A US court has approved a magistrate’s award of $1.5 million compensation to an Indian maid who had accused a former Indian diplomat and her husband of harassment and “slavery”.
US district judge Victor Marrero “adopted in entirety” the report of US magistrate judge Frank Maas recommending payment of $1.5 million compensation to maid Shanti Gurung for the alleged “barbaric treatment” and “emotional distress” by Indian diplomat Neena Malhotra and her husband Jogesh.
Neena Malhotra had employed Gurung as her domestic help between 2006 and 2009 when she was serving as a counsellor at the Consulate General of India in New York. Marrero also ordered the case closed as Malhotras did not file any objections to Maas’ report even though they had 14 days to do so.
Marrero’s ruling came just days after the Delhi High Court restrained Gurung from pursuing her lawsuit in the US.
“An Indian diplomat enjoys sovereign immunity and any order passed by the court of the US would tantamount to interfering in the rights of the government of India to determine the terms and conditions of the employment of its diplomatic officers posted abroad,” the Delhi court said.