A special investigation team (SIT) has informed the Supreme Court that at least 92 criminal cases were registered from 2015 to 2021 in Uttar Pradesh in connection with filing of fake motor accident claims, which involves 28 lawyers as accused.
The top court was informed that a total 92 criminal cases in various districts have been registered till date, and 28 advocates have been named as accused persons in 55 cases. The SIT said charge sheets against 11 advocates in 25 cases have been forwarded to the trial court concerned till date.
A bench comprising Justices M.R. Shah and Sanjiv Khanna then issued notice to the Centre, saying after getting the response or suggestions, the top court may issue directions to be applied pan-India in the matter.
The SIT, in a report following top court’s order in case of Safiq Ahmad, said a total 1,376 cases of suspicious claims from various districts in Uttar Pradesh have been received so far.
The bench said: “We impress upon the investigating officer of the SIT to expedite the enquiry/investigation with respect to complaints already received from various insurance companies with respect to suspicious fake claims.”
It also asked the SIT to file a further affidavit pointing out in how many cases the charge sheets have been filed, when the charge sheets have been filed (the date of filing of the charge sheets), in which courts the charge sheets have been filed, and in how many cases the charges have been framed by the concerned magisterial court.
The top court also asked the Bar Council of India and Uttar Pradesh to begin disciplinary proceedings against the accused lawyers in accordance with law as early as possible.
After hearing the counsel on behalf of SIT, the bench said: “We are of the opinion that before any further directions are issued, we may have the response from the Ministry of Transport, Government of India to have their suggestions for remedial and preventive measures for curbing the menace of filing of false/fraud claim petitions.”
The bench asked the registry to implead the Ministry of Transport as a party-respondent and issue notice.
Scheduling the matter for further hearing on January 25, the bench said: “We request K.M. Nataraj, learned Additional Solicitor General of India, to appear on behalf of the Ministry of Transport, Government of India and to assist the court and to come out with suggestions how to curb the menace of filing false/fake claim petitions. After getting the response/suggestions, we may issue further directions to be applied pan India.”