UK: AI exec wins libel against UK eveninger

 AI exec wins libel against UK eveninger


London: A top Air India executive has won a whopping 5,85,000 pounds in damages and legal costs in a libel case against a British eveninger which published a report falsely accusing him of sexually harassing a female colleague.Captain Ashwini Kumar Sharma, an army captain who is now an executive director of the airline at its Mumbai headquarters, has been awarded 85,000 pounds (Rs 68,50,947) in damages and 500,000 pounds (Rs 4,02,99,000) in cost in his libel case against ‘The Evening Standard’ by a 12-member High Court Jury.

The paper in a front-page report in August 2006 headlined “Sex Shame of Airline chief” accused Sharma, also a former aide-de-camp to the President, of harassing junior female staff and claimed that he was a “serial sex pest.”

“I am extremely delighted that I have been vindicated. I am extremely grateful to my team of lawyers headed by Ian Winter and the legal system of the UK where a 12-member Jury and the judge David Eady in the High Court delivered the unanimous verdict last evening,” Sharma told PTI.

Besides Ian Winter, the defence team included Andrew Monsoon, a leading libel barrister, Christopher Steward More and B Kilpatric.

Sharma, currently the Executive Director in charge of sales, marketing and head of ground handling for Air India global operations, said he was also grateful to his wife and children who stood by him throughout the two-year-long traumatic period and the eight-day trial.

“There was not a shred of truth in any of the allegations made against me. This is exactly what I said on the day the art]icle was published.” 


UK: Indian Doctors: Racist Policy of UK govt flounders against the House of Lords

Indian doctors win historic legal battle against UK Govt

Citizens Alliance Congradulates the BAPIO Leagal Team, Hats off  Dr Mehta.




       London: Indian doctors fighting for job parity with EU medicos on Wednesday won a landmark verdict against the British government when the country’s highest court ruled as illegal a state guideline discriminating against overseas medical graduates for employment in state health services.

        In a four-to-one majority verdict, the Lords Committee dismissed the government’s appeal against a court order in October last year in favour of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) which had challenged an April 2006 “guideline” to hospital trusts to employ non-EU medicos only if no candidate from EU is available.

       The Lords Committee also awarded costs to BAPIO, that spearheaded the legal battle against government’s attempt to retrospectively introduce regulations to restrict non-EU doctors already in the UK from applying for training posts in the state-aided National Health Service.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Mance dismissed the appeal while Lord Scott of Foscote upheld the government decision.

       Soon after the judgement was delivered in the Lords Chamber of the House of Lords, an elated Dr Ramesh Mehta, President of the BAPIO told PTI: “This is a landmark victory.

         “We expected the Health Department would now treat Non-EU overseas doctors fairly and equally on the basis of merit in the case of recruitment to the NHS.”

       An estimated 7,000 to 8,000 international medical graduates, a majority of them from India, would benefit from the judgement, he said.

        Thousands of international doctors have already left the UK after suffering a traumatic experience. “The House of Lords has vindicated our position that the Government had acted in haste and prematurely without thinking about the damaging consequences for thousands of international medical graduates,” Mehta said.

        Excerpts from an earlier interview in the Mail



       I met Dr Mehta at his bungalow at the outskirts of Bedford in a small Victorian village known as Renhold to see how he saw the conditions of Indian Doctors working in the NHS.

      This year Dr Ramesh Mehta, a Consultant Paediatrician and the founder President of British association of Physicians of Indian Origin, received the B Merit Award for his exceptional services to the NHS, over and above his normal duties.

     When asked, how he had felt about the recognition? He said, “I am delighted to have been honoured by the Merits Award, however I would like to see more Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Doctors to be included in the list”.

      Ramesh says that he constantly receive calls from consultant colleagues across the country who feel that they are working in conditions that provides very little support and encouragement.

       I asked him which other group of Doctors in the NHS are considered to be under enormous pressure? He regarded that many Doctors in the category of Staff and Associate specialist group feel neglected and severely undervalued. He explained, “Most of them are very senior and experienced specialists who have not been able to become consultants because what they regard as a ‘lace curtain racism’, which is so subtle that it is difficult to prove.”

       My own feeling is that NHS is short of Doctors and there is a demand at Consultant and General Practice level and it would be a pity if the experience of these doctors are not fully exploited.

      Ramesh commented that these doctors are already in the country, they are bi-lingual and know the NHS system. They need support and appropriate training to move up the ladder.

        What about the doctors that are coming to UK from country such as India? I asked. He was extremely concerned about the plight of the new comers who have passed PLAB and desperately looking for observer ship and employment.

        I asked him, So where is the problem? “I feel that at this level there is mismatch of jobs available and number of doctors passing the test’, Ramesh replied.

       His thinks although there is a good will amongst different departments at the national level, there needs to be more co-ordinated and structured approach by the Department of Health and Conference of Post Graduate Medical Deans. They should consider developing a comprehensive information database and match vacancies against availability of doctors. He also felt that there is a role for General medical Council to assist in this process.

       My impression is that overall this government is keen to engage the voluntary sector in a spirit of partnership with the statutory bodies and asked him what role he envisaged for BAPIO in the process?

         Ramesh commented, “With appropriate infrastructure support BAPIO can certainly play a major role in developing information centre and single point contact for these doctors to be placed in observership”.