Karnataka Leads, Becomes The First State In India To Come Up With The Good Samaritan Law
The World Health Organisation estimated in 2010, that India has the highest number of road accident deaths in the world at approximately 15 deaths per hour. A number of studies have shown that 80 percent of the road accident victims could be saved when medical treatment is made available within one hour of the accident. But there are certain apprehensions that prevent people from helping the hapless victims. The biggest deterrent is the fear of being questioned by the hospital staff and police, and spending time going to courts till the case is closed. Efforts are made to protect bystanders by implementing the Good Samaritan law. Karnataka is poised to become the first state to introduce a bill in this regard.
Karnataka has become the first state in India to come out with a legislation for the Good Samaritan law in order to protect the people who help accident victims. The Karnataka Good Samaritan and Medical Professional Bill, will be tabled in the forthcoming legislative session.
Almost two years ago, the Supreme Court of India emphasized on framing guidelines to protect bystanders to reduce their hesitation to assist. Fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death prevents many from coming forward to save lives. The Supreme court directives prompted the Union Road Transport Ministry to come out with law that will be a relief to bystanders.
“However, Karnataka will be the first state in the country to come out with a legislation that prevents Good Samaritans from getting embroiled in protracted police probes and prosecution processes,” said law minister T B Jayachandra, as reported by The Times of India.
“There have been several cases where people have been found busy clicking photos or making videos of the victims, instead of saving them by administering first-aid or rushing them to nearby hospitals. Three months ago, I was travelling on a highway, when I reached an accident spot. A truck, following brake failure, had run over people who were standing at a bus stop nearby. What shocked me was the reaction of the bystanders. They were dissuading others from reaching out to the victims for fear of getting trapped in legal wrangles. With this legislation, we want to make it clear that those helping accident victims won’t be subjected to harassment from police or be forced to attend courts,” said Jayachandra, as reported by The Times of India.
The Logical Indian welcomes this move by the Karnataka government and believes that it will help save more lives.
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