The Madras High Court has directed the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to initiate an inquiry against four advocates in Hosur, who allegedly made fake claims before the local Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.

A status report filed before the court pointed out the culpability of the four Advocates. Hence, there shall be directions issued to the Bar Council to immediately initiate inquiry against advocates Manohar Reddy, his wife Bharathi, also a lawyer; A K Selvi and M Sankar, and take immediate action in accordance with the relevant Act and Rules, said Justice N Anand Venkatesh.

The Judge was passing further interim orders on the writ petitions from the Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company and New India Assurance Company, which brought to the notice of the judge about the fake claims and manipulation of medical bills, based on which compensations are decided, on April 18.

Earlier, Advocate Vijaya Raghavan, who was assisting the court, submitted that apart from Cholamandalam Insurance company, seven other insurance companies had identified various cases that had been filed across Tamil Nadu by using fake bills. This issue also might be handed over to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the court, he added.

The insurance companies concerned shall lodge independent complaints before the jurisdictional police stations and on receipt of the same, FIRs shall be registered and immediately transferred to the file of the SIT. On such transfer, the Additional Director General of Police, Economic Offence Wing, shall assign the task of investigation to a Special Investigation Officer who shall be given all the powers to probe the case.

The investigation shall be commenced at the earliest and the final report shall be filed as expeditiously as possible, the Judge said.

It was also brought to the notice of the judge that some of the documents that were filed before the Motor Accident Tribunals in 82 MCOP cases were missing and were not traceable. Once the documents were filed before the court, it became the property of the court and there was a specific procedure contemplated under the Civil Procedure Code and the Civil Rules of Practice wherever the parties were seeking return of original documents.

Without resorting to this procedure, the documents filed before the court could never be handed over to the party or to the advocate. "Therefore, in all cases where documents are missing, the concerned court shall immediately start an enquiry and ensure that the documents that were filed along with the MCOP are kept intact and it is not returned back either to the parties or to their counsel," the Judge added.

The Court had directed the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority and the police to file their further status report during the next date of hearing and shall inform this Court on the progress made pursuant to the directions issued in the order.

"The Chairman, Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry shall also file a report before this Court and inform this Court as to what action has been taken against the concerned advocates pursuant to the directions issued in this order", the Court directed.

The Additional District Judge, Hosur and Sub Court, Hosur have been directed to send their report on the Administrative Side and inform the Court on the status of each MCOP case that has already been revived pursuant to the earlier orders passed by the Court.

The case has been posted for further orders on June 13, 2022.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs