Pankaj Modi (65), and his wife Meenaben (55), were given prison sentences by the Surat Chief Judicial Magistrate court for defrauding Life Insurance Corporation of Rs. 2.01 lakh by faking his death using forged documents.
Dr. Pankaj Modi was a member of the medical staff at the Katargam branch of the LIC in Surat.
He had signed up for three policies with the LIC, each worth Rs. 75,000, Rs. 50,000, and Rs. 25,000, and had been paying the premiums since 2000.
Meena Modi, his wife, filed an insurance claim with the Katargam branch on October 2, 2002. She also included the following documents: Pankaj Modi’s death certificate from the Ankleshwar Nagar Palika, the panchnama of the accident, the postmortem report, and the medical treatment certificate from the Jayaben Modi Hospital in Ankleshwar. Meenaben claims that Pankaj Modi, her husband, was killed while receiving treatment for injuries sustained in an accident. Meenaben’s reports led to the LIC releasing her the Rs. 2.01 lakh claim payment.
The fraud was discovered when a LIC officer from the Katargam branch visited Dr. Modi’s home in January 2003 for official business and was shocked to see him still alive.
Dr. Pankaj Modi admitted to his wrongdoing, wrote a letter of apology to the LIC, and returned the Rs. 2.01 lakh death benefit plus interest.
The couple was detained by Mahidharpura police after they were accused of cheating on LIC on February 23, 2006, but they were later released on bail.
The couple was arrested by the police under several IPC sections, including 465, 120(b), and 406 (criminal breach of trust) (criminal conspiracy).
Judge D S Thaker found Modi and his wife guilty on Wednesday after hearing arguments from both sides. Judge D S Thaker stated in his decision that Dr. Pankaj Modi held a responsible position as a panel doctor with LIC. He claimed that they had committed official misconduct by creating their fake death certificate and other reports, and he had sentenced them to seven years in prison.