If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times.
Most Indians in positions of power are exploitative barbaric creatures who ought to be caged and never allowed to see the sunlight or smell the roses.
Following the expose of Indian barbarism in a U.S. Court, Indian diplomat Neena Malhotra and her husband Jogesh Malhotra, an engineer, have been ordered by New York Magistrate Judge Frank Maas to pay $1.46 million for abusing their domestic maid Shanti Gurung (also an Indian).
Neena Malhotra is an Indian Foreign Service officer who served as a Press and Culture Counselor at the Indian Consulate in New York City from 2006-2009.
When she came to New York City in 2006, Neena brought Shanti Gurung from India to serve as her house-maid.
Indian Diplomat Neena Malhotra
(Image Courtesy: IBNLive)
Maid in India Not Maid in America
U.S. Court documents reveal that Shanti Gurung’s complaint of July 1, 2010 alleges that she was essentially kidnapped from India at the age of 17, trafficked to the U.S. and held in involuntary servitude (slavery) for three years.
In the complaint, Shanti Gurung made several charges against Malhotra including non-payment of promised wages, being asked to give Neena Malhotra daily massages, a chore that apparently made Shanti “extremely uncomfortable,” not being provided warm winter clothes, forced to sleep on the floor, served only leftovers or no food etc.
Here’s an excerpt from Judge Frank Maas’ order:
Gurung consequently often “went hungry as there were no leftovers to eat.” …. The Malhotras also deprived her of rice, a staple of her native diet…. One indication of the privation Gurung was subjected to is the fact that her weight dropped from approximately 147 pounds to less than 84 pounds during the approximately forty months that she was employed by the Malhotras. [p.4]
Shanti also complained that her documents were seized, travel was restricted, and she was not permitted to
telephone her family.
In all, Shanti Gurung asserts twenty claims under various federal and state labor and human rights statutes, as well as under state common law.
Thank God, a Maid in America is not the same as Maid in India, where house-maids are frequently subject to inhuman treatment including rape, torture and other forms of brutalization by their employers.
Victory for Maid Shanti Gurung
The legal battle has ended in a big victory for the maid.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas recommended Shanti Gurung be awarded $392,721 for unpaid wages (including liquidated damages), $36,076 in prejudgment interest, $500,000 for emotional distress, and $300,000 in punitive damages, for a total of $1,228,797.
Including legal fees, the Malhotras must pay $1.46 million to Shanti Gurung.
Here are details on the U.S. court’s big award to Shanti Gurung:
The Malhotras did not contest or respond to Shanti Gurung’s complaint.
Will Shanti Gurung get her Million Dollar Payout?
The million dollar question now, at least for us, is how Shanti Gurung will get her million dollar payout.
Neena Malhotra has been out of the U.S. for nearly three years now.
She’s currently serving as Director of Southern Division in India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
Given her modest Indian government salary, we doubt Neena Malhotra has $1.46 million to hand over to Shanti Gurung.
Like y’all, we too eagerly await the next act in the Shanti Gurung vs Neena Malhotra legal drama.
Indian Govt. Response
Neither Neena Malhotra nor India’s Ministry of External Affairs have issued any comment on the mega award to Shanti Gurung by the U.S. court on February 22, 2012.
But on July 9, 2010 a spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs denied Neena Malhotra had treated Shanti Gurung badly:
In response to questions, Official Spokesperson said that Ministry had seen media reports and looked into the matter. It is understood that Ms. Shanti Gurung, Service Staff of Dr. Neena Malhotra, then Consul at Consulate General of India New York, had disappeared on the eve of latter’s return to India. Consul Neena brought the matter to CGI’s attention immediately which informed concerned US authorities. Media reports have also contained certain allegations against Dr. Malhotra, which do not appear to be in conformity with facts.
Related U.S. Court Documents:
Order of U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas in Shanti Gurung vs Neena Malhotra et al Case
Maid Shanti Gurung’s U.S. Court Complaint Against Neena Malhotra and Jogesh Malhotra