See Someone in Trouble? Go Forth & Help, Good Samaritan Laws Exist

The Supreme Court passed guidelines to prevent the harassment of Good Samaritans at the hands of police.

2 min read
Hindi Female

In Subhash Nagar on Thursday, a man was run over by a tempo and lay bleeding for 90 minutes before he died, yet no by-stander came to help him. Somebody even grabbed the opportunity to steal his phone.

India loses 15 people to road accidents every hour, and the NGO Save Life Foundation found that 74 percent of all bystanders were unwilling to help a road accident victim.


In 2015, a 19-year-old Meenakshi was stabbed in Delhi’s Anand Parbat market by two brothers who had been stalking her. She ran into the balcony of a neighbour who threw her out of the house, fearing involvement in a legal tangle.

In March 2016, the Supreme Court bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra approved the Centre’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans from police harassment when they come forward to help road accident victims.

The order offered citizens some much-needed protection: Names of good samaritans will be protected, they will be allowed to leave after they provide their address, and they will bear no civil or criminal liability for the accident.

But the “bystander effect” still prevents people from coming forward to help in emergency situations due to the presence of others around them. It can be understood as a tendency to think “why should it be me?” when no one else steps forward.

Even in the absence of crowds, people often fail to come forward to help, thinking that they will have to get involved in the legalities of the matter and go through the rigmarole of court appearances – which they would want to avoid. Ignorance of the Good Samaritan laws is undoubtedly the reason for continued hesitation to help.


This reluctance is something that needs to be overcome – to this end, police should appeal to citizens to come forward and help fellow citizens in need, making it clear that there exist legal protections.

Most accident victims do not receive the crucial help they require in the first hour after the accident. Doctors have pointed out that 50 percent of all fatalities could be prevented if people were given the help they needed when required.

The only way to drive the point home is by reminding people that one day, they could be victims of an accident too, and they would also want someone to step forward to help them without fearing legal repercussions or harassment.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and india

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More