‘Good Samaritans helping mishap victims not to be harassed’
This good 'Samaritan; guidelines form part of a notification by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry and assume significance as India accounts for five lakh road accidents annually with 1.5 lakh deaths.
Not only a bystander or good Samaritan, including an eyewitness of a road accident taking an injured to a nearest hospital should be allowed to leave immediately, but they "shall be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward to help the road accident victims by the authorities in the manner as may be specified by state governments," the notification said.
The notification also made it clear <g data-gr-id="33">that,</g> "Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation pertaining to road accidents, where he is expected to provide care, shall constitute professional misconduct...and disciplinary action."
"The bystander or good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability," and added that those making a phone call to inform the police or emergency services for the person lying injured on road should not be compelled to reveal name or personal details.
It also <g data-gr-id="27">said</g> "disciplinary or departmental action" would be initiated against officials concerned if they coerce or intimidate anyone under such circumstance for <g data-gr-id="26">revealing</g> name or personal details.
On voluntary disclosure about being an eye witness, he or she will be "examined on a single occasion" for <g data-gr-id="29">purpose</g> of <g data-gr-id="30">police</g> investigation or during the trial, it said.
The Ministry said the notification was issued on the direction of the Supreme Court in connection with a case for protection of good Samaritans until appropriate legislation is made by the Central government.
Earlier Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that it has been government's endeavour to bring down road accidents by 50 <g data-gr-id="23">per cent</g> by 2017 as India accounts for highest road accidents and related deaths.
About five lakh road accidents are reported in India annually with 1.5 lakh deaths, the highest in the world, and 4.5 lakh victims of road accidents happen to be in the age group of 15 to 45 years.