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I am going to introduce my project topic on Motor Vehicle Act

1988. Which is introduce in whole India by central government
in 1988. This Act is enactment in respect to various matters
related to traffic safety on the road and minimize the road
accident. Now days the number of people killed in road
accident growing day by day. There are various new rights
created by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for claiming
compensation in case of any death or bodily injury caused in an
accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle. Motor
Vehicles Act replaced the old one. There are various new rights
created by the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for claiming
compensation in case of any death or bodily injury caused in an
accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle. This Act
ensures everyone gets treated in a fair manner and to avoid
disaster accidents. This motor vehicle act 1988 is improvement
of section 95(1) (B) (1939 Act). In Act 1939 its policy covering
only third party risk which does not make insurer liable for
harm suffered by a passenger travelling in a private car, neither
for hire nor reward. The Motor Vehicle Act 1988 suggests
various rules and regulation for the public and it has a huge
importance in the traffic regulation, so that the system goes
systematically and in a proper way. If any of the rules are
violated there are serious punishments. In detail I will discuss in
this core objective of Motor vehicle Act 1988, which gives ideas
of with explanation of benefits of this MV Act.
Motor vehicle act 1988

Before, the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 came in to existence, the
Motor vehicle Act, 1939 was applicable. Motor Vehicle Act
1939 which earlier replaced the first such enactment Motor
vehicle Act, 1914. The need was, however, felt that this Act
should, now inter alia, take into account also changes in the
road transport technology, pattern of passenger and freight
movements, developments, of the road network in the
developments, of the road network in the country and
particularly the improved techniques in the motor vehicle
management. Various committee , like, National Transport
Policy Committee, National Police Commission, Road Safety
Committee, Low Powered two Wheeler Committee, as also the
law commission have gone into different aspects of road
transport. They have recommended updating, simplification
and rationalization of this law . Several Member of parliament
have also urged for comprehensive review of the Motor Vehicle
Act,1939, to make it relevant to the modern – day
A working group was, therefore, constituted
in Janurary, 1984 to review all the provisions of the Motor
Vehicle Act, 1939 and to submit draft Working group took into
account the suggestions and recommendations earlier made by
various bodies and institutions like Central Institute of Road
Transport(CIRT), Automotive Research Association of India
(ARAI), and the transport organizations including, the
manufacturers and the general public, besides, obtaining
comments of state Government on the recommendations of
the working group, these were discussed in a specially
convened meeting of Transport Minister of all States and Union
Territories .
Some of the more important modifications so suggested to
taking care of :-
(a).The fast increasing number of both commercial vehicles in
the country.
(b).The need for encouraging adoption of higher technology in
automotive sector.
(c).Concern for road safety standards, and pollution- control
measures, standards for transportation of hazardous and
explosive material e.t.c.
The MV(Amendment) Act,1994
The Act was amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment)
Act, 1994, which vame into effect from 14th November 1994.
After the coming into force of the Motor Vechiles Act, 1988,
Government Received a numbers of public regarding the
inconvenience faced by them because of the operation of some
of the provisions of the 1988 act10. A review committee was,
therefore, constituted by the Government in March, 1990 to
examine and review the 1988 Act. The recommendations of the
review committee were forwarded to the State Governments
for comments and they generally agree with these
recommendations. The Government also considered a large
number of representations received, after finalization of the
report of the Review committee, from the transport operators
and public for making amendments in the Act. The draft of the
proposals based on the recommendation of the Review
Committee and representations from the public were placed
before the Transport Development Coouncil for seeking their
views in the matter.
a) The introduction of newer type of vehicle and fast
increasing number of both commercial and
personal vehicles in country.
b) Providing adequate compensation to victims of road
accident without going into long drawn procedure.
c) Protecting consumers interest in Transport Sector.
d) Concern for road safety standard, transport of hazardous
chemical and pollution control.
e) Delegation of greater power to State Transport Authorities
and rationalizing the role of public authorities in certain
f) The simplification of procedures and policy liberalization in
the field of Road Transport.
g) Enhancing penalties for traffic offenders.
The Motor Vehicle Act,1988
The Supreme Court in M. K. Kunhimohammed v. P. A.
Ahmedkutty , has made certain suggestions to raise the limit
of compensation payable as a result of motor accidents in
respect of death and permanent disablement in the event of
there being no proof of fault on the part of the person
involved in the accident and also in hit and run motor
accidents and to remove certain disparities in the liability of
the insurer to pay compensation depending upon the class or
type of vehicles involved in the accident. The above
suggestions made by the Supreme Court have been
incorporated in the Bill of the Motor Vehicles. The proposed
legislation has been prepared in the light of the above
background. Some of the more important provisions of the
Bill provide for the following matters, namely :-
a. Rationalization of certain definitions with additions of
certain new definitions of new types of vehicles.
b. Stricter procedures relating to grant of driving licences
and the period of validity thereof.
c. Laying down of standards for the components and parts
of motor vehicles.
d. Standards for anti-pollution control devices.
e. Provision for issuing fitness certificates of vehicles also
by the authorized testing stations.
f. Enabling provision for updating the system of
registration marks.
g. Liberalized schemes for grant of stage carriage permit
on non nationalized routes, all-India Tourist permits and
also national permits for goods carriages.
h. Administration of the Solatium Scheme by the General
Insurance Corporation.
i. Provision for enhanced compensation in cases of “no
fault liability” and in hit and run motor accidents
j. Provision for payment of compensation by the insurer to
the extent of actual liability to the victims of motor
accidents irrespective of the class of vehicles.
k. Maintenance of State registers for driving licences and
vehicle registration.
l. Constitution of Road Safety Councils .
The Bill also seeks to provide for more deterrent
punishment in the cases of certain offences. The above
suggestions which were incorporated in the Motor
Vehicles Bill received the assent of the President on 14th
October, 1988 and came on the Statute Book as Motor
Vehicles Act, 1988. The Act came into force with effect
from 1st July, 1989 replacing the Motor Vehicles Act,
19398 . The erstwhile Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 was
repealed by section 217 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Said section 217 also repealed all laws corresponding to
the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, then being in force in any
State immediately before the commencement of the Act
of 1988 in the respective states.
Driving License
Defination by Merriam-Webester:- An official document or card
which shows that you have the legal right to drive a vechile.
Driving licence means the licence issued by a competent
authority under Chapter II of the motor vechile Act, 1988,
authorizing the person specified therin to drive, otherwise than
a learner, a motor vechile or a motor vechile of any specified
class or description.
A driver’s licence is an official document permitting a
specific individual to operate one or more type of motorized
vechile, such as a motorcycle, car, truck, or bus on a public on a
road. The Laws relating to the licensing of drivers vary between
jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions, a license is issued after the
recipient has passed a driving test, while in others, a person
acquires a license before beginning to drive. Different
categories of license often exist for different types of motor
vehicles, particularly large trucks and passenger vehicles. The
difficulty of the driving test varies considerably between
jurisdictions, as do factors such as age and the required level of
Driving licence in India
The minimum driving age in India is 16 for mopeds under
50 cc (3.1 cu in), and 18 for cars and motorcycles. Access
to motorcycles producing more than 50 cc (3.1 cu in) is
restricted to riders aged 18 and above. The Regional
Transport Office (RTO/RTA) issue their own driving
licences in various states. Drivers are legally obliged to
carry a valid driving license in India whilst driving, and
must be produced if required to do so by a police officer.
In India, people aged 50 or more, have to undergo strict medical tests in order to
obtain a license that has limited validity and requires renewal every five years. A
commercial driving license is valid for 3 years and requires to be renewed

Earlier not holding a valid driving license was a good defence to the Insurance Company to avoid liability. It was
been held by the Supreme Court that the Insurance Company is not liable for claim if driver is not holding effective
& valid driving licence. It has also been held that the learner's licence absolves the insurance Company from
liability, but later Supreme Court in order to give purposeful meaning to the Act have made this defence very
In Sohan Lal Pasi's case it has been held for the first time by the Supreme Court that the breach of condition should
be with the knowledge of the owner. If owner's knowledge with reference to fake driving licence held by driver is
not proved by the Insurance Company, such defence, which was otherwise available, can not absolve insurer from
the liability. Recently in a dynamic judgment in case of Swaran Singh, the Supreme Court has almost taken away
the said right by holding;
a. Proving breach of condition or not holding driving licence or holding fake licence or carrying gratuitous
passenger would not absolve the Insurance Company until it is proved that the said breach was with the
knowledge of owner. b. Learner's licence is a licence and will not absolve Insurance Company from liability. c. The
breach of the conditions of the policy even within the scope of Section 149(2) should be material one which must
have been effect cause of accident and thereby absolving requirement of driving licence to those accidents with
standing vehicle, fire or murder during the course of use of vehicle. This judgment has created a landmark history
and is a message to the Government to remove such defence from the legislation as the victim has to be given