15 JUL. 2010
Mr Nagappan Sudhakar 
Appeal Panel hearing - 14 July 2010
Corinna Kershaw (Lay)
Barrie Vincent FRICS
The appellant was charged that on or about 4 May 2009 that he did not act with integrity and avoid actions or situations that were inconsistent with his professional obligations in that the appellant submitted a ‘critical analysis’ as part of the appellant’s submission for final assessment of professional competence as to his own work when in fact it had been copied from a report prepared by someone else in contravention of Rule 3 of the Rules of Conduct for Members 2007.
The charge was heard on 24 March 2010 when the appellant was expelled as a member of the RICS. The appellant presented an appeal against the decision of the disciplinary panel.
Mr Nagappan Sudhakar was not present but was represented by his solicitor, Mr Richard Eaton of Birketts LLP.
The Panel considered the representations made.
Mr Eaton informed the panel that the appellant was appealing against the sanction imposed not against the finding that the appellant had been in breach of Rule 3. Mr Eaton submitted that the sanction imposed was disproportionate and alleged that the appellant had been ‘led astray by a supervisor [sic] who invited him to copy his work’.
Mr Eaton said that the sanction imposed was disproportionate because the disciplinary panel had not taken the alleged actions of the appellant’s counsellor in to account when it had reached its decision. Mr Eaton took the Panel to the Report of MENEA ESB Sub Committee which was in the bundle prepared for the disciplinary hearing and which dealt, in part, with the conduct of the appellant’s counsellor. Mr Eaton particularly drew the attention of the Panel to the conclusion at paragraph 6 of this document. The Panel, having considered the representations made, does not consider that the report provides any justification or excuse for the conduct of the appellant in submitting a critical analysis, which by his own admission was copied from that of his counsellor.
The Panel has considered the high standards expected of members of the RICS of which integrity and being accountable for ones own actions are fundamental in the professional and personal lives of members. The sanctions policy to which Mr Eaton directed the Panels attention states that dishonesty is one of the most serious breaches which may as a consequence be dealt with by expulsion. Dishonesty puts at risk the integrity of the profession and the trust that the public places in it.
Furthermore the Panel has had regard to the appellant’s witness statement dated 10 July 2010 which was relied upon by Mr Eaton. Paragraph 4 of that witness statement states that achieving membership would be likely to result in not insignificant financial gain, in that it would boost his earnings potential by 10%-20%. The RICS sanctions policy considers that financial gain from dishonesty may be considered to be an aggravating factor.
The Panel has concluded that the disciplinary panel of 24 March 2010 was entitled to impose a sanction of expulsion on the appellant and can find no justification or reason to overturn that decision.
The Panel’s decision is to be published on the RICS website and in newspapers local to the residence of the appellant.
The appellant is to pay the RICS costs of this appeal amounting to GBP 3,310.00 (QAR 18,239.43).
The parties are reminded that they are entitled to appeal within 28 days.