SaveLIFE Foundation has identified certain gaps in the existing legal framework around Road Safety and Emergency Care in India. Based on detailed study of these gaps and an RTI exercise carried out over 2 years in order to gather authentic, original, verifiable data, SLF filed two Public Interest Litigations in the Supreme Court of India in order to provide interim relief until such time that the lacunae is addressed legislatively.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
Writ Petition 235 of 2012 – SaveLIFE Foundation & Anr. v. Union of India & Anr. prays for guidelines to protect Good Samaritans from harassment, intimidation & coercion and ensuring effective Trauma services across the country. In October 2013, the Supreme Court appointed a committee under the chairmanship of the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, to study the issues mentioned in the petition in detail and submit a final report to the Court on the same. The final report was submitted to the Court in January 2014. The report can be read here
In an affidavit dated 27th October 2014 the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways stated that it supports the recommendation made in the Report regarding protection to Good Samaritans.
In lieu of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ support to the Report, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its order dated 29th October 2014, directed both, the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to issue necessary directions with regard to the protection of Good Samaritans until appropriate legislation is made by the Union Legislature. Read the order here
Consequently, on 13th May, 2015, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued the detailed guidelines, followed by Standard Operating Procedures for the examination of Good Samaritans by Police or during trial on 22nd January, 2016. Read the guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures here.
The Hon’ble Court on March 4, 2016, through an order, has reserved the judgment making the guidelines and SOPs binding on all States and Union Territories of India.
and specially looks at:
- Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules which allows for trucks to transport construction rods and other material protruding outside the body of the vehicle. Such rods alone cause over 9000 deaths annually.
- Ensuring a barricading format for stationary trucks on city roads and highways
Writ Petition 427 of 2013 – SaveLIFE Foundation & Anr. versus Union of India & Anr prays for striking down Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules which allows for protruding rods, mandating that they be carried only in covered trailers and fixing criminal liability on violators once the rule is struck down. It also looks at ensuring uniform regulations, particularly in respect of stationary or stalled vehicles on highways and expressways.
Based on SLF’s PIL, the Government of India, on March 5th 2014, issued a notification striking down the proviso in Rule 93(8) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989. The final GOI notification can be found here.
The case is still being heard the Supreme Court of India on the remaining issues of ensuring uniform regulations for stationary trucks and mandating that rods are only carried in covered trailers.