SC pulls up Centre for failing to help highway accident victims

The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Centre for failing to comply with guidelines introduced to ensure prompt treatment to the victims of road accidents on national highways.

A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar told the Union government that it should be serious at implementing the guidelines at the ground level.

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

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO “Save Life Foundation,” seeking directions to the government to ensure medical facility for the accident victims in the first few hours after the mishap and shield bystanders from legal hassles in case they came forward to help.

“Tell us about the ground reality. What is the use of having guidelines if they are being violated?” the bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Siddharth Luthra.

The ASG stated the measures proposed by the Centre to shield bystanders who help the accident victims.

Besides, he submitted that 140 hospitals were identified around the golden triangle and 160 others around the national highways, for providing immediate medical care to accident victims.

“An expert committee, comprising members of the ministries concerned, needed to be set up to ensure that the guidelines on handling accidents were complied with,” Luthra said.

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