Good Samaritan Law

Impediments to Bystander Care in India

National Study on Impact of Good Samaritan Law (2018)

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Help an accident victim without being harassed.

are now protected by law

Know your rights Share Good Samaritan Story Have you been Harassed?

Why be a Good Samaritan?

The current annual death toll on Indian roads is over 1,40,000

Over 70,000 lives can be potentially saved if bystanders come forward to help.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in the absence of established emergency medical services, bystanders can play a game changing role in saving lives. They can call for help, provide first-aid to the injured and even rush them to the nearest hospital, if an ambulance does not arrive in time.

What has been the impact of the Good Samaritan Law?

It has been 2 years since the Supreme Court Judgment on Good Samaritan Law

According to the latest “Impediments to Bystander Care in India: National Study on Impact of Good Samaritan Law”


people are not aware of the Good Samaritan Law


of medical professionals reported that no action was taken against professionals who did not comply with the Good Samaritan Law


Good Samaritans reported being detained by Police despite the Law

The Study reveals that the Implementation of the Good Samaritan Law is a major challenge. Given the low levels of awareness, interventions must be centered around raising awareness about the Law amongst citizens and key stakeholders. The other way to improve implementation is for States to enact legislation protecting Good Samaritans.

Why did we need a Good Samaritan Law?

According to the Study on Impediments to Bystander Care in India conducted by SaveLIFE Foundation in 2013 in the cities of Delhi, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Indore and Kolkata.


People expressed the need for a supportive legal environment for a Good Samaritan


People stated that hospitals unnecessarily detained Good Samaritans


People were reluctant to help for fear of legal hassles, repeated police questioning and court appearances

Read The Summary Read The Full Report

How did India get a Good Samaritan Law?

In the last ten years, road crashes have killed over 13 lakh people in India. According to the Law Commission of India, 50% of these victims died of preventable injuries and could have been saved if they had received care on time. The role of the bystander is critical in providing emergency care to the victim. Yet, in India, bystanders have been hesitant to help the injured for fear of legal repercussions and procedural hassles.

Not anymore.

In 2012, SaveLIFE Foundation had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court of India, requesting the Hon'ble court to safeguard Good Samaritans who come forward to help the injured.

On March 30, 2016, the Supreme Court of India gave "force of law" to the guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The purpose of a Good Samaritan law is to provide legal protection to bystanders who come to the aid and rescue of victims of road crashes.

How am I protected?

  • A Good Samaritan will not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury or death of the victim
  • Good Samaritan who informs police or emergency service regarding an injured person not to be compelled to reveal his personal details
  • Disciplinary action against public officials who coerce Good Samaritan to reveal his personal details

  • Good Samaritan not to be forced to reveal his/her personal details: Disclosure of personal information including for the Medico Legal Case (MLC) Form to be made optional and voluntary
  • Good Samaritans not to be forced to bear the initial cost of treatment: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to issue guidelines that no public or private hospital can demand payment for registration and admissions costs from the Good Samaritans
  • Hospitals cannot refuse treatment to a victim: Lack of response by a doctor in an emergency situation to be considered as a “Professional Misconduct” and disciplinary action shall be taken against such a doctor (as per Indian Medical Council Regulations, 2002)

  • The Good Samaritan can choose to be an eyewitness and cannot be compelled
  • Eye witness to be examined in a single occasion
  • Examination of an eye witness to be either through:
    • Section 284 CrPC: Allows examination of a witness through a commission
    • Section 296 CrPC: Allows evidence to be given through an affidavit
  • Video conferencing may be used for examination of a Good Samaritan

How can I help as a citizen?


Spread The Word

Not everyone knows about the law. Spread the word and help others learn.

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Share Your Good Samaritan Story

If you have helped a road crash victim or are a victim saved by a Good Samaritan, please take a few minutes to share your story. Your story can inspire others to be Good Samaritans.


    Have you been harassed?

    According to the Supreme Court judgment dated March 30, 2016, Good Samaritans are now protected from any legal or procedural hassles that come in the way of helping road crash victims. Despite the judgment, if you have been harassed for being a Good Samaritan, share your story with us.

    Additionally, you can also report the matter to the concerned authority. Click on “Report to Authorities” tab to send an email to the Superintendent of Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police or an officer of equivalent rank of your district reporting this harassment. We have created an email template for your use. We will automatically feed in the address of the relevant district personnel and create a ready-to-use paragraph for the complaint within your email.


      Be a Good Samaritan

      Next time you witness an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out and help.

      Learn everything you need to know during an emergency by downloading the tips for emergency care. The kit contains all essential emergency numbers across the country, key steps to save a victim, and other relevant tips.

      Download the emergency tips

      In the News

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      SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) is an independent, non-profit non-governmental organization committed to improving road safety and emergency medical care across India.

      Donate to SaveLife Foundation

      To support the campaign for safer roads, visit