New Delhi– Concerned over poor compliance of third party insurance of vehicles that puts all road users at risk, the Supreme Court on Friday said three-year insurance policy for four wheelers and five-year policy for two wheelers at the time of sale and registration should be made mandatory.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta said that third party insurance for three and five years be made mandatory for four and two wheelers respectively so that victims of road accidents could get compensation.

“Third party insurance has to be mandatory,” they said.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) however told the bench that third party insurance should not be made mandatory and the regulator was also looking into the issue and sought eight months time to decide on the issue.

Referring to the recommendations of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety, the bench said that over one lakh people were dying in India every year and three per minute in road accidents.

“You are looking at it from the point of insurance companies. Now, there are people who are dying and there are people who have already died in road accidents. Number of deaths in road accidents is more than one lakh per year in India. Three people are dying per minute in road accidents,” the bench said.

“Look at it from human point of view and not from your commercial interest. Do it within a reasonable time of two-three weeks,” the top court told IRDAI and asked it to take a decision on the issue on or before September 1.

The Supreme Court Committee has recommended that at the time of sale of two or four wheelers, third party insurance should be made mandatory for a period of five and three years respectively instead of one year.

Amicus curiae Gaurav Agarwal, assisting the court in the case told the court, that around 18 crore vehicles were plying on the roads of the country out of which only six crore have third party insurance.

Victims of road accidents were not getting the compensation as vehicles do not have third party cover, he added during the hearing of PIL relating to road safety.  (IANS)