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GDC accused of “abuse of process” in FtP hearing

25 June 2015

GDC accused of “abuse of process” in FtP hearing

The Professional Conduct Committee, which conducts Fitness to Practise hearings on behalf of the General Dental Council, has roundly criticised the conduct of the GDC relating to a hearing into the conduct of dentist Jasbinder Singh.

In a very strongly worded report, the PCC criticised the GDC’s handling of the case against Mr Singh in stinging terms, claiming they used unfair tactics designed to strengthen their case. They said: “The Committee determined that the extraordinary conduct by the GDC in relation to the charge that Mr Singh was to face would have a made a fair hearing commencing on 11 May 2015 impossible.”

Their conduct in respect of the calling of witnesses, and demanding that the planned defence be known in advance of any future hearing was called into question, as well as casting doubt on the validity of the expert witnesses testimony.

As a result, the PCC concluded that the GDC’s conduct in this case “was so egregious that the Committee’s sense of justice and propriety is offended” before adding that the GDC’s proceedings “must be prosecuted in a scrupulously fair manner” otherwise it would lead to a “loss of professional reputation and potentially the loss of a professional’s livelihood.”

This wasn’t a case of a solitary error affecting the case, according to the PCC. They said: “This case is exceptional in that there have been multiple, repeated and very serious failings in fairly prosecuting the case against Mr Singh.”

The BDA reacted to the news characterising the GDC’s conduct as “inept”, commenting: “The BDA is dismayed to learn that the scale of charges against the GDC has reached a new high.” They added: “The BDA is meeting with concerned MPs to continue to fight for fair regulation that serves the public and the profession.”

To read the full appraisal from the Professional Conduct Committee, please click here.

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