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Supreme Court approves Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans

Supreme Court has approved Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.

These guidelines based on the recommendations K S Radhakrishnan committee were approved by the SC bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra.

These guidelines will be binding on all states and Union Territories until the Union government enacts a law to this effect.

The bench also has asked the Union Government to give wide publicity to these guidelines so that people who help others in the time of distress are not victimised by any authority.

It should be noted that SC took on record these guidelines to protect Good Samaritans placed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Ministry had approached the SC for issuing these guidelines on all states and Union Territories by its order as it was facing difficulty to enforce them in the absence of any statutory backing.

Background

  • The guidelines of the Transport Ministry were based on the recommendations of the three-member committee headed by former judge K S Radhakrishnan.
  • The committee was appointed by the SC in 2014 to monitor steps taken by the Centre and state governments to ensure road safety.
  • The 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.
  • The committee had also suggested strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, red light jumping, over-speeding and helmet or seat belt laws.

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