US judge recommends $1.5 mn to Indian maid

Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 22:16

New York: In a setback to an Indian
diplomat, a US judge has recommended that her maid be awarded
nearly USD 1.5 million for the "barbaric treatment" and
"emotional distress" suffered by her at the hands of her
employer for three years.

Shanti Gurung had accused her employer, Neena Malhotra,
who at the time was "serving as the Counselor of Press,
Culture, Information, Education, and Community Affairs at the
Consulate General of India in Manhattan" of slavery. She had
come to New York city in 2006 to work as a domestic help,
according to court documents.

In the 28-page recommendation filed by US Magistrate
Judge Frank Maas yesterday to Judge Victor Marrero of the US
District Court Southern District of New York, Maas said he
"recommends that Gurung be awarded judgment against the
Malhotras in the amount of USD 1,458,335" because of their
"barbaric treatment" of her while she was employed as their
domestic worker and forced to work long hours without adequate
compensation for three years.

Maas said Gurung, who is now in her early twenties was a
victim of "outrageous and shocking conduct". Her "documents
were seized, her travel was restricted, and she was not
permitted to telephone her family.

New York: In a setback to an Indian
diplomat, a US judge has recommended that her maid be awarded
nearly USD 1.5 million for the "barbaric treatment" and
"emotional distress" suffered by her at the hands of her
employer for three years.

Shanti Gurung had accused her employer, Neena Malhotra,
who at the time was "serving as the Counselor of Press,
Culture, Information, Education, and Community Affairs at the
Consulate General of India in Manhattan" of slavery. She had
come to New York city in 2006 to work as a domestic help,
according to court documents.

In the 28-page recommendation filed by US Magistrate
Judge Frank Maas yesterday to Judge Victor Marrero of the US
District Court Southern District of New York, Maas said he
"recommends that Gurung be awarded judgment against the
Malhotras in the amount of USD 1,458,335" because of their
"barbaric treatment" of her while she was employed as their
domestic worker and forced to work long hours without adequate
compensation for three years.

Maas said Gurung, who is now in her early twenties was a
victim of "outrageous and shocking conduct". Her "documents
were seized, her travel was restricted, and she was not
permitted to telephone her family.

Shortly after she "escaped," Gurung became "very sick"
and was hospitalised.

She said she had developed physical ailments due to the
"stress, abuse and malnutrition" she experienced at the hands
of the Malhotras.

When contacted, an official at the Indian Consulate said
Neena Malhotra finished her tenure at the Consulate several
years ago. The official did not comment on the case saying it
was a matter before the court.

Maas`s recommendations are subject to approval by
Marrero, who is overseeing the case.

The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi had then said
the media reports containing allegations against the senior
diplomat "do not appear to be in conformity with facts".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 22:16

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