Mr Gagandeep Sharman

Profession: Occupational therapist

Registration Number: OT70555

Interim Order: Imposed on 02 Jun 2020

Hearing Type: Interim Order Review

Date and Time of hearing: 10:00 17/02/2021 End: 17:00 17/02/2021

Location: This hearing is being held remotely on the papers.

Panel: Investigating Committee
Outcome: Interim Suspension

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Allegation

No information currently available

Finding

Preliminary Matters

1. The Panel was satisfied that notice of the review hearing was sent to the Registrant on 15 January 2021 by email, to the email address for the Registrant held by the HCPC.   The Notice gave details of the hearing date and advised that the hearing would be held remotely and on papers.

2. The Panel had sight of a proof of delivery email dated 15 January 2021.

3. The Panel was satisfied that there had been proper service of the notice of the review hearing.
Application to proceed in the absence of the Registrant

4. The Panel received and considered a skeleton argument dated 12 February 2021 from Ms Diana Sampson on behalf of the HCPC which set out the HCPC’s application to proceed in the absence of the Registrant and on the papers.  There had been no response to the Notice of Hearing from the Registrant.

5.  Ms Sampson submitted that the Registrant had voluntarily absented himself and it was in the public interest for this mandatory review of the interim order to proceed on papers today. 
 
6. The Panel considered the submissions on behalf of the HCPC and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor.  The Panel was referred to the HCPTS Practice Note of September 2018, Proceeding in Absence, which sets out guidance on proceeding in absence from the cases of R v Jones (Anthony) [2004] 1 AC 1HL and GMC v Adeogba and GMC v Visvardis [2016] EWCA Civ 162. The hearing had been convened as a remote hearing on papers, but bearing in mind the guidance, the Panel was careful to remember that its discretion to proceed in absence is not unfettered and must be exercised with the utmost caution and with the fairness of the hearing at the forefront of its mind.

7. The Panel noted that the Registrant was given notice of the HCPC’s intention to consider the review on the papers and of today’s date. He was offered the opportunity to attend the virtual hearing, as required by Article 31(15) of the Health Professions Order 2001 (as amended) and/or to make written submissions.  The notice of the hearing informed the Registrant of the powers available to the Panel at this review hearing.    

8. In the circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that all reasonable efforts were made by the HCPC to inform the Registrant of this review hearing. The Panel noted that the Registrant has not asked to attend this virtual hearing to make oral submissions and no objection has been received to the case being considered on the papers. The Panel noted that the Registrant attended the first interim order hearing and was legally represented.  He contacted the HCPC prior to the first review hearing on 24 November 2020.  He advised that he was no longer legally represented and did not attend the review.

9. The Registrant has not sought an adjournment of this hearing on any ground, nor has he objected to the review hearing taking place on the papers. The Panel concluded that an adjournment of today’s hearing would serve no purpose as it was unlikely to ensure his attendance on a future date.

10. The Panel concluded that the Registrant has voluntarily absented himself from the review hearing. This is a mandatory review of the current Interim Suspension Order.  The Panel was satisfied that it is in the interest of the Registrant, and is in the public interest, that the review of the interim order should proceed on the papers today.

Application for private hearing

11. In her skeleton argument, Ms Sampson submitted that this review hearing should be conducted in private in order not to prejudice the ongoing criminal investigation.   

12. The Panel received and accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor and referred to the HCPTS Practice Note on Private Hearings.  The Panel bore in mind that the default position is that HCPTS hearings take place in public. However, in this case, the Panel may consider that a ground to depart from this principle, as set out in the HCPTS Practice Note on Conducting Hearings in Private, namely the interests of justice, is satisfied.

13. The Panel noted the previous interim order hearings in this matter have taken place in private. The Panel was mindful that the criminal proceedings relating to this matter are not yet concluded and it has been informed that the criminal trial will take place in September.  The Panel concluded that it was in the public interest to grant the application in order to ensure that no prejudice is caused to those proceedings.

Documents

14. The Panel received an electronic hearing bundle from the HCPC comprising 46 pages and a service documents bundle.  No written submissions had been provided by the Registrant.

Order

The Interim Suspension Order is confirmed.

Notes

This order will be reviewed no later than 17 May 2021, or earlier if new evidence which is relevant to the Order becomes available after it was made.

Hearing History

History of Hearings for Mr Gagandeep Sharman

Date Panel Hearing type Outcomes / Status
17/02/2021 Investigating Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
24/11/2020 Investigating Committee Interim Order Review Interim Suspension
02/06/2020 Investigating Committee Interim Order Application Interim Suspension
02/06/2020 Investigating Committee Interim Order Application Interim Suspension