Producing False Medical Certificates to Make Wrongful Gains is Gross Misconduct

As per Indian employment law, Schedule 1, Clause 14(3) of Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central rules 1946, framed under Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act 1946 provides for certain acts and omissions as employment misconduct. These acts or omissions include willful insubordination, disobedience, theft, fraud, dishonesty and habitual negligence, riotous or disorderly behavior during work hours at the establishment. Not just loss to the employer but also disturbance of general peace and tranquility of the organization, hindrance to work etc. are all factors that determine whether a particular act or omission is an employment misconduct or not.

Many establishments, as per policy or as a result of settlement with Trade Unions are required to reimburse the medical expenses of their workmen. The workmen are required to produce valid medical bills/receipts/medical certificates from their respective doctors to the establishment to avail such reimbursement. A lot of times, such bills/receipts/medical certificates appear not to be genuine and often do not even contain the respective doctor’s registration number. Yet such bills get encashed.

In Indian Oil Corporation Ltd V/s Ashok Kumar Arora, 1997 the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that fabricating and furnishing medical prescriptions and bills with a view to make wrongful gains is gross employment misconduct and submission of forged medical bills to the establishment is nothing but cheating and the concerned workmen should be liable for employee disciplinary action.

Similarly, in Shri G.K. Sabharwal V/s Delhi Transport Corporation 1994, decided in 2006 the Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that fake medical reimbursement claims through false medical bills was gross employment misconduct and deserved disciplinary action.

Therefore, as per law laid down by the Courts, forging medical bills, producing fake medical bills for the purpose of making wrongful gains is gross employment misconduct.