The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on Thursday notified the rules for protection of Good Samaritans. A Good Samaritan is a person, who in good faith, voluntarily and without expectation of any award or compensation renders emergency medical or non-medical care or assistance at the scene of an accident to the victim or transports such victim to the hospital.
The rules provide that no officer or any other person shall compel a Good Samaritan to disclose his/her name, identity, address or any such other personal details. However, he may voluntarily choose to disclose the same and if that person has voluntarily agreed to become a witness in the case in which he has acted as a Good Samaritan, he shall be examined in accordance with the provisions of these rules. The rules also provide that the Good Samaritan be treated respectfully without any discrimination on the grounds of religion, nationality, caste or sex. Every public and private hospital shall publish a charter in Hindi, English and vernacular language, at the entrance or other conspicuous location, and on their website, stating the rights of Good Samaritans.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, inserted a new section 134A, named “Protection of Good Samaritan” which provides that a Good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury to or death of the victim of an accident. India witnesses around 1.5 lakh deaths due to road accidents in a year, which is highest in the world, and that’s why government has been taking several steps to reduce these tragedies. And this is the reason the government put out the rules so that people who come forward to help the road accidents victims on the spot could be prevented from any legal mess at the hospital or later by law enforcement authorities and hence these rules are to encourage the public to come forward to help accident victims so that they get shifted to a nearby hospital immediately