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Govt.Guidelines to protect Good Samaritans soon

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By KRITIKA SHARMA SEBASTIAN, :  Will help those who aid a road accident victim from legal, procedural hassles at the hands of police.

In a landmark step that would enhance road safety, a set of guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans in the country is likely to be issued next month.

After the Supreme Court in December passed an order directing the Union Government to issue guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans, guidelines are likely to be issued around May 15.

The guidelines will protect a person who helps an injured person on the road, from legal and procedural hassles at the hands of the police, hospitals and legal entities. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will be issuing these guidelines.

Currently, in India there is no law or guideline that calls for the protection of a Good Samaritan. However, some States, including Delhi, have issued advisory to hospitals and the police directing them not to harass a person who brings an accident victim to the hospital. An advisory regarding this was issued by the Delhi Police after the December 16 gang-rape incident where the victim and her male friend kept lying unattended on the road for a long time. As per this advisory, a person who brings an accident victim to hospital just needs to leave the patient at the hospital and go . He or she does not need to see the police for any legal formalities.

However, many people are still not aware of this and neglect accident victims thinking they will have to go through legal hassles.

Talking to The Hindu , Piyush Tewari, founder and president of Save Life Foundation, an organisation extensively working for road safety, said, “Issue of guidelines for protection of Good Samaritans is a great step but it is also important to have a law for this. Otherwise, this will be just like any other set of guidelines in our country which are not being followed properly.”

Save Life Foundation has also drafted a Bill for the protection of Good Samaritans, which was introduced in Parliament as a Private Members Bill on December 12, 2014.

The Bill seeks to protect Good Samaritans from civil and criminal liabilities by establishing a supportive legal environment. It looks at three important aspects of the issue - the rights of a Good Samaritan who helps a road accident victim, the duties of hospitals with respect to provision of emergency care, and directions to law enforcement authorities with regard to questioning a Good Samaritan. It also gives clear directions to hospitals to not demand payment of treatment fees from the Good Samaritan, and not to delay treatment for payment of hospital fees. A Good Samaritan Fund is proposed to process claims of hospitals in such cases.

Courtesy: By KRITIKA SHARMA SEBASTIAN, The Hindu: Read full



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