Alert tribunal, advocates of insurance firms can thwart false claims in accident cases: HC

The High Court of Karnataka

The High Court of Karnataka

Noticing that high compensation was secured by a claimant by misleading the tribunal in a road accident case, the High Court of Karnataka has said that it could have been avoided had the tribunal as well as the advocates had been alert and had cross-checked the medical bills.

Examine every bill

The court also said that the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) is duty-bound to examine each and every bill to see whether they are genuine or any bills are repeated.

Justice J.M. Khazi passed the order while reducing by more than 50% the compensation awarded by the MACT to one Saalibai, a 65-year-old woman from Kalaburagi. She had claimed compensation after she suffered injuries on falling from a motorcycle on which she was riding pillion with a known person.

The advocate for the insurance company was not diligent enough to conduct the cross-examination of the claimant on the aspect of same medical bills being produced more than once in the form of originals as well as photocopies — colour, and black and white — to claim higher compensation, the court said.

154 bills produced

The court found that of the 154 medical bills produced before the MACT on behalf of the claimant, some were originals and remaining were photocopies, either in colour or black and white.

“The manner in which these medical bills were produced goes to show that the petitioner and her counsel had willfully and intentionally mislead the tribunal to grant higher compensation,” the court observed.

The court also said that “as responsible officers of the court, both the counsel for the claimant and the insurance company owe a duty not only to their clients but also to the court. They shall not be, more particularly the counsel representing the claimant, a party to the fraud played on the tribunal for the purpose of getting higher compensation.”

Modus operandi

The modus operandi used by the claimant had missed the attention of the tribunal as the claimant had not produced the bills in chronological order but had staggered them to mislead the tribunal, the court said.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 8:04:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/alert-tribunal-advocates-of-insurance-firms-can-thwart-false-claims-in-accident-cases-hc/article65549526.ece