Indian housekeeper `was treated as slave` in UK

Last Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 08:59

London: A senior government official in Britain had kept an Indian housekeeper as a "slave" and fed scraps for four years, according to a media report here.

43-year-old Pratima Das`s counsel Ian Wheaton said she was forced to work 15 hours a day while employed as a nanny and cleaner for Shibani Rahulan, the principle legal officer at the Department of Health.

According to `The Sun`, Wheaton told the Court of Appeal in London that the Indian widow also claimed her passport was confiscated and she was unpaid for the work she carried out for Rahulan, 40, and her family.

Wheaton went on to allege that she was "a victim of human trafficking... she has been treated as a slave".

However, Das on Thursday lost her case in front of Lord Justice Mummery.

She had wanted a full employment tribunal. But the court ruled her claim had not been lodged within the lawful time restrictions.

Lord Justice Mummery said she could still pursue her claim through the civil courts.

Wheaton told the court she was "required to work 15 hours a day unpaid, living as a servant or slave for the family carrying out all their chores" in Harrow, North London. He added: "She was required to eat sitting on the floor eating the family`s leftovers. Effectively held in captivity, not allowed out for four years, except on trips to collect the children from the nanny and threatened with violence if she spoke to anyone."

Das, now living in Southampton, has applied for asylum in Britain which is still being considered.

After the hearing Rahulan said: "She has had her day in court. I have nothing to add."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 08:59

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