Ex-Indian envoy asked to pay compensation to former house help

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Nov 06, 2023
Former diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri

A court in Australia has ordered India's ex-high commissioner to Canberra Navdeep Singh Suri to pay a former domestic employee thousands of dollars in compensation after she accused him of unfair working conditions, according to Australian media reports.

People familiar with the case in New Delhi said it was an ex-parte proceeding in the Australian court and filing of the case by the employer was an "after-thought".

Justice Elizabeth Raper of the federal court ordered Suri to pay Seema Sherghill more than 136,000 dollars plus interest within 60 days, ABC News said.

Sherghill had travelled to Australia in April 2015, and spent about a year working for Suri at his Canberra home, it said.

People familiar with the case said Sherghill was issued an official passport and was asked to return to India in 2016, but she defied government orders.

She took Australian citizenship in 2021 and there are reasons to believe that she filed the case with an intention to stay back in that country, they said.

According to them, if the employee had any grievances, she should have returned to India and approached competent authorities or any court.

There was no reaction from the Ministry of External Affairs on the ruling by the Australian court.

The Federal Court heard Sherghill worked seven days a week, for 17.5 hours per day, the media report said.

Sherghill was initially paid the equivalent of about 7.80 dollars per day before she complained and Suri increased her rate to 9 dollars per day, it said.

Source: Hindustan Times
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