New York: In a setback to an Indian diplomat accused of indulging in 'slavery' by her maid, a US judge has recommended that she be awarded nearly $1.5 million for her "barbaric treatment" at the hands of her employer.
The proposed award includes $500,000 for the 'emotional distress' inflicted on Shanti Gurung by Neena Malhotra and her husband Jogesh, The New York Post said. Malhotra was then the Consul at Consulate General of India in New York.
The Malhotras clearly induced their ex-maid to "work without pay by seizing her passport and visa, restricting her ability to leave their apartment, and constantly warning her that if she traveled on her own without their permission, she would be arrested, beaten, raped and sent back to India as 'cargo'" Manhattan federal Magistrate Judge Frank Maas was quoted as having written in his recommendation.
Indian diplomat Neena Malhotra
His recommendations are subject to approval by Judge Victor Marrero, who is overseeing the case, the daily said. Last year, Marrero granted Gurung a default judgement against the Malhotras, who returned to India before they could be served with their ex-maid's suit that was filed in 2010, the report said.
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".