New Delhi. Government is planning to introduce Liability for Driving Damage Bill that will limit the damages a BMW driver would need to pay out to compensate people mauled in any hit-and-run case. The bill puts an upper cap of 5 lakh rupees that a driver or owner of any BMW car should pay, apart from insuring that there were no litigations against the driver six months after the incident.
“There have been cases earlier where a BMW driver or owner has to go through harrowing times fighting court cases after hit-and-run incidents. This has seriously damaged the image of India among BMW car owners and very few of such swanky cars are seen on roads these days. This hurts the image of India as the next superpower.” said Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Urban Development.
Government is confident that if the bill is passed, India will attract more BMW cars, especially in the national capital region, which will help in preparations for the Commonwealth Games slated to be held later this year in Delhi.
“With more and more BMW cars, the foreign delegates would tend to overlook the filth and unauthorized colonies in the capital city.” a member of the Indian Olympics Association said on conditions of anonymity.
The bill further provisions that any claim over 5 lakh rupees in any hit-and-run case by the victims would be paid by the government. Furthermore, the bill is supposed to provide complete protection to the BMW Company even if the car was faulty and might have caused the accident. The accident would still be identified as a hit-and-run case and the government would bailout the drivers.
These features of the bill are coming under attack from opposition parties as well as civil rights groups.
“Why should Indian taxpayers pay for incompetence of these rich car owners?” protested Pranav, a Greenpeace activist, pointing out that a similar law in the USA stipulated for higher damages for the victims of hit-and-run cases.
While the government has refused to comment over these criticisms, BMW officials have expressed fears that India could lag behind in urban development if the bill was not passed soon.