Approving the government’s notification, the Supreme Court on March 30 agreed that those who help road accident victims need to be protected.
Good Samaritans, or those who do good, either help take a victim to a hospital or report about the incident to the police.
The apex court bench was headed by justice V Gopala Gowda who approved that Good Samaritans should no longer face any harrowing experience for helping out others in need.
With the Supreme Court now giving its approval to the government guidelines, it now not only becomes a law but all states are now bound by it.
The Supreme Court’s order on this notification is expected to save the lives of hundreds of victims of road accident that many times are not helped because people fear that they will face harassment by police and other law enforcing agencies if they do so.
On May 12, last year, the ministry of road transport and highways had issued a notification that provided protections to Good Samaritans from harassment.
The guidelines were made after the SC had directed asked the government to come up with guidelines.
The SC order in turn had come after a PIL was filed by an NGO, Savelife Foundation, that stated that more than four lakh road accidents had taken place in 2014 and during that period the number of deaths had increased from 1.37 lakh in 2013 to 1.39 lakh in 2014.
According to the new guidelines, a bystander, including an eyewitness to a road mishap, shall be allowed to leave immediately after taking the injured to the nearest hospital without furnishing his address.
The Police have also been asked to not compel people to reveal their identity unless they do it voluntarily.
The registered public and private hospitals in turn have been asked not to detain a Good Samaritan or demand payment for registration and admission costs.
The apex court also added that a departmental or disciplinary action would be initiated against the officer who coerces or intimidates the informer.