Justice S. Vaidyanathan had earlier issued an order directing the Transport Secretary to ensure that all new motor vehicles sold from September 1 get comprehensive insurance policy cover for five years

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Justice S. Vaidyanathan had earlier issued an order directing the Transport Secretary to ensure that all new motor vehicles sold from September 1 get comprehensive insurance policy cover for five years

The Madras High Court, has kept in abeyance, an order passed by it recently directing the State Transport Secretary to ensure that all motor vehicles sold in the State from September 1 get bumper-to-bumper insurance cover along with coverage for driver, owner, passengers and third parties for a period of five years.

Justice S. Vaidyanathan kept his order in abeyance after the General Insurance Council (GIC) approached the court and stated that it would require at least 90 days time to implement the court order after obtaining due approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

Earlier, the judge had issued the direction while setting aside a motor accidents claims tribunal’s order directing an insurance company to pay ₹14.65 lakh to family of a dead car passenger though the insurance policy covered only third party liability and not the passengers.

The judge said the claimants could seek compensation only from the car owner and not from the insurer. He also expressed dismay over people showing interest in purchasing expensive cars but unwilling to shell out a small amount of money towards comprehensive insurance. He had directed the Transport Secretary to ensure that all new motor vehicles sold from September 1 get comprehensive insurance policy cover for five years. Pursuant to the court order, the Joint Transport Commissioner issued a circular to all Regional Transport Officers on August 31 for strict implementation of the court order.

Appreciating the government for the swift action, the judge said it only showed that the State was also interested in safeguarding the interests of motorists. Nevertheless, since GIC had sought time, he decided to hear the GIC as well as IRDAI at length on September 13 before passing further orders on the issue.

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