Guidelines to protect good samaritans made binding in India

The government guidelines aim to protect those who report and help accident victims

GN Bureau | March 4, 2016


#road safety   #supreme court   #Good Samaritan   #GoI  

 The supreme court has made the guidelines for protection of good Samaritans, notified by the government of India last year, binding in all states and union territories of the country. The guidelines seek to protect those who help person(s) injured in road accidents from police intimidation, detention at hospitals and protracted court cases.

 
Following is the notification issued by the ministry of road transport and highways:
  • A bystander may take the injured to the nearest hospital and will be allowed to leave immediately after providing his address.
  • The good samaritans will be rewarded to encourage others to help road accident victims. The reward amount has to be decided by state governments.
  • The person who reports the accident to the police or emergency services cannot be forced to reveal his name and personal details on phone or in person.
  • Disciplinary action will be taken against officials who try to coerce the samaritan into revealing their identity and details.
  • The ministry of health and family welfare to issue guidelines to all public and private hospitals to treat the injured immediately and to prevent detaining the samaritan or asking for medical costs unless the person is a family member of the injured.
  • The good samaritan cannot be forced by law enforcement agencies to become a witness in court.
  • In case a good samaritan agrees to a police examination, it has to be conducted at a time and place convenient to him by a plainclothes policeman. 
SaveLIFE Foundation, a voluntary organisation which works on road safety issues, had filed a PIL in 2012. On May 13, 2015, the government of India issued detailed guidelines for protection of good samaritans following a supreme court order. On January 22, 2016, the government had issued standard operating procedures (SOP) for the examination of good samaritans by the police or during trial. These SOPs too have been made binding on states and UTs.
 

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