Bombay HC Asks BMC To Respond To Suggestion On Public Liability Insurance
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court (HC) instructed the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to react to the notion of requiring Public Liability Insurance (PLI) during the upcoming hearing on June 8, 2023. The same happened during the hearing of a petition regarding the non-repair and non-filling of potholes on roads.
A group of judges, including Chief Justice Nitin Jamdar and Sandeep Marne, stated that in 2018, the Bombay HC had told the government that they needed to create a way to make sure manholes are covered. At that time, the court had also recommended putting grills on top of these manholes.
The judges further mentioned that out of 74,682 manholes in the city, only 1,908 are with grills.
The Report on Public Liability Insurance in India thoroughly analyses liability insurance laws, rules, and procedures, tracing their evolution in response to major incidents like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and the needs of international corporations. ^
About The Report
India is very much impeded by the fact that, in contrast to other nations, the Law of Torts has not been codified yet. Furthermore, any industrial accidents that have happened in the recent past have been the sole focus of the decisions that define judicial thinking in this field so far. There is a lack of forward-thinking in terms of codifying the Law of Torts for future happenstances. In non-industrial disasters like the Uphaar Cinema incident or the Morbi bridge collapse, victims currently have no established legal framework for seeking assistance, as there’s no judicial baseline in place to address such events.
Even though the report makes numerous recommendations for how to deal with this, the overwhelming consensus among the experts consulted was in favour of the following crucial actions:
- Requiring all business owners to have public liability insurance by extending the scope of the Act;
- Establishing a distinct legal venue for non-industrial casualty victims so that their claims for redress and compensation can be expedited. All parties should agree that this should follow the model of the highly effective auto accident courts.
- Establish a plaintiff’s bar or a contingency fee structure for solicitors so that there is some motivation on the part of the legal community to aid in delivering justice.
The report suggests non-life insurers should enhance product coverage and claims policies to prevent insured individuals from having to withdraw claims due to policy limitations or complex procedures.*
Making the owner of the entire claims process independent is a key recommendation made by the report regarding the general insurance claims to handle concerns.^ To manage public liability claims appropriately, it has even been suggested to model the claims process after that for auto accidents.
This development underscores the importance of addressing liability insurance matters in the context of public safety and potential liability claims.
^ Claims are subject to terms and conditions set forth under commercial insurance policy .
*Standard T&C Apply
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