Petitioner Fears Criminalization of Rescuers of Accident Victims
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Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah led the preliminary judicial review hearing of Article 312 of Law No. 22 of 2009 on the Road Traffic and Land Transportation (LLAJ), Monday (10/2/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.


JAKARTA (MKRI) — Leonardo Siahaan, an individual citizen, filed a judicial review petition of Article 531 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) and Article 312 of Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic and Land Transportation (LLAJ) against the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia to the Constitutional Court (MK). The preliminary hearing took place in one of the Court’s panel courtrooms on Monday, October 2, 2023. The case No. 114/PUU-XXI/2023 was presided over by Constitutional Justices M. Guntur Hamzah, Suhartoyo, and Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh.

Article 531 of the Criminal Code reads, “Any person who, witnessing the immediate danger of life that befalls another, fails to extend or provide the assistance which he is capable to extend or provide to him without reasonably danger for himself or another, shall, if the death of the destitute person follows, be punished by a maximum light imprisonment of three months or a maximum fine of three hundred rupiah.” Meanwhile, Article 312 of the LLAJ Law reads, “Anyone driving a motorized vehicle who is involved in a traffic accident and deliberately does not stop his/her vehicle, does not help the victim, or does not report such traffic accident to the nearest office of the state police of the republic of Indonesia as referred to in article 231 paragraph (1) letters a, b, and c without a proper reason shall be punished with imprisonment at the maximum period of 3 (three) years or penalty at the maximum amount of Rp75,000,000 (seventy-five million rupiah).”

The Petitioner argues that Article 531 of the Criminal Code confirms that a person who assists victims of an accident can be criminalized if they endanger the victims and other people. Therefore, such a norm does not give appreciation of the conscientious action of a person who helps accident victims or excludes spontaneous liabilities arising from the act of caring to help others who need help.

The Petitioner also argues that Article 312 of the LLAJ Law mean that a person is not given the opportunity to provide an explanation for not reporting immediately to the Police if they are at the scene of an accident and witnesses an accident. “So, Article 531 of the Criminal Code where helping accident victims can be subject to criminal charges is in line with the phrase ‘without a proper reason’ in Article 312 of the LLAJ Law. So, if someone sees an accident victim but does not report it, they can also be criminalized,” explained the Petitioner, who attended the hearing online.

Therefore, in his petitum, the Petitioner requests that the Court declare both the phrases “which he is capable to extend or provide to him without reasonably danger for himself or another” in Article 531 of the Criminal Code and “without a proper reason” in Article 312 of the LLAJ Law unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Norm Unconstitutionality

Constitutional Justice Suhartoyo emphasized that the articles challenged are related to criminal policy, thus are under lawmakers’ jurisdiction. Meanwhile, if Article 531 of the Criminal Code was declared unconstitutional, it would become meaningless.

“Try to elaborate the posita again. If the petitum is as the Petitioner asks, the norm will have no meaning,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah advised the Petitioner to cite the sources for the comparison of the criminal law provisions of applicable in several countries that are different from Indonesia. “For example, Australia, China, and India. Try to include articles on such provisions,” he said.

At the end of the hearing, Justice Guntur informed the Petitioner that he had 14 workdays to revise the petition and he was to submit it by Monday, October 16 at 09:00 WIB to the Registrar’s Office.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : M. Halim
Translator  : Tahlitha Laela/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.


Monday, October 02, 2023 | 18:04 WIB 64