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Old 21st April 2015, 18:21   #1
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Default Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans-20accident_190732.jpg

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The Union home ministry has advised the states to ensure their police do not harass witnesses in accident cases in the name of investigation.

A senior ministry official said the Center was seriously considering passing a law on the subject, since advisories on state subjects are not binding on state government.

The advisory notes that most Indians avoid helping accident victims fearing the police would treat them as suspects rather than witnesses. This mans "most road accident victims die for lack of emergency medical aid" senior Supreme Court lawyer Parmanad Katara said.

A Delhi-based NGO, SaveLIFE Foundation, says three in four Indians are deterred from helping accident victims for fear of being detained by hospitals till the police come, harassed by the police, and forced by the prosecution into unending court appearances.

Source & full article may be found here - http://www.telegraphindia.com/archives/archive.html

Last edited by GTO : 22nd April 2015 at 16:50. Reason: Keeping the fair usage policy in mind, it's best to share an excerpt + link to full article. Thanks
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Old 21st April 2015, 18:42   #2
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Default re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

Lot of misleading information going around. The problem is not just in road laws but in our courts & judicial procedure.

Once ANYONE becomes a witness to a judicial case, it becomes his/her legal duty to attend court proceedings.

Police cannot force anyone to become a witness in any case, civil or criminal unless a judicial subpoena is given.

Only point that can be improved is if a 'good samaritan' who helps victims either as a bystander or passer-by gets coerced by police into being a suspect or witness - but this goes to changing police behavior - this requires proper police reforms.

Right now even the most educated ones avoid going to the police as far as possible due to their behavior & time u waste once you get stuck in legal procedures.

We need far reaching police & judicial reforms - this is the only solution, not these piecemeal feelgood add-ons.
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Old 21st April 2015, 21:49   #3
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Default re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

Read the below posts, and let me know if you still believe in Courts & Judiciary. I have read even more detailed versions of this story and let me tell you, I was in tears almost. Obviously, the internet has been through a clean up job and I could not find those articles. We are a messed up country when it comes to Law & Judiciary. We need a major overhaul.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFrustrat...40723335963149

http://www.thequint.com/2015/mar/27/...ho-let-him-die

http://lighthouseinsights.in/blogger...lman-too.html/

Last edited by GTO : 22nd April 2015 at 16:51. Reason: Typo
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Old 22nd April 2015, 18:06   #4
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Default re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

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Originally Posted by Engine_Roars View Post
Read the below posts, and let me know if you still believe in Courts & Judiciary. I have read even more detailed versions of this story and let me tell you, I was in tears almost. Obviously, the internet has been through a clean up job and I could not find those articles. We are a messed up country when it comes to Law & Judiciary. We need a major overhaul.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFrustrat...40723335963149

http://www.thequint.com/2015/mar/27/...ho-let-him-die

http://lighthouseinsights.in/blogger...lman-too.html/
Ultimately Mr Patil's perseverance didn't pay for anything. Neither while he was alive, not after his death. (can't open the other two sites).

When a normal civil dispute case takes decades to be resolved (nothing but establishment of facts), and files get missing/lost in criminal proceedings - the message that rings clear is: do whatever you want in India, you will get away with it for a long long time.

It is upto the citizens of this country to understand this message and reap benefits out of it.
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Old 22nd April 2015, 18:21   #5
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Default re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

A recent incident took place when a friend was driving near Colaba, Mumbai, when a biker overtook him from the left and hit a person walking on the road. The man fell right in front of my friend's car who luckily stopped on time. A crowd gathered almost immediately and instead of helping the bleeding man, ganged up against my friend and almost beat him up. Luckily, a witness and the accident victim (who was in his senses) told the crowd that it was the biker who fled from the spot.

My friend was asked to take the man to a local dispensary nearby, which he did. On reaching the place, 2 cops arrived and began interrogating my friend before even asking the victim anything. After that, they asked the victim, who correctly narrated the incident. They asked my friend and the victim to visit the police station where a complaint would be registered. In the whole process, my friend missed his meeting and was held up for a total period of 2 hours before he was allowed to leave (this after him requesting the cops again and again that he actually had to leave for another engagement). After this incident, he vowed to not help any one again and goes on narrating this incident to whoever he meets to dissuade them from doing so either.

A sad state of affairs indeed!
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Old 9th June 2015, 10:36   #6
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Default Government Issues Guidelines to Protect Good Samaritan or Bystanders

In order to protect the Good Samaritans from harassment on the actions being taken by them to save the life of the road accident victims and acting on the judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India dated 29th Oct 2014 in a Writ Petition (Civil) No. 235 of 2012 in the case of Savelife Foundation and another Vs Union of India and another the Government of India has notified the guidelines to protect the interests of Samaritans.

The notification No. 25035/101/2014RS dated 12th May 2015 highlights the following points:

A bystander or good Samaritan including an eyewitness of a road accident may take an injured person to the nearest hospital and he/she would be allowed to leave immediately and no question shall be asked.

A bystander or good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil or criminal liability.

A bystander or good Samaritan who makes a phone call to inform police or emergency services shall not be compelled to reveal his name or personal details on the phone or in person.

The disclosure of personal information shall be voluntary or optional including in the Medico Legal Cases.

If a bystander or good Samaritan is an eye witness to an accident and needs to be examined for the purpose of investigation by the police or during the trial, such person shall be examined on a single occasion and the state governments will develop the standard operating procedures to ensure that the person is not harassed or intimidated.

It also has the provision to reward the bystander so as to encourage other citizens to come forward to help road accident victims.

It also has a provision to initiate disciplinary or departmental action against officers who coerce or intimidate a bystander or good Samaritan for revealing his name or personal details.

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" under chapter 7 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 and disciplinary action shall be taken against such a doctor under chapter 8 of the said regulations.

Notification.pdf issued by MORTH.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 9th June 2015 at 10:53.
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Old 9th June 2015, 20:09   #7
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
A recent incident took place when a friend was driving near Colaba, Mumbai, when a biker overtook him from the left and hit a person walking on the road. The man fell right in front of my friend's car who luckily stopped on time. A crowd gathered almost immediately and instead of helping the bleeding man, ganged up against my friend and almost beat him up. Luckily, a witness and the accident victim (who was in his senses) told the crowd that it was the biker who fled from the spot.

My friend was asked to take the man to a local dispensary nearby, which he did. On reaching the place, 2 cops arrived and began interrogating my friend before even asking the victim anything. After that, they asked the victim, who correctly narrated the incident. They asked my friend and the victim to visit the police station where a complaint would be registered. In the whole process, my friend missed his meeting and was held up for a total period of 2 hours before he was allowed to leave (this after him requesting the cops again and again that he actually had to leave for another engagement). After this incident, he vowed to not help any one again and goes on narrating this incident to whoever he meets to dissuade them from doing so either.

A sad state of affairs indeed!
In your friend's case, will a dash cam solve such situations from authorities?
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Old 9th June 2015, 23:05   #8
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

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Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
A recent incident took place when a friend was driving near Colaba, Mumbai, when a biker overtook him from the left and hit a person walking on the road. The man fell right in front of my friend's car who luckily stopped on time.
A sad state of affairs indeed!
Something similar happened to me as well. Was waiting at a signal in the first row of cars when a motorcyclist squeezes through the traffic and stands in front of me. Takes his helmet off for some reason which tumbles out of his hand onto the road. He bends down to pick it up, looses balance and falls over.

The traffic cop come to me aggressively saying I hit him. Thankfully everyone waiting at the signal tell him what happened and we are free to go. It also helped that the motorcyclist in question was too drunk to get up by himself.

A dashcam would definitely have helped.

This notification is a great news and I am going to make sure that I keep a copy in my car - just in case. Enforcement is always an issue, but knowing for certain what you are doing is legal helps a lot.
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Old 18th June 2015, 00:17   #9
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Default Re: Government Issues Guidelines to Protect Good Samaritan or Bystanders

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Originally Posted by mints21 View Post

A bystander or good Samaritan who makes a phone call to inform police or emergency services shall not be compelled to reveal his name or personal details on the phone or in person.

The disclosure of personal information shall be voluntary or optional including in the Medico Legal Cases.

If a bystander or good Samaritan is an eye witness to an accident and needs to be examined for the purpose of investigation by the police or during the trial, such person shall be examined on a single occasion and the state governments will develop the standard operating procedures to ensure that the person is not harassed or intimidated.

It also has a provision to initiate disciplinary or departmental action against officers who coerce or intimidate a bystander or good Samaritan for revealing his name or personal details.
If the bystander calls the police help-line, the police can easily track our bio-data from the phone number. Even if i dont disclose it, they can get it using their influences.
Personal information disclosure may be volutary but they can trace it out on their own, without me revealing it. It is not a challenge for the govt.
What is the rule for "enforcement". If I am harrased by anyone and i file a case against them, is there an expedited court hearing for the same (in the tune of say 5 days) , similar to foreign countries ?
Again - enforcement is the challenge - is there an expedited mode for getting a court decision in my favour, if this happens?


We have plently of rules in india. It is enforcement that is needed, not new rules. Till enforcement is there, i personally would think twice from helping someone. I salute those who would and who have done so in the past.
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Old 21st July 2015, 22:19   #10
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

Perhaps an ideology we should all apply:
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Old 4th March 2016, 15:26   #11
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

http://www.ndtv.com/cheat-sheet/repo...-lateststories


We are progressing. Better late than never!!

"If you witness a road accident, don't hesitate to get involved. The Supreme Court has today ordered that across the country, rules will be enforced to protect "Good Samaritans"."
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Old 3rd April 2016, 09:54   #12
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Default Good Samaritans should not be harrassed; rush victims to hospital: Supreme Court

http://indianexpress.com/article/ind...preciation-sc/

Not a day too late. The Honourable Supreme Court has once again stepped in to provide executive direction on a critical matter of life and death which our bureaucrats have not moved in 68 years. Request Team BHPians to share their personal experiences with acting as good Samaritans. Despite the Supreme Court directive it is likely that at a local level the police will continue to conduct themselves in an imperious and troublesome manner. All of us will benefit with greater awareness from shared experiences.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The news article from Indian Express reads...

Quote:
"From now on, helping an accident victim will earn you a ‘Good Samaritan’ badge of honour, not the harassment at the hands of police and hospital authorities that most people dread.

A Supreme Court bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra has directed state governments to prepare a format for a certificate of appreciation and distribute it to hospitals “for incentivising the bystander or Good Samaritan” who helps save lives by rushing victims of road mishaps for medical care. The court has also issued a string of other directions to make certain that no person helping an accident victim is forced to disclose his or her identity, is detained in a hospital or a police station for questioning, is forced to take the witness box in a court, or is summoned by police.

“There is need to evolve the system by promptly providing effective care system with certain ethical and legal principles. It is absolutely necessary that Good Samaritans feel empowered to act without fear of adverse consequence. There is need to provide certain incentives to Good Samaritans,” the court noted.

Underscoring that almost 50 per cent of accident victims can be saved if they are taken to hospitals by bystanders or passersby, the bench said getting their support was “essential to enhance the chances of survival of victim in the ‘Golden Hour’ i.e. the first hour of the injury.”

According to the Global Road Safety Report, 2015, released by the World Health Organization, a staggering 2 lakh people died in road accidents in India in 2014. The WHO number was almost 46 per cent more than the statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for that year. While the total deaths estimated by the WHO for 2014 were 2,07,551, the number of deaths reported under the head ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ by the NCRB was 1,41,526. Even by the NCRB’s data, 16 people lost their lives every hour on average in 2014. Globally, 1.25 million people die in road accidents annually, the WHO said.

The apex court held that the right to life as enshrined in Article 21 also included the right to safety of persons while travelling on the road and hence, immediate medical assistance is required to be provided to safeguard such a valuable right. For ensuring people’s lives are protected, the bench said, adequate legal protection and prevention from harassment of Good Samaritans is a must because people choose not to come forward to help the accident victims, fearing police cases and unending rounds in the court as witnesses. The court regretted that many victims are left to bleed to death while people keep waiting for the police to take them to hospitals.
Taking into account two notifications issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and suggestions by Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, the bench approved the guidelines issued by the central government in May 2015 and January 2016, and underlined they would operate as the law of the land until a legislation for affording protection to Good Samaritans is enacted.

The court rejected the idea that the acknowledgment for the Good Samaritans had to wait until a format was standardized by the state governments, and said that such certificates of appreciation should be distributed immediately on a letterhead or office pad to be prescribed by the state governments. If he so desires, such a certificate will mention the name of the Good Samaritan, address, time, date, place of occurrence, and confirm that the injured person was brought to a hospital by him, the court said.

The directives were issued on a PIL moved by NGO Savelife Foundation, which had argued for the development of a supportive legal framework to protect those who render help to the victims of road accidents.

LEGAL COVER from top court

> Bystander/Good Samaritan shall not be detained by hospital or police station; will be allowed to leave immediately after furnishing address; will have no civil, criminal liability

> Those making phone calls to police or emergency services shall not be compelled to reveal names, details; action shall be initiated against public officials and policemen who force them to do so

> An acknowledgment as certificate of appreciation will be given to Good Samaritan

> Good Samaritan will not be forced to become a witness in a case; in case he wants to become a witness, his affidavit will be usually considered as his complete statement"

Last edited by GTO : 4th April 2016 at 08:33. Reason: Adding quote tags
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Old 15th April 2016, 13:17   #13
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

Delhi to reward autorickshaw drivers helping accident victims.

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In what may become one of the most progressive policies to promote road safety, the Delhi government will soon give a reward of Rs. 2,000 to autorickshaw drivers who take road accident and trauma victims to hospital.

"The truth is that in Delhi, ambulances do not reach the victims in time. If we follow protocols and wait for ambulances, we will not be able to save lives".

Recent research has revealed that economic incentives have a positive influence on the reduction of road accidents and injuries.
Source
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Old 15th April 2016, 14:20   #14
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

'Dashcams make good samaritans'. This is what I have concluded from reading about so many such examples. If a biker falls in front of you, theres a good chance that the locals will gang up on you, no matter whose fault it is. As seen above, bless the bikers who spoke out the truth. If for some reason he decides to point his finger at you, either then and there or after you take him to a hospital, a dashcams the only thing that could save your life.
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Old 12th August 2016, 12:56   #15
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Default Re: Government forms law to protect accident witnesses / good samaritans

This clearly shows the gap between good intention (passing a Law) and good implementation (real world effect).

An NGO (Save Life Foundation) did a citizen survey in Delhi on the whether they would help an accident victim and the results are surprising. Two key takeaways from the survey was 1. Most people do not know that there is a Good Samaritan law and thinks they will be harassed by cops/hospital staff if they help, and 2. Cops themselves are ignorant of such a law!

There definitely needs to be a more publicity made on this law to spread awareness on it. It may save a life!

(Note: While this survey was done in Delhi, i expect similar results would be prevalent in all other cities in India.)


Quote:
4 in 5 Delhiites won’t help a crash victim: Study

Harassment at the hands of the police is one of the chief reasons why only one Delhiite in every five will step forward to help a person injured in a road accident. Of the conscience-stricken, half would take the victim to hospital, while the rest would limit themselves to informing the police, says a study carried out by an NGO.

Save Life Foundation conducted a survey in which pedestrians were asked whether they would be willing to help an accident victim. The responses showed that 74% were unlikely to assist an accident victim, even if the person was seriously injured. It was not only individuals; a group at the accident sites would be equally reluctant to aid the victims.

When asked why they appeared so apathetic to suffering people, 77% of the respondents said that admitting a victim to a hospital would require them to stay back for investigation or would be turned away by the hospital without a deposit being made for the treatment of the victim.

Saji Cherian of Save Life Foundation rued that the legal provisions protecting good Samaritans from harassment was not publicised widely, with 88% of the respondents expressing the need for a supportive legal environment to enable them to assist injured people.

"It would take just a fraction of the amount spent by the government on advertisements to promote the provisions of the law that would encourage people to help road accident victims," he said.

Cherian said if this was done, things could change. After all, 60% claimed they would help an accident victim if they were assured they would not be harassed by the cops later. The study revealed that that most policemen themselves were unaware that the law gave a roadside helper the right not to reveal his identity after informing the cops.

According to the police, only around 5% of accident victims, 70% of whom are either pedestrians or cyclists, reach medical aid within the golden hour and in time to save their lives.
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