Good Samaritans not to be forced to reveal identity

Good Samaritans not to be forced to reveal identity

Good Samaritans not to be forced to reveal identity
A good Samaritan, who rushes an accident victim to a hospital, will not be forced to reveal identity.

A notification re-issued by the Home Ministry made it clear that a good Samaritan shall not be liable for any civil and criminal liability. The government also warned of strong action against police personnel and other officials who coerce such a person to disclose personal details.

A person who gratuitously helps people in distress is called a good Samaritan. The government issued the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for good Samaritan to help accidents victims as more than 1.4 lakh people are killed in road mishaps in the country every year.

A bystander or a good Samaritan, who makes a phone call 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 in the 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.

“In case a good Samaritan choses to be a witness, his examination by the investigating officer shall, as far as possible, be conducted at a time and place of his convenience such as his place of residence or business, and the investigation officer shall be dressed in plain clothes, unless the good Samaritan chooses to visit the police station,” says the re-notified SoP.

It also specifies that in case a good Samaritan chooses to visit the police station, he or she shall be examined in a single sitting in a “reasonable and time-bound manner”.
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