New Delhi: 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.
A bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra asked the central 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.
Earlier this month, the apex court had said it will pass an order on the recommendations of a committee headed by its former judge on road safety which advocated that people saving lives of road accident victims need not fear harassment by police or other authorities.
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 committee, also comprising former Secretary of Road Transport Ministry S Sundar and Nishi Mittal, ex-chief scientist, 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 apex court-appointed committee had also suggested strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, over-speeding, red light jumping and helmet or seat belt laws.
The ministry had said in a statement that in the absence of any statutory backing, it was proving difficult to enforce these guidelines and therefore the government had approached the apex court to consider issuing these guidelines, through an order binding on all states and Union Territories, until the Union government enacts a law to this effect.
The apex court had in 2014 appointed the three-member committee to monitor steps taken by the Centre and state governments to ensure road safety.