SC ap­proves guide­lines to pro­tect saviours of road-ac­ci­dent vic­tims

Consumer Voice - - In The News -

The Supreme Court has ap­proved a cen­tral govern­ment no­ti­fi­ca­tion that pro­vides pro­tec­tion to Good Sa­mar­i­tans, or those who help vic­tims of road ac­ci­dents by tak­ing them to a hospi­tal or re­port­ing about the in­ci­dent. A bench headed by Jus­tice V Gopala Gowda ap­proved the no­ti­fi­ca­tion that also pro­vides pro­tec­tion to wit­nesses in road ac­ci­dent cases, which means they will no longer have to un­dergo any dis­tress­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. With the top court’s ap­proval, the govern­ment’s guide­lines have be­come the law of the land and all states will be bound by it.

The SC or­der is ex­pected to save the lives of hun­dreds of road-ac­ci­dent vic­tims in the country as peo­ple of­ten avoid help­ing them fear­ing sub­se­quent ha­rass­ment by po­lice and other law-en­forc­ing agen­cies. A by­stander, in­clud­ing an eye­wit­ness to a road mishap, will be al­lowed to leave im­me­di­ately af­ter tak­ing the in­jured to the near­est hospi­tal, with­out hav­ing to fur­nish­ing their ad­dress. Po­lice can­not com­pel peo­ple to re­veal their iden­tity even if they are the in­form­ers or com­plainants in the case. The per­son can give his or her name vol­un­tar­ily.

The SC or­der in­cor­po­rates the Cen­tre’s guide­lines stat­ing that no reg­is­tered pub­lic and pri­vate hospi­tal will de­tain a Good Sa­mar­i­tan or de­mand pay­ment for reg­is­tra­tion and ad­mis­sion costs. No po­lice of­fi­cial will ask him or her any ques­tions and he or she would be later given a choice to record any state­ment be­fore the court through video con­fer­enc­ing. De­part­men­tal or dis­ci­plinary ac­tion will be ini­ti­ated against the of­fi­cer who co­erces or in­tim­i­dates the in­former. If the wit­ness vol­un­teers to go be­fore the court to de­pose in the case, the trial judge shall com­plete his or her ex­am­i­na­tion in one sit­ting.

Stock­bro­kers’ clients not con­sumers: Consumer court

The West Ben­gal State Consumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion has ruled that some­body who suf­fers mon­e­tary loss due to in­ef­fi­ciency of a stock­bro­ker does not fall in the cat­e­gory of ‘consumer’ un­der Sec­tion 2 (1) (d) of Consumer Pro­tec­tion Act, 1986. The or­der was passed by the bench of pre­sid­ing mem­ber Sa­maresh Prasad Chowd­hury and mem­ber Mridula Roy af­ter hear­ing a com­plaint by one Su­mit Bhat­tacharya against Way 2 Wealth Bro­kers Pvt. Ltd.

In his com­plaint, Bhat­tacharya claimed that he lost Rs 9,618,648 due to de­fi­ciency of ser­vices by the bro­ker­age firm. An em­ployee of ITC Ltd, the com­plainant re­tired from ser­vice in June 2010. In Oc­to­ber 2005, he had opened a de­mat ac­count with an Axis Bank branch in Hy­der­abad. In Jan­uary 2010, he asked the firm to trans­fer 20,000 shares of ITC Ltd to this ac­count. It was al­leged that the com­pany trans­ferred the shares to the de­mat ac­count of one Gouri Pra­ful in­stead. Due to this, he suf­fered a fi­nan­cial loss of Rs 8,568,648, Bhat­tacharya claimed. In ad­di­tion to this, he prayed for com­pen­sa­tion of Rs 1,000,000 and lit­i­ga­tion costs of Rs 50,000.

In re­sponse to this, the bro­ker­age firm sub­mit­ted that the de­mat ac­count was opened by Bhat­tacharya to gen­er­ate profit. Nowhere has the com­plainant stated that he was in the share busi­ness to earn a liveli­hood. More­over, as there is an ar­bi­tra­tion clause laid down by byelaws and reg­u­la­tions of the stock ex­change, the com­plainant can­not seek re­dres­sal from a consumer court.

An­other is­sue the firm raised was of ju­ris­dic­tion. Since the ac­count was opened in Te­len­gana (then Andhra Pradesh) and the com­plainant was a res­i­dent of Se­cun­der­abad, it was sub­mit­ted that he should have com­plained be­fore an ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum in that state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.