A jail sentence of 18 months was handed down to 58-year-old James Nalla Rajan Naidu Adhiseshan on Tuesday (June 25) for slashing someone at a 7-Eleven store.
After Naidu committed the crime, he became a fugitive and has been running from the law for 13 years. His arrest was triggered after he used another man’s identification card to obtain medical services.
Naidu was first arrested of the slashing incident in 2006 but escaped before he could be charged in court.
The accident that led to the arrest
In 2017, Naidu had a minor accident while using his bicycle. With that incident, it was necessary for him to obtain medical attention.
So he went to Sengkang Polyclinic on Aug 14 and showed a photocopy of an NRIC which belongs to a prison inmate, Chandran Sinathanmby, who was in jail at that time.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chew Xin Ying told the court that Chandran had lost his NRIC “many years ago” and Naidu had somehow obtained a copy of it, adding his own address on top.
Carrying with him the altered document, Naidu registered as a patient at Sengkang Polyclinic under Chandran’s name and told the doctor attending to him that he had fallen from a bike and hurt his knee. At the same time, he was also treated for sore throat, cough and runny nose.
Naidu visited the polyclinic several times that month, receiving among other things a blood test and a referral to Changi General Hospital (CGH) for an abnormal liver function test.
After CGH received Naidu’s referral, a check was conducted which revealed that the original Chandran was in jail at the time and could not have visited the polyclinic.
CGH informed the polyclinic, which lodged a police report.
Three months later in November 2017, Naidu was at home when the battery of his electric bike caught fire.
He was subsequently taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for breathing difficulties and was admitted for one night, then left without paying the bill. Again, he used the photocopy of Chandran’s NRIC for registration.
Justice finally caught up with him when in February this year he visited Sengkang General Hospital (SKGH) on the same day that Chandran was there.
Chandran, who had been released from prison by that time, had received an SMS from SKGH about an orthopaedic surgery appointment on Feb 25.
He turned up at the hospital, where a doctor asked him about a foot fracture. Chandran was surprised, as his foot was not fractured, and he had not visited SKGH before.
The doctor advised him to lodge a police report.
At the hospital, Chandran also bumped into Naidu, who was in a wheelchair.
Seeing that he was wheelchair-bound, Chandran offered to help Naidu with his registration.
When Naidu’s queue number was called, Chandran wheeled him to the registration counter, and Naidu handed the photocopy of Chandran’s NRIC to the hospital employee.
Chandran then realised that Naidu was using a copy of his NRIC. He alerted the hospital staff, who called the police.
Naidu attempted to flee, but hospital security men detained him and he was finally remanded on Feb 27.
Naidu pleaded guilty to two charges of cheating by impersonation and another of voluntarily causing physical harm using a dangerous weapon. Another four charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. His lawyer told the court that Naidu was remorseful and pleading for leniency.
For each charge of cheating by impersonation, Naidu is facing five years of jail time and a fine or both. -/TISG