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Sikh officer loses racial discrimination case in UK

Last Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 17:58

London: A clean shaven Sikh detective
hailing from Punjab, locked in a race battle with UK`s
Scotland Yard, has lost his appeal against a decision clearing
his employer of victimisation.

A decision to clear the Metropolitan Police of
victimising Detective Sergeant Gurpal Virdi was upheld by the
Court of Appeal. The move confirms an earlier decision to
revoke 70,000 pounds compensation awarded to the officer in
June last year.

But 49-year-old Virdi, previously awarded more than
240,000 pounds compensation has three further employment
tribunals pending against Britain`s largest force.

It means three commissioners, Sir John Stevens, Sir
Ian Blair and Sir Paul Stephenson, have overseen complaints of
racism by the Sikh detective.

In his latest claims, Virdi said the force victimised
him because of a disability and racially discriminated
against him during his bid for promotion.

He also alleged that colleagues victimised him by a
lack of support, subjected him to unfair scrutiny and
ostracised him, partly as a result of his previous claims.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the force is
defending all of the outstanding employment tribunal cases.

The spokesman said: "We are pleased the Court of
Appeal has upheld the decision of the Employment Appeal
Tribunal to clear the Metropolitan Police of allegations of
victimisation against Detective Sergeant Virdi in its handling
of his application for promotion in 2005.

"We are disappointed that he felt it necessary to
bring this case at all. This decision reaffirms that the
original award of 70,000 pounds to Virdi has been revoked.

"Metropolitan Police policy and practice is designed
to allow all members of the service to fulfil their potential
regardless of ethnicity or faith. Detective Sergeant Virdi
is and remains a valued officer of the Metropolitan Police."

Virdi`s legal challenges against the Met Police began
in 1998 after he was wrongly arrested over claims he sent
racist hate mail to himself at Hanwell police station. The
officer, who joined the Met as a Police Constitution in 1982,
was sacked but a tribunal found he was the victim of

In 2000 he was awarded 150,000 pounds and later
received a further 90,000 pounds for loss of career and injury
to feelings before being reinstated in 2002.

In September 2005 he served a claim alleging he was
racially discriminated against in a 2004 promotion process.
It was this claim that led to the 70,000 pounds award that was

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 20, 2009 - 17:58
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