motor accidents. This came into force with effect from July 1989.
Below is a round-up of its most salient features, and the details of the procedure for claiming compensation under it.
How is the Fund administered?
Contributions to the Fund are made by the General Insurance Corporation according to an agreed formula and the latter nominates one of its offices or an insurance company in every district for settlement of claims.
Who will get compensation under the Scheme?
In case of claims arising out of death of an accident victim, payment is made to the legal representatives of the deceased (as decided by the Claims Enquiry Officer). In the case of claims arising out of grievous hurt, payment is made to the person injured.
What is the procedure for applying for compensation?
- As a hit and run victim or a legal representative of his, submit an application seeking compensation under this scheme in Form I along with a duly filled-in discharge receipt in Form II .
- Also enclose an undertaking in Form V to the Claims Enquiry Officer of the Sub-Division or Taluka in which the accident takes place. This undertaking specifies that the amount of compensation received under the Scheme will be refunded to the insurer if the injured victim or the legal representative of the deceased receives any other compensation in lieu of this amount, or under any other existing provision by law
- Ensure that the application is made within six months from the date of the accident.
- An application made after six months, but before 12 months from the date, may be accepted by the Claims Enquiry Officer if he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the delay. If, however, the Officer is not convinced and the application is rejected, the reasons for non-acceptance will be communicated to the you.
When does compensation reach the applicant?
On receipt of all required reports from the Claims Enquiry Officer, the Claims Settlement Commissioner sanctions the claim, as far as possible, within a period of fifteen days from the date of receipt of such report. He must then communicate the sanction order along with other required documents from his end to the nominated officer of the insurance company.
The nominated office of the insurer then makes the payment to the claimant and despatches a cheque/demand draft for the amount through registered post AD.
The payment is made usually within 15 days from the date of receipt of the sanction order from the Claims Settlement Commissioner; wherever there is a delay, reasons must be explained to the Claims Settlement Commissioner.
For more details on the Scheme and its operation, read this.