The Law of Torts can be invoked to get compensation from the government or governmental agency concerned. This will be in addition to the insurance claim that the victims or the injured persons will get.
Former Judge of the Supreme Court, V.R. Krishna Iyer, said that it is the statutory obligation and constitutional duty of municipal bodies, the State and Central governments and the departments under them, to maintain roads and drains in good condition. “They are liable if any accident takes place because of their neglect. Lack of funds and other excuses cannot be an alibi for not performing their mandatory duty. The government gets huge amounts of money in the form of taxes from various sources and it must be properly used. “People have the basic right to freedom to move safely along the road. Any failure on the part of the government or its agencies to ensure this would mean that people can sue the agency concerned and get huge amounts as compensation,” he said. In the verdict pronounced by Mr.Krishna Iyer in the landmark Ratlam Municipality case, the Supreme Court had categorically stated that financial constraints did not absolve the municipality of the responsibility to perform basic duties like providing proper sanitation facilities to residents.
Under Section 133 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the District Collector or the RDO can issue an order to remove the obstacle or public nuisance (in this case potholes). “Relatives of accident victims can cite the bad road condition and file a suit in a civil court.
Sections 143 and 144 of the Cr. P.C., which too speak of the powers entrusted with the Collector and RDO to ensure public safety. The Municipalities Act too says that the civic agency concerned must ensure roads in good condition.
So move forward in filing case against Govt for Public Nuisance....