Section 165 in Motor Vehicles Act
Title: Claims Tribunals
(1) A State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute one or more Motor Accidents Claims Tribunals (hereafter in this Chapter referred to as Claims Tribunal) for such area as may be specified in the notification for the purpose of adjudicating upon claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles, or damages to any property of a third party so arising, or both.
Explanation.--For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the expression "claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving the death of or bodily injury to persons arising out of the use of motor vehicles" includes claims for compensation under section 140 1 [and section 163A].
(2) A Claims Tribunal shall consist of such number of members as the State Government may think fit to appoint and where it consists of two or more members, one of them shall be appointed as the Chairman thereof.
(3) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a member of a Claims Tribunal unless he--
(a) is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court, or
(b) is, or has been, a District Judge, or
(c) is qualified for appointment as a Judge of a High Court 1 [or as a District Judge].
(4) Where two or more Claims Tribunals are constituted for any area, the State Government, may by general or special order, regulate the distribution of business among them
1. Added by Act 54 of 1994, s. 52 (w.e.f. 14-11-1994).
Title: Application for compensation
(1) An application for compensation arising out of an accident of the nature specified in sub-section (1) of section 165 may be made--
(a) by the person who has sustained the injury; or
(b) by the owner of the property; or
(c) where death has resulted from the accident, by all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased; or
(d) by any agent duly authorised by the person injured or all or any of the legal representatives of the deceased, as the case may be:
Provided that where all the legal representatives of the deceased have not joined in any such application for compensation, the application shall be made on behalf of or for the benefit of all the legal representatives of the deceased and the legal representatives who have not so joined, shall be impleaded as respondents to the application.
1[(2) Every application under sub-section (1) shall be made, at the option of the claimant, either to the Claims Tribunal having jurisdiction over the area in which the accident occurred or to the Claims Tribunal within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the claimant resides or carries on business or within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant resides, and shall be in such form and contain such particulars as may be prescribed:
Provided that where no claim for compensation under section 140 is made in such application, the application shall contain a separate statement to that effect immediately before the signature of the applicant.]
3[(4) The Claims Tribunal shall treat any report of accidents forwarded to it under sub-section (6) of section 158 as an application for compensation under this Act.]
1. Subs. by Act 54 of 1994, s. 53, for sub-section (2) (w.e.f. 14-11-1994).
2. Sub-section (3) omitted by s. 53, ibid. (w.e.f. 14-11-1994).
3. Subs. by s. 53, ibid., for sub-section (4) (w.e.f. 14-11-1994).
Title: Option regarding claims for compensation in certain cases
Notwithstanding anything contained in the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923 (8 of 1923), where the death of, or bodily injury to, any person gives rise to a claim for compensation under this Act and also under the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923, the person entitled to compensation may without prejudice to the provisions of Chapter X claim such compensation under either of those Acts but not under both.
Title: Award of the Claims Tribunal
(1) On receipt of an application for compensation made under section 166, the Claims Tribunal shall, after giving notice of the application to the insurer and after giving the parties (including the insurer) an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry into the claim or, as the case may be, each of the claims and, subject to the provisions of section 162 may make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to it to be just and specifying the person or persons to whom compensation shall be paid and in making the award the Claims Tribunal shall specify the amount which shall be paid by the insurer or owner or driver of the vehicle involved in the accident or by all or any of them, as the case may be:
Provided that where such application makes a claim for compensation under section 140 in respect of the death or permanent disablement of any person, such claim and any other claim (whether made in such application or otherwise) for compensation in respect of such death or permanent disablement shall be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of Chapter X.
(2) The Claims Tribunal shall arrange to deliver copies of the award to the parties concerned expeditiously and in any case within a period of fifteen days from the date of the award.
(3) When an award is made under this section, the person who is required to pay any amount in terms of such award shall, within thirty days of the date of announcing the award by the Claims Tribunal, deposit the entire amount awarded in such manner as the Claims Tribunal may direct.
Title: Procedure and powers of Claims Tribunals
(1) In holding any inquiry under section 168, the Claims Tribunal may, subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, follow such summary procedure as it thinks fit.
(2) The Claims Tribunal shall have all the powers of a Civil Court for the purpose of taking evidence on oath and of enforcing the attendance of witnesses and of compelling the discovery and production of documents and material objects and for such other purposes as may be prescribed; and the Claims Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for all the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(3) Subject to any rules that may be made in this behalf, the Claims Tribunal may, for the purpose of adjudicating upon any claim for compensation, choose one or more persons possessing special knowledge of any matter relevant to the inquiry to assist it in holding the inquiry.