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Apex Court approves Centre’s norms to protect Good Samaritans

Apex Court approves Centre’s norms to protect Good Samaritans
By-standers and passers-by, who render help to victims of road accidents, will not be unnecessarily harrassed, with the Supreme Court giving its nod to the government’s guidelines to shield Good Samaritans from harassment at the hands of police and other authorities.

A Bench said the “Good Samaritans should feel empowered to act without fear of adverse consequence” while helping others at times of distress.

“People have the notion that touching the body could lend them liable for police interrogation. A passer-by plays safe and choses to wait for the police to arrive, whereas the injured gradually bleeds to death. People are reluctant to come forward for help, despite desperate attempts to get help from passers-by, (who) by and large they turn a blind eye to the person in distress...,” the Bench said.

It added that there was a need to evolve a system by promptly providing effective care system with certain ethical and legal principles.

It said the scheme framed by the government and this court order be widely published for the benefit of the public, so that “the public is made aware and that serves as impetus to Good Samaritans to extend timely help and protection conferred upon them without incurring the risk of harassment”.
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