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Q. A Good Samaritan law is need of the hour to protect and encourage bystanders in getting involved in the rescue of accident victims. Comment.
Mar 23, 2016 Related to : GS Paper : 2 & 3

Ans :

  • Road safety is one the critical issues in India, that needs much more attention from government as well as citizens. In 2014, India has witnessed about 1, 41,000 road accidental deaths. The issues like police investigation, complicated legal process often deters bystanders from getting involved in the rescue of accident victims. 

  • There is near absence of law which protect and encourage bystanders in getting involved in the rescue of accident victims. That’s why Apex court on petition by NGO (SaveLife Foundation) has directed central and state governments to frame the guidelines until a law in a place. Central government has been issued guidelines in 2015 in this regard and followed it with SOP for next six months. (A private member bill pending in parliament)

  • There is need of law which adequately meet the purpose of Good Samaritan protection.  The bystander who rushes to rescue of an accident victim should not be subjected to any liabilities like civil or criminal or even should not be forced for being witness. Such things should be strictly voluntary and without any harassment. Also government to initiate reward and compensations to encourage bystanders in offering help.( Many such points are covered in union government guidelines )

  • Studies reveals that majority of people are deterred from extending helping hand to accident victims due to fear of getting trapped in legal tangles. There must not be any positive obligation on bystanders and should try to protect and reward them for extending help in to accidental victims during golden hours. Hence there is need of statute for good Samaritan/helpful bystanders.

  • Recently Karnataka government has decided to frame a Good Samaritan law and governments of Rajastan and Delhi are also in pipeline to draft such bill. 


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