The Delhi High Court emphasized the protection of “good Samaritans,” stating that bystanders witnessing an accident should not face harassment for voluntarily assisting the victim. Justice Dharmesh Sharma clarified that a Good Samaritan, inspired by the biblical parable in the Gospel of Luke, is shielded from legal repercussions unless gross negligence is involved. The court’s comments were made during the interim payment of over Rs 5 lakh in compensation to the widow of a truck driver who died in 2018 while helping a road accident victim. The deceased, assumed to be a Good Samaritan, stopped his truck to aid someone in distress but was subsequently struck by another speeding vehicle.
The widow contested the claims commissioner’s refusal to grant compensation, arguing that her husband’s actions were not in the course of employment, and therefore, there was no liability. The court overturned the commissioner’s decision, stating that the deceased’s status as a Good Samaritan was relevant. The court ordered an interim payment of Rs 5 lakh with a 12% annual interest rate from the date of the accident for the claimants.