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SC pulls up Centre for lack of medical facilities

SC pulled up the Centre and NHAI for their failure in providing timely treatment to accident victims on national highways.

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Centre and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for their failure in providing timely treatment to accident victims on national highways.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said there is no dearth of laws and guidelines for providing timely treatment to the victims but it is not being implemented properly.

It directed the Centre to ask its officials to travel on national highways to Chandigarh or Jaipur, examine the ground realities and file suggestions within two weeks for providing timely treatment to accident victims.

"It remains undisputed before us that it is not the insufficiency but non-implementation of the laws that is a matter of concern. There are various guidelines, including those pertaining to ambulances, first-aid and medial aid to trauma patients," the court said.

The bench was hearing a PIL of NGO `SaveLife Foundation` seeking its direction to the Centre for providing medical facilities to the accident victims and to provide legal immunity to bystanders who save lives in road mishaps.

The bench, while hearing the plea, also observed that the situation is not good in the national capital either.

"It is shocking even in Delhi`s Lutyens Zone. Why don`t you put red light or reflector to show where the divider ends?," the bench aasked.

The NGO has pleaded that "bystanders and passersby, who help bring an accident victim to hospital or provide first-aid on the scene of accident while waiting for police or ambulance to arrive, should not be forced to reveal their identities or details if they don`t desire so."
It said the people shy away from helping victims due to the harassment by police and for fear of making rounds of courts to depose as witnesses in the case.

Additional Solicitor General Siddharth Luthra told the court that the government is taking measures and 140 hospitals have been identified around the Golden Triangle and 160 others around other national highways for the purpose of providing immediate medical care in case of mishaps.


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