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Posted at: Jun 12, 2019, 7:09 AM; last updated: Jun 12, 2019, 7:11 AM (IST)

City caught unawares on Good Samaritan Law

80 per cent respondents in Ludhiana say police did not call ambulance to help road crash victims
City caught unawares on Good Samaritan Law

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 11

Two years after the Supreme Court gave the 'force of law' to the guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 84% of the respondents in 11 cities of India are unaware about Good Samaritan Law.

This has been revealed in a survey conducted by a New Delhi-based NGO, SafeLife Foundation, recently. Of 11 regions surveyed, the cities of Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ludhiana were found to have the lowest level of public awareness on the law.

Around 80% Good Samaritans in Ludhiana said police officials did not call the ambulance immediately to shift road crash victims. Additionally, 20% in Ludhiana couldn’t confirm that the police acted promptly in calling the ambulance.

Despite the apex court ruling that the disclosure of personal information, such as name and contact details of Good Samaritans, is voluntary and optional, all hospitals surveyed in Ludhiana admitted that they took the personal details of Good Samaritans.

There was also an infringement of anonymity clause of the law in Ludhiana as 40% Good Samaritans said their details were taken by the police. The law states that any person who makes a phone call to the police control room or a police station to give information about any road crash, need not reveal his personal details.

While an overall two thirds of police officials surveyed confirmed that the calls from bystanders to facilitate medical assistance for road crash victims had increased after enactment of the law, Ludhiana recorded below-average response with 73.3% police officials claiming no increase in calls.

Similarly, 80% of the lawyers surveyed in Ludhiana said there was no change on the increase in bystanders becoming eyewitnesses post the judgement. What’s more intriguing is that none of the hospitals surveyed in any of the cities, including Ludhiana, had a Good Samaritan charter placed at the entrance.

The guidelines of law

  • A bystander or Good Samaritan, including an eyewitness of a road accident, may take an injured person to the nearest hospital, and he or she should be allowed to leave immediately 
  • Shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability.
  • Shall not be compelled to reveal his name and personal details to the police on the phone or in person.
  • Personal information shall be voluntary and optional in the Medico Legal Case (MLC) Form provided by hospitals.
  • In case a bystander or Good Samaritan, who has voluntarily stated that he is also an eyewitness to the accident and is required to be examined for the purposes of investigation by the police or during the trial,
  • He or she shall be examined on a single occasion.
About survey

The survey was conducted across 11 cities of Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, Varanasi, Ludhiana, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Indore and Kolkata with a total sample size of 3,667 respondents, including police officials, hospital staff, medical practitioners and trial court lawyers.


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