Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeOpinionsA tainted record in welfare jurisdiction

A tainted record in welfare jurisdiction

Also Read

Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court

Tamil Nadu always prides itself as the cultural icon and hub, as a civilisational construct. Rightly so. Tamil is an ancient and classical language. Azhwars, Nayanmars led the way. Sangam literature followed by Kamban, Thiruvalluvar and Ilango put Tamil and Tamil Nadu in the stratosphere. Not to be left behind, other poets picked up the gauntlet and Vallalar, Thayumanavar and the inimitable Chinnaswamy Subramania Bharathi. Yes, Tamil and Tamil Nadu can feel genuinely ‘proud’ of its ‘moral, ethical and beneficent’ precept and practice of a  ‘Tamilian’, in his day to day life.

We can be said to have ‘proudly’ (why not?) added another feather. We have morphed and mutated the welfare or beneficial legislation  for compulsory motor insurance, into a viral hotbed of corruption, scams and scamsters. We have minutely micromanaged our acumen to lend ‘social justice’, of a tainted hue, as an unique hegemony in motor accidents claims jurisdiction.

Delhi and Tamil Nadu lead the nation in burgeoning numbers of motor accidents and keep the flag flying with a ‘death every six hours on the road’ when last heard, from the National Crime Records Bureau.

We are not a poor State. By no means. Crores of rupees move around,  among the practitioners, brokers of several strands,  with the innocent accident victims getting at least their crumbs from the generated moolah. At one stage, on 01.03.2006, Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Prabha Sridevan paid left handed compliment to the ‘skill and ingenuity of the Tamilian and their concern for the poor and underprivileged in this portfolio’.

They said, “We are deeply moved and touched. While Bihar and Orissa report a conversion rate of 25% to 30% of motor accidents into motor accidents claims, Tamil Nadu has trumped them big, with its proud conversion rate. For every reported 100 accidents  there were 110 claims. (Yes, true). That is why we are ordering CBI investigation into 1061 such complaints”. It was noted that claims worth Rs.160 crores were withdrawn in the wake of reference to CBI. One felt proud and ashamed, at the same time.

It all began in 2003 from Namakkal. CB-CID came on the scene. But  it overwhelmed them. Or rather ‘consumed’ them, as the Judges noted. CBI ‘came down from heaven’ as a late chief minister taunted, at embracing the premier investigating agency, for all things corruption. Practitioners, police, claimants, vehicle owners and drivers were convicted. There was a lull in the ‘conversion rate’. Only for a while,? as the genius of the Tamilian, cannot be bottled up for long. He has ‘business’ to perform, you see.

Come 2018, Justice K Chandru (Retd) sat as a One Man Commission and reported Rs.54 crores claims were ‘duplicate’. Got them withdrawn. And the multiple ways in which miracles were performed by tricksters in this ‘welfare jurisdiction to usher in social justice’ were laid out in facts, figures, anecdotes and more. Justice P N Prakash continued and noted 56 claim petitions were ‘stolen’, in cut throat competitive commercialism, from Small Causes Court’ premises, inside the hallowed  Madras High Court  heritage compound and referred the FIR to  CB-CID, Well, it is in hibernation,  as we have more important things to attend to.

What do you think we are? If practitioners can revel along with ‘others’, the court staff cannot sit back and fiddle their thumbs. They too put their fingers into the cookie jar; it is alleged that a Court Nazir had misappropriated Rs.1.51 crores, in a Pattukottai, Thanjavur District, claims tribunal. Not to be left behind ‘others’ in Virudhunagar, Pudukottai etc have also revealed their skill set.

After a briefer lull than its earlier avatar after 2006, all this happened post 2018. Now, Justice N Anand Venkatesh was persuaded to order constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) with Economic Offences Wing, Chennai, to go into now the new technological beast ‘cyber crimes’ and ‘digital frauds’ in manufacture of fake insurance claims, in 2021.

What did you think we were? Brilliant in ancient, heritage, culture and technology too, when it came to money. It is not only us please. It is Pan India, but Tamil Nadu appears to have experienced past masters. Thanks to a whiplash from the Supreme Court, 28 practising brethren in Uttar Pradesh, were suspended from practice in this beneficial jurisdiction, in late 2021.

Now another variant has raised its ugly head. Hospital records are forged. Medical bills manufactured or padded up. 108 Ambulances ruthlessly and mindlessly move victims to private hospitals for their successful commerce, than government hospitals which now host over 65 Trauma Care Centres with high end facilities to provide emergency care in the ‘golden hour’.

Down but not out, the State of Tamil Nadu has now  announced a novel scheme under which accident victims will be provided with free emergency treatment for 48 hours at government and private hospitals located on or near the highways. The scheme will also cover people from other states and other countries, in Nov,2021. “Nammai Kakkum 48’- “That Which Protects us 48’. Excellent initiative, but the scamsters  should first approve it.

When the Madras High Court ordered Direct Bank Transfer  of Just compensation to victims, in 2016, we opened  ‘dedicated’ bank accounts in select  bank branches to keep ‘control’, for practice of champerty’. To illustrate, two branches generously opened 965  saving bank accounts  and 650 respectively. KYC? you ask. You can keep asking. We have ‘friends’ everywhere.

And now Justice Anand Venkatesh  has ordered restoration of 84 motor accidents claims ‘dismissed as not pressed’, in the wake of a complaint that hospital records/bills may have been fabricated. In its constitutional majesty, the High Court, by a stroke of the pen, on 24th Jan,2022, High Court has restored them all (worth Rs.11.70 crores) , while ordering a probe by SIT. And requested the motor insurance companies to be ‘liberal not niggardly’ in compromise of claims, as Justice V R Krishna Iyer.

While a larger probe is on by SIT, this one is uniquely ours. We protect our turf well. Very dear to us. We are ancient. Have a heritage to guard. We have  the benefit and welfare of the masses in mind. That is why we not only use the beneficial and welfare jurisdiction of compulsory motor insurance, but also ‘misuse’ it fully, with all our ancient intelligent facilities which Tamil Thaai has generously bestowed in us.

Just to give you a number- there are close to 3 lakh motor accident claims pending before 328 claims tribunals in Tamil Nadu. And thousands of Fixed Deposit Receipts worth Rs.3,560 crores handled by them. Then imagine the outgo. Mind boggling. No wonder Greed is Good.

Nanabhoy Ardeshir Palkhivala ridiculously urged us to be rid of ‘ethical, moral illiteracy’ in ‘legal education’. We know better. What does he know that he knows not and knew not? Can we read the Constitution and interpret it? Why waste time? We have easier paths to the financial top. We have lovelier routes to be successful, on the ‘revenue’ front’. Or rather MORE than him!

Senthamizh naadenum podhinilae
Inba thaen vandhu paayudhu kaadhinilae Engal thandhaiyar naadendra podhinilae
Oru sakthi pirakkudhu moochinilae

sang by Subramania Bharathi.

Meaning: Talk of Tamil Nadu, honey flows into your ears. In our fatherland, we are inspired with energy in our breath. True.

And milk and honey doth flow in the lives of practitioners’ and scamsters, while the all sacrificing innocent accident victims pay with their lives, limbs, blood, sweat and tears.

Tamil Nadu has made this jurisdiction all its own. And with many an innovation (some other day we shall allude to it) including this basic and foundational tainted Precept and Practice.

(Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan – practising advocate in the Madras High Court)

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Recently Popular