• A man in India was falsely reported to have died due to COVID-19 
  • A different person filed for compensation over his alleged death
  • The application included a fake death certificate and a positive RT-PCR test

Authorities in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh have launched an investigation after an elderly man was falsely reported to have died due to COVID-19, and someone else attempted to redeem compensation for his alleged death.

The benefits application, which was for a man identified only as Jankilal and filed under the name of his son, Abhishek, was submitted on Jan. 18, The Times of India reported.

The file contained a fake death certificate and a positive RT-PCR test of Jankilal, according to the newspaper.

However, Jankilal, a resident of the Sanwer area in Indore, appeared at a public hearing Tuesday and claimed that someone else had filed to seek COVID-19 death compensation by falsely reporting his death.

"Some unknown persons have applied for compensation by faking the death certificate and COVID-positive report of my father. They also submitted bank account details in the application," said Hitesh, another one of Jankilal's sons.

The kind of compensation being sought and its value were not disclosed.

Jankilal's family reportedly found out about the application after a local official called them and asked for their details so the official could "forward the file," Hitesh said. They discovered a file containing the fake details regarding Jankilal upon meeting the official.

"It seems someone hatched a conspiracy against my brother," Hitesh added.

The family took a copy of the application and attached it to a complaint that has since been filed with authorities.

Pavan Jain, Indore's additional district magistrate, ordered an investigation into the incident after reviewing the documents.

"We have begun an investigation and are scanning CCTV footage from the day to identify the culprit," Jain said.

India has reported a total of 42,339,611 COVID-19 cases and 504,062 virus-related deaths, according to data provided by the World Health Organization.

A similar incident happened in the state of Gujarat last July when a 45-year-old got arrested for faking her husband's death and claiming the insurance money.

The woman, identified as Nanda, dumped her husband, Nimesh Marathi, and used a fake death certificate to claim $24,000 from two private insurance firms.

Authorities also arrested a doctor, identified as Harikrushna Soni, after he provided Nanda with the report that falsely claimed Marathi had died of cardiac arrest on March 6, 2019.