New Delhi: A good Samaritan, who rushes an accident victim to a hospital, will not be forced to reveal identity and the government has warned of strong action against police personnel and other officials who coerce such a person to disclose personal details.
A circular, re-notified to all states by the Home Ministry, made it clear that a good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability.
A bystander or a good Samaritan, who makes a phone caall to inform the police or emergency services for the person lying? injured on the road, shall not be compelled to reveal his or her name?and personal details on the phone or in person, according to?the standard operating procedures (SOPs) mentioned in the?circular.
"Disclosure of personal information, such as name and? contact details of the good Samaritan shall be made voluntary? and optional, including Medico Legal Case form provided by? hospitals. Disciplinary or departmental action shall be? initiated by the government concerned against public officials?who coerce or intimate a bystander or good Samaritan for?revealing his name or personal details," it said.
A person who gratuitously gives help to people in distress is called a good Samaritan.
Annually 1.4 lakh people die in road crashes in India and government reports suggest that at least 50 per of the fatalities can be averted if the victims are admitted to a hospital within the first one hour of a crash, called the 'golden hour'.
However, many people do not come to help those in distress with the fear of getting involved in police or medico?legal cases. The notification was originally issued by the?Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
As per the SoPs, good Samaritans should not be harassed? or intimidated and such person must not be asked to reveal personal details, including full name, address and phone number unless he or she volunteers to become an eyewitness.