Indian-origin barrister faces court for harassment

Indian-origin barrister Aisha Bijlani, who had earlier lost a whopping 33 million pound race discrimination claim, was "hell-bent on ruining" her former boyfriend`s life, a court was told here.

Updated: May 18, 2010, 20:27 PM IST

London: Indian-origin barrister Aisha
Bijlani, who had earlier lost a whopping 33 million pound race
discrimination claim, was "hell-bent on ruining" her former
boyfriend`s life, a court was told here.

Bijlani was branded "evil" by Atul Sehgal as he
described how she set out to "humiliate and destroy" him
during a hearing at Blackfriars Crown Court here.

Details of the harassment were produced yesterday as
Bijlani began an appeal against a conviction for sending
malicious and insulting emails and making abusive phone calls
between June-August 2007.

The 43-year-old woman told a tribunal last October
that the incidents happened "in a period of acute distress"
after she plunged into depression as a result of her treatment
at the legal chambers Four New Square.

"In fact, it was evil behaviour from her," Sehgal, who
had a four-month relationship with Bijlani in 2004, told the
court.

Bijlani thought Sehgal had left her for one of his
colleagues, Nicola Koenig, whom she believed incorrectly was a
`German prostitute`, the court was told.

"She told me she wanted to destroy me and would say
`watch while your life crumbles`. She was ruthlessly just
trying to destroy my life. It basically was there to humiliate
and destroy me in the most personal way. She was hell-bent on
ruining my life because I was ignoring her and hanging around
too much with Nicola Koenig," Sehgal told the court.

Bijlani, given a conditional discharge after being
convicted, was not in the court for the start of the appeal,
which was expected to last three days.

In the race discrimination claim last year, she had
claimed 33 million pound damages from her employers, alleging
that she had suffered from racial discrimination.

The barrister claimed of losing 7 million pound in a
period of more than a decade at the hands of clerks, who
allegedly referred to her as an "educated wog".

Bijlani had alleged that a QC and the senior clerk
co-ordinated the discrimination against her after she made
complaints about the racist behaviour. The firm`s clerks
subjected her to a "racist regime", failed to get her work and
did not collect her fees, she had claimed.

The Indian woman, who qualified as a doctor and had a
short career in medicine before switching to a career in law,
claimed she was never given the opportunity to reach her full
potential at the chambers due to racism.

PTI