Odisha govt revises Good Samaritan Policy-2018 to help accident victims

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has revised the Good Samaritan Policy-2018 to be followed by hospitals, police and all other authorities for the protection of Good Samaritans, who help the accident victims.

The Standard Operating Procedure for the examination of Good Samaritans would be followed by the police or during the trial.

This policy is issued as per directions of Supreme Court of India in August 2014 with regard to the protection of Good Samaritans.

The guidelines of Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways are incorporated in this policy to be followed by hospitals, police and all other authorities for the protection of Good Samaritans.

A Good Samaritan who makes a phone call to the police to give information about any accidental injury or death, except an eyewitness may not reveal personal details.

A Good Samaritan shall be allowed to leave by the concerned police official and no further questions shall be asked if he/she does not desire to be a witness in the matter, said the guidelines.

The Good Samaritan after taking the road accident victim to the hospital may, if he or she so desires may leave his/her address with contact number/email address, if any, for the purpose of reward or trial, it added.

The disciplinary action shall be initiated by the government against the concerned public officials who force or intimidate a Good Samaritan or a bystander for revealing his/her name or personal details.

All registered public and private hospitals shall not detain the Good Samaritan or the bystander, demand payment for registration and admission costs unless the Good Samaritan or the bystander is a family member or relative of the injured, the guidelines said.

All hospitals are to publish a charter in Odia, Hindi and English at their entrance to the effect that they shall not detain the Good Samaritan ask depositing money for them for the treatment of a victim.

All public and private hospitals shall implement these guidelines immediately and in case of non-compliance or violation of these guidelines, appropriate action shall be taken against them by the concerned authority.

The guidelines will be included as one of the topics for discussion in every induction training programme meant for doctors.

The Good Samaritan shall neither be liable for any civil or criminal liability nor shall not be compelled to lodge FIR at Police Station nor shall the eyewitness be asked to do so either by the police agency or by medical authority.

The local police having jurisdiction to the accident shall register FIR either on the voluntary report of the Good Samaritan or on the basis of the report received from the hospital authority.

The Good Samaritan or the bystander shall not be cited in the charge sheet if he is not willing. If the Good Samaritan is willing to be the witness to the occurrence of the accident, the Investigating Officer shall, as far as possible, conduct the examination of the Samaritan at a time and place of conveniences such as his/her place of residence or business.

If a male person under the age of 15 years or above 65 years or if a woman or physically disabled, shall be examined only at his / her residence. The said examination should be concluded in a single sitting.

The Good Samaritan or the bystander shall be suitably rewarded or compensated to encourage other citizens to come forward and help the road accident victims by admitting them in hospitals.

The following financial assistance is recommended for rewarding the Good Samaritan:- Rs 2000/- cash award to a person or persons shall be given an incentive in each case.

Transporting to the hospital and cost thereof will be reimbursed if the victim is shifted to the hospital in a hired vehicle. Bill for the same may not be insisted.

Good Samaritans will be felicitated at the functions organized by the State as well as by the Districts. The reward will be paid out of the Odisha Road Safety Society Fund.

The RTOs shall then reward the Samaritan with a cash prize of Rs.2000 with a letter of appreciation the audio-visual of which shall be uploaded in the websites of the various departments for wider publicity, said G. Srinivas, Commerce and Transport secretary.