The incident came to light last week when the health department wrote to the police to investigate the issue and take action. The municipal corporation had issued a death certificate in the name of Kamlesh Rani, a resident of 87, Hardyal Nagar, on June 25, 2013. When officials of an insurance company approached the health department, they grew suspicious and an internal inquiry was conducted which found no person named Kamlesh Rani lived at the given address.
Further, when authorities of the local cremation ground were questioned, they revealed they were pressured to get Rani’s cremation slip to show her death and no person with this name was cremated on June 19, 2013.
Bhajan Singh, the owner of the house whose address was given in the certificate, said the house had been given on rent to one Sood family and there was no person named Kamlesh Rani living there.
As per documents, Kamlesh Rani died on June 19, 2013, in Hardyal Nagar due to an undisclosed disease and her body was cremated on the same day at the cremation ground of Urban Estate-Phase II.
Documents further reveal the application of death certificate was registered with the health branch of the corporation on June 25, 2013, and was issued on the same date.
When agents of the insurance company from Delhi reached the above mentioned address, they learnt that Rani was not the occupant of the house. The insurance company agents then contacted the cremation ground authorities and found that no such person was cremated on June 19, 2013. The company asked the health department to cancel Rani’s death certificate as fake documents had been attached to secure a claim from the company. The health department also enquired on its own after which, the district health officer wrote to the deputy commissioner, commissionerate police and state registrar of birth and death certificates to investigate and take action in the case.
Assistant health officer at the Jalandhar municipal corporation, Virender Kalia, said the corporation had written to the state registrar of birth and death certificates to cancel the death certificate and ruled out that employees of his branch were involved in the case. Kalia said, “We just issue birth and death certificates when someone approaches us with the required documents.
Anil Kumar, the cremation ground’s caretaker, said he was pressured into issuing the cremation slip and Kamlesh Rani was never cremated there. Kirpal Palli, husband of local councillor Satya, said he had asked the applicant to bring a cremation slip if he wanted the councillor’s signature.
He alleged the applicant brought the slip and got it signed by his wife when he was not there.