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Guidelines for protection of Good Samaritans


Guidelines for protection of Good Samaritans in pursuance of directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India-regarding.

  1. The Registrar,
    All the State Medical Councils
  2. The Director of Medical Education,
    All the State Govt.
  3. The Vice Chancellors,
    All the Universities
  4. The Secretary,
    Indian Medical Association
    New Delhi-110002

Sir/Madam,

            It is to inform you that in pursuance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in WP(civil) no.235/2012 titled as Save Life Foundation & ANR Vs Union of India & ANR the matter was considered by Ethics Committee of the Council at  its meeting held on 17th & 18th Nov. 2014.  The observation and the decision of the Committee is reproduced as under:-

“The Ethics Committee considered the letter dated 24.09.2014 of Additional solicitor  General Hon”ble Supreme Court forwarded by Under Secretary.  Govt. of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare vide their letter dated 28.10.2014.  The Committee noted the Supreme Court direction in WP No. 235 of 2012 titled as “Save Life Foundation & Others Vs Union of India and Ors” pending in the Hon’ble Court.

In this connection, the Ethics committee noted that as per Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, does not have any administrative jurisdiction over the hospitals or clinical establishment.  The Council has the jurisdiction only for purposes of teaching.

In view of above, the Ethics Committee was of the view that an Advisory be sent to all the State Medical  Councils, Dean/Directors of Medical Education ,Vice Chancellors of the Universities, Indian Medical Association and all the State Medical Councils that they should issue Advisory and instructions informing all the doctors registered or working in the respective institutions of ensuring that in case of emergency situations pertaining to the road accidents or any other emergent situation, doctors should attend the patients and given them emergency treatment.

The Ethics Committee was also of the view that Advisory is only for  providing the treatment. With regard to financial aspect, the State should develop a mechanism to reimburse as per rates”

The said decision has been approved by the Executive Committee at its meeting held on 13.01.2015

            In view of above, I am directed to request you to issue an advisory and instructions to all the doctors registered and/or working under jurisdiction ensuring that in case of emergency situation pertaining to the road accidents or any other emergent situation,doctors should attend the patients and given them emergency treatment immediately failing which, the state Medical Council and/or Medical Council of India may take appropriate action against the erring doctors under the provisions and Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.

A copy of the order of the Hon’ble Apex Court is attached herewith for your ready reference.

Yours faithfully
( Dr.Reena Nayyar )
Secretary I/C 

Copy to:          Sh Amit Biswas, Under Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health &  F.W. Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi with reference to letter No.V.11025/1/2014-MEP-I(Vol. II) (Pt.) dated 20th February,2015

 

Date: 14/08/2014. This is petition was called on for hearing today

 

CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE RANJAN GOGOI
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R.K. AGRAWAL

 

For Petitioner(s)                      Ms. Indu Malhotra, Sr. Adv.

Mr.  Vivek Jain, Adv.

                                                Mr. Senthi Jagadeesan, Adv.
                                                Ms. Nishtha Kumar. Adv.
                                                Mr. Apoorva Bhumesh, Adv.

 

For Respondent (s)                 Ms. Pinky Anand, ASG
                                             Mr. J.S. Attri, Sr. Adv.
                                             Ms. Sunita Sharma Adv.
                                             Mr. R.K. Rathore, Adv.
                                             Mr. S.S. Rawat, Adv.
                                             Ms. Namrata Sharma, Adv.
                                             Mr. D.S.Mahra, Adv.
                                             Ms. Natasha Sehrawat, Adv.

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following

ORDER

            We have read and considered the report dated 3rd January 2014 finalized by Shri K. Skandan, Additional Secretary (CS & K) who was appointed by order dated 21st October, 2013 as the Ad-hoc Chairman of the Court Constituted Committee.

            The aforesaid reconstitution of the Committee was necessitated by the inability of former Chairman, Mr. Justice V.S. Agarwal, former judge, Delhi High Court to continus in the said capacity.

            A perusal of the report dated 3rd January, 2014 indicated that several of the recommendations relate to road safety and therefore, would have similarity to the issues that have been referred by this Court to another Court Appoingted Committee by its order dated 22nd April, 2014 passed in Writ Petition  (Civil) No. 295 of 2012 (S. Rajaseekaran Vs Union of India and others)

            However, there is one significant aspect in the recommendations of the present committee which needs immediate attention. The said recommendations have been parapharased in the Report under the Head ‘Recommended directions in relation to protection of Good Samartans’.

            Learned counsel for the patitioners has contended that the said recommendations of the Ad-hoc Committee headed by the Additional Secretary can reasonable form the basis of an exercise  ….er Article 32 of the constitution of India to issue directions ……il framing of appropriate laws by the Legislature. Learned …… has also pointed out that the Committee was headed by a ….Official of the Government of India and that the Union of India was adequately represented in the said Committee.

            However, Ms. Pinky Anand, learned Additional Solicito……… appearing for the Union of Indian has submitted that the matter is presently engaging the attention of the Ministry  of Law and Justice and that the views of the Ministry particularly with regard to the necessity of amendments in existing laws/enactments of new laws should be allowed to be placed before this Court.

            Having heard the learned counsels for the parties, we are of the view that before proceeding to exarcise the jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Constitution of India to issue binding directions pending enactment of laws by the Legislature. It will be fruitful to heave the views of the union of India in the concerned Ministry on records.

            We, therefore grant four weeks’ time to the Union of India to place its said views in the matter.

            We have already observed that a part of the Report of Shri K. Skandan, Additional Secretary (CS & K) deals with the matters which are presently before the Court Appointed Committee headed by Mr. Justice K.S. Radhakrishan, former Judge of this Court.

            In view of the above position, we request Ms. Pinky Anand, learned Additional Solicitor General to submit a status Report with regard to the constitution and working of the Court appointed Committee and the progress made by the said Committee in performance of the task assigned to it by order dated 22nd April, 2014 passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 295 of 2012. A copy of this order be also sent to the Member Secretary of the Committee headed by Mr. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan so as to enable the Member Secretary to place before this Court the difficulties, if any, that the Committee headed by Mr. Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan may be encountering in performing and completing its assigned task.

List the matter again on 24th September, 2014

(VINOD LAKHTNA CHAKRABORTY)                                       (TAPAN KUMAR)

COURT MASTER                                                                   COURT MASTER


Supreme Court guidelines to protect Good Samaritans

1.            The Supreme Court has approved the Centre's guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.

2.            Also, they (good Samaritans) will be exempted from any criminal and civil liability.

3.            A bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra asked the Central government to give wide publicity to these guidelines

4.            The bench also took on record the guidelines placed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways which were based on the recommendations of the three-member committee headed by former judge K S Radhakrishnan.  The 2014 committee had given 12 major recommendations including setting up of State Road Safety Councils, evolving a protocol for identification of black spots, their removal and monitoring to see the effectiveness of the action taken and strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, over-speeding, red light jumping and helmet or seat belt laws.

5.            With the court’s approval, the government guidelines are law of the land today and a binding to all states.

6.            A bystander, including an eyewitness to a road mishap, shall be allowed to leave immediately after taking the injured to the nearest hospital without furnishing his address. Police cannot compel people to reveal their identity even if they are the informers or complainants in the case. The person can give his or her name voluntarily.

7.            All registered public and private hospitals will not detain a Good Samaritan or demand payment for registration and admission costs.

8.            No police official shall ask him any questions and he would be later given a choice to record his statement before the court through video conferencing. Departmental or disciplinary action shall be initiated against the officer who coerces or intimidates the informer.

9.            If the witness volunteers to go before the court to depose in the case, the trial judge shall complete his examination in one sitting.

10.          More than four lakh road accidents took place in 2014. The number of deaths also increased from 1.37 lakh in 2013 to 1.39 lakh in 2014.

11.          As per National Crime Records Bureau report, in the last decade, over 12 lakh people have lost their lives and 55 lakh seriously injured or permanently disabled.

12.          India stood first with highest number of road fatalities, as compares to China, Brazil, USA, Indonesia, Russia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa and Thailand.

13.          50 per cent of the fatalities can be averted if victims are admitted to a hospital within the first one hour post accident.

14.          A study by the Indian Journal of Surgery in 2012 says 80 per cent of road accident victims in India do not receive emergency medical care within the ‘golden hour’.15.