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Lord Ranger is vindicated as ex-employee loses appeal

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LONDON: A British judge has thrown out an appeal brought against the strike-out of a case against British Sikh Tory peer and donor Lord Ranger and his company, Sun Mark, by a former female Indian Sikh employee.
Employment judge Hyams had, in Feb 2023 at Watford employment tribunal, struck out the woman’s claim relating to harassment and discrimination against Ranger, Sun Mark CEO Harmeet Ahuja, Sea, Air and Land Forwarding and Sun Mark, whereby she was seeking compensation of £673,000.
President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Justice Eady, on March 21 dismissed the appeal brought by the woman against her claim being struck out, instead upholding the 2023 ruling that her conduct was “scandalous, unreasonable and vexatious” and agreeing that she had deliberately frustrated the course of justice by destroying evidence, namely a notepad and a mobile phone.
The claim brought by the woman centred on a phone call that she had covertly recorded on a mobile, without Ranger’s knowledge, and a notepad in which she claimed to have recorded events that relate to her claim.
In May 2021 Ranger’s lawyers wrote to her lawyers asking to see the notebook and phone to have them forensically examined. On Oct 30, 2022 the woman sent a witness statement to the tribunal claiming both had been destroyed in Dec 2020. She said the pad had been burnt by her husband and she had thrown the phone away as it contained intimate pictures of her and her husband which she did not want anyone in her community to see.
Hyams concluded she either destroyed them in Oct 2022 or lied about having destroyed them, that it was no longer possible to have a fair hearing, and struck out her claim.
The woman appealed arguing that striking out her claim was “unjustifiably draconian”, and that in dismissing her fears regarding intimate photographs Hyams failed to have regard to her ethnic, cultural and religious background.
Eady ruled that Hyams was entitled to conclude the evidence was relevant and that the woman’s behaviour was designed to frustrate the doing of justice. “Dealing with the case justly meant it was both proportionate and appropriate for the claim to be struck out,” she ruled.
Sun Mark said: “The ruling brings to an end a six-year legal battle, vindicating the decision to robustly defend the businesses and its senior leadership against disputed claims of sexual discrimination and harassment. This has considerably affected Lord Ranger’s health and reputation.”

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