Indian-Origin DJ Faces Jail for Contempt of Court After Fake Medical Negligence Claim
Sandip Singh Atwal claimed £837,109 from UK’s Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust for alleged medical negligence.
An Indian-origin disc jockey who overstated his injuries in order to con the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has been found in contempt of court and could be jailed.
A UK high court ruled that 14 allegations of contempt associated to false statements made by Sandip (Sunny) Singh Atwal, 33, were proved. Atwal, from Birmingham, tried to claim £837,109 from UK’s Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust for medical negligence, reported BBC. The case is believed to be the first time that an NHS trust has started contempt proceedings against a person for making a fraudulent exaggerated medical negligence claim. Atwal faces up to two years in jail.
Atwal was found to have made false statements such as that he was unemployed to a care expert, and insisting that he needed continuing psychological and physical support, among others, the report said. He is scheduled for sentencing on June 1, unless he can successfully challenge the ruling of the high court.
In June 2008, Atwal, after a baseball attack, visited the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with injuries on his hands and a cut lip. He claimed that the treatment that he got was negligent, making him unemployed as well as dependent. He also worked in his family-run taxi business.
However, the NHS got suspicious when Atwal, who was offered £30,000 by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust who wanted to settle the negligence claim, asked for £837,109, as per the report.
Atwal, in his claim, said that he was suffering from disability, and that he was self-conscious about his lip and hands. Also, he had become a recluse and had been suffering from alcohol dependence. Atwal also said that he was dependent on pain killers, and could work neither as a DJ nor as a courier between 2010 and 2015,
The NHS then probed Atwal’s social media posts, and put him under surveillance in 2015 since his claims were inconsistent with his medical records, the Sun reported. The footage from the surveillance showed that Atwal was not only working as a courier — lifting heavy articles without apparent discomfort — but his social media posts also revealed that he was working as a DJ. This led to the trust accusing Atwal of making overstated claims.
In March 2016, Atwal accepted the offer made to him five years ago. However, £30,000 compensation was used to pay the costs of the trust and this led to Atwal owing the trust £5,000, after eight years of litigation.
High Court judge Robin Spencer in his ruling said that Atwal had “failed and refused” to take part in the proceedings after his scam was busted. Also, he failed to attend a recent committal hearing. Atwal, on the other hand, said that he was unaware of the court proceedings until a week ago.