SC Approves Good Samaritan Law: Don't Be Afraid To Help Road Accident Victims

The next time you see a road accident, do not hesitate to take the injured to the nearest hospital. No need to be afraid of anyone while helping road accident victims in any possible way.


Yesterday Supreme Court approved the central government’s notification that provides protection to the Good Samaritans or the people, who help road accident victims by taking them to hospital or reporting about the incident to the police. Now helping out victims of road accidents will not call upon harassment. The law will now ensure that reporting a road accident to police or taking a victim to hospital will no longer be a harrowing experience for Good Samaritans. This order is expected to save the lives of hundreds of road accident victims in the country as people often avoid helping them fearing that they will be harassed by police, doctors or helplines. The next time you see a road accident, do not hesitate to take the injured to the nearest hospital.

Many NGOs like SafeRoad Foundation, SaveLIFE Foundation and SAFE have been working to inspire bystanders to help victims by taking out your time to take them to the hospital. Largest spiritual organization Dera Sacha Sauda having about 5.5 crore volunteers have included this road safety task in their humanitarian activities under which volunteers pledge to help road accident victims, in fact not only humans but also to help the animals injured on the road and to bury the dead ones roadside or wherever possible. Save LIFE Foundation NGO filed a PIL on the matter in 2012. In October 2013, the Supreme Court appointed a committee under the chairmanship of the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, to study the issues mentioned in the petition in detail and submit a final report to the Court on the same. During the course of hearing in this case, the Supreme Court on October 29, 2014, directed the Government of India to issue necessary guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans until appropriate legislation is made. On May 12, 2015, the ministry of road transport and highways had issued a notification to prevent harassment of Good Samaritans. On March 30, 2016, the Supreme Court approved the notification.

Know your rights, here's the new standard operating procedure to protect Good Samaritans:

A. Protection of Good Samaritans
1. The Good Samaritan shall be treated respectfully and without any discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, nationality, caste or any other grounds.
2. Any person who makes a phone call to the Police control room or Police station to give information about any accidental injury or death, except an eyewitness may not reveal personal details such as full name, address, phone number etc.
3. Any Police official, on arrival at the scene, shall not compel the Good Samaritan to disclose his / her name, identity, address and other such details in the Record Form or Log Register.
4. Any Police official or any other person shall not force any Good Samaritan who helps an injured person to become a witness in the matter. The option of becoming a witness in the matter shall solely rest with the Good Samaritan.
5. The concerned Police official(s) shall allow the Good Samaritan to leave after having informed the Police about an injured person on the road, and no further questions shall be asked if the Good Samaritan does not desire to be a witness in the matter.

B. Examination of Good Samaritan by the Police
1. In case a Good Samaritan so chooses to be a witness, he shall be examined with utmost care and respect and without any discrimination on the grounds of gender, religion, nationality, caste or any other grounds.
2. In case a Good Samaritan chooses to be a witness, his examination by the investigating officer shall, as far as possible, be conducted at a time and place of his convenience such as his place of residence or business, and the investigation officer shall be dressed in plain clothes, unless the Good Samaritan chooses to visit the police station.
3. Where the examination of the Good Samaritan is not possible to be conducted at a time and place of his convenience and the Good Samaritan is required by the Investigation Officer to visit the police station, the reasons for the same shall be recorded by such officer in writing.
4. In case a Good Samaritan so chooses to visit the Police Station, he shall be examined in a single examination in a reasonable and time-bound manner, without causing any undue delay.
5. In case the Good Samaritan speaks a language other than the language of the Investigating Officer or the local language of the respective jurisdiction, the Investigating Officer shall arrange for an interpreter.
6. Where a Good Samaritan declares himself to be an eye-witness, he shall be allowed to give his evidence on affidavit, in accordance with section 296 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) which refers to Evidence in Formal Character on Affidavit.
7. The complete statement or affidavit of such Good Samaritan shall be recorded by the Police official while conducting the investigation in a single examination.
8. In case the attendance of the Good Samaritan cannot be procured without delay, expense or inconvenience which, under the circumstances of the case, would be unreasonable, or his examination is unable to take place at a time and place of his convenience, the Court of Magistrate may appoint a commission for the examination of the Good Samaritan in accordance with section 284 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) on an application by the concerned.

C. The Superintendent of Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police or any other Police official of the corresponding seniority heading the Police force of a District, as the case may be, shall be responsible to ensure that all the above-mentioned procedures are implemented throughout their respective jurisdictions with immediate effect.

In short, this law will give you freedom to give your service towards the road accident victim up to the level you want, you can back out anytime without fearing police or anyone else. This law will surely save many lives, Youth Voice requests you to help road accident victims as much you can: take them to the hospital, don't have time? call 1073 and inform police ambulance. Lets read in short what rights this law has provided:

* A Good Samaritan in road accidents should be allowed to leave immediately, if they take an injured person to the hospital. They should not be questioned
* They should be suitably rewarded to encourage other people to come forward to help accident victims
* No civil or criminal liability should be fixed on them
* Any person who makes a phone call to inform about the victim lying on the road, shall not be compelled to reveal his/her name and personal details
* Disclosure of personal information shall be voluntary in medico-legal case form of hospitals
* Disciplinary action will be taken against public officials who force the good Samaritan to reveal his/her name and personal details
* In case of voluntary disclosure of being a witness to an accident and required to be examined for investigation by the police or during the trial, such a person shall be examined only once and the state government shall develop an SOP for non-harassment
* The ministry of health and family welfare shall issue guidelines for all registered public and private hospitals not to detain anyone who helps accident victims for registration and admission costs, unless they are a family member or relative of the injured

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Youth Voice: SC Approves Good Samaritan Law: Don't Be Afraid To Help Road Accident Victims
SC Approves Good Samaritan Law: Don't Be Afraid To Help Road Accident Victims
The next time you see a road accident, do not hesitate to take the injured to the nearest hospital. No need to be afraid of anyone while helping road accident victims in any possible way.
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