Under the guidance of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, insurance firms have developed a web-portal that can be used to submit information on motor vehicle accidents and to combine the database linked to accident claims.
The Supreme Court had previously ordered the General Insurance Corporation, which serves as the nodal agency for all insurance firms, to create a smartphone app for vehicle accident claims.
In response, the Additional Solicitor General informed the Court that a web-portal, e-DAR, has been developed by the MoRTH, which will be an e-version of the Integrated Road Accident Database. Mr. A. Mohan of the National Informatics Centre gave a demonstration of the portal to the bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh.
The Court was considering a writ petition filed by the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company seeking directions to streamline the accident claim process.
PURPOSE OF THE PORTAL:
The portal can be used by the police to upload the accident reports on it. The portal will alert the concerned insurance company and the details of the vehicles and owners can be fetched as it is linked to the Vaahan portal. The portal can thus reduce the paper work related to the accident claim process cam expedite the claims settlement.
The portal will have features to geo-tag the accident locations, giving automatic alerts to the concerned investigating officer. Also, it has provisions to upload photos and videos relating to the accident and damaged vehicles. Apart from the state police, an engineer from the Public Works Department or the local body will receive an alert on his mobile device and the concerned official will then visit the accident site, to examine it, and feed the required details, such as the road design. Hotspots for accidents would also be identified so as to obtain solutions to avoid accidents at these hotspots.
The portal will also have a pan-India form "'Comprehensive Information Form" which will provide the relevant information. The total of 19 forms are provide the relevant information. The total of 19 forms are provided for various stakeholders and a PAN India Single 'Comprehensive Information Form' generated electronically will provide all the relevant information
The portal will have multiple checks to restrict the filing of fake claims. There will be multiple checks in the e-DAR portal to restrict fake claims linking the check with FIR No., vehicles involved in the accident, the date of accident and the portal would be interlinked with other Government portals i.e, Sarthi and Vaahan giving access to information with respect to licence of the drivers as well as the registration of the vehicle.
The ASG reported to the Court that data with respect to motor accidents for 24 States is already been uploaded. Taking note of the report, a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundersh granted more time to the Centre and the insurers to work out the remaining aspects of the portal.
SUGGESTIONS OF THE COURT:
The Court also suggested that the insurance companies should take initiative to settle claims wherever possible instead of going to courts. "We did put to the learned counsel for the insurance companies that they are best suited to see as to which of their cases are amenable to immediate settlements and after making the list may inform the respective High Courts which can then hold lok adalats/mediations to resolve at least those cases as in number of states the MACT cases are the highest single category of pendency", the Bench observed.