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  • Writer's pictureLAWGIC STRATUM


Author: Shreyas N R


The motor vehicles act 1988 was introduced to have a check and to provide insurance to the third party of the vehicle owners who own a motor vehicle in India. From this, we need to understand the term third party insurance. The third- party insurance is called liability insurance; this liability insurance is named by the insurance companies. There are some important features as to third party insurance liability or the liability insurance.

The important feature of third party insurance is that it not only covers the insured but also the person injured by the insured. Here the word insured means the person who has insured himself and his motor vehicle.The premium for the insurance will not be known by the insured because legally liable insurance cannot be known by the insured.

The fault should be proved by the insured at times when the injury is caused by the insured.

The last important feature of this concept is that third party insurance is mandatory for all motor vehicles. This was made mandatory in G.Govindan v New assurance co ltd.[i]

The amendment of 1939 act to 1988 act

Initially, the 1939 act contained the laws relating to motor vehicles. This act was amended from time to time. The view is that this act was to be expanded keeping in mind the road transport technology, passenger, and freight movement.

The motor vehicle act 1988 was amended and came into force from 1st July 1988. This act is divided into 14 chapters, 217 sections, and 2 schedules. This act makes all motor vehicle owners insure their vehicles. It was only in this amendment that the insurance for the motor vehicles owned by the owners.

Relevant provisions of the 1988 act

The 1988 act has undergone a lot of changes from the 1939 act. As we have said before compulsory third- party insurance was made mandatory in the 1988 act. There are two important sections that tell the important features of the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988.

Section 147(5) of the act tells that the insured person has the responsibility to indemnify the class of persons which the policy aims to cover. This section tells us that the insurance policy is not only important for the insured but also for the persons who can have a claim from the policy. The third- party insurance cannot be overridden by any other statue under the act.

Section 146 of the act says that the owner of a motor vehicle will only be allowed to use the vehicle when he signs the insurance policy for the vehicle.[ii]

Concept of “no- fault liability”

One of the major concepts relating to the Motor vehicle act of 1988 is “no- fault liability”. the principle and concept of “no- fault liability” talk about the compensation or the relief that is given to the victims of “hit” and “run” case. But this concept of “no- fault liability” was questioned another concept called “strict liability”. there is a lot of difference between strict liability and no- fault liability. hence the concept of no- fault liability was then comprised under sections 140-144 under the act. Section 140 tells that compensation should be paid in case of any injury to the person who is the victim of the accident. A compensation of rupees, 50,000 for death and permanent injuries rupees 25,000.[iii]

Accident claims tribunal and its awards

According to the concept section, 165 tells us that the claims relating to the compensation in case of accident or death caused due to the accident.

The next important concept under this head is the accident report. The accident report is a report or form filled by the management in case of an accident that contains specific information that helps in the investigation when an accident has happened.

Amendments of Motor Vehicle Act 2020

The new amendments of the new Motor Vehicle Act 2020 are as follows

The first and important point in this amendment is that the documents that are required by the owner that is the license and the registration certificate of the vehicle can now be kept as soft copies rather than keeping them as physical copies whenever we drive a motor vehicle.

The next point is that the government is of the view that the defective motor vehicles should not operate on the roads since it may cause harm to the environment.

There will be a road safety board created by the central government to advise the central and state governments on various aspects of road safety.

In the case of drink and driving the fine may be up to rupees 10,000 or imprisonment up to 6 months. For driving an uninsured vehicle, the fine may be up to rupees 2000 or imprisonment up to 3 months for the first time. For the second time the fine may be up to rupees 4000 or imprisonment up to 3 months.[iv]


Hence from this article, we have a basic idea about the Motor vehicles act 1988 and the amendments that are related to the new act. The concepts that we have seen in this article give us a proper need to be followed and hence the rights and duties to be followed by th e citizens according to the act.


[i] [ii] [iii] [iv]

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