Original - Solicitors from Hell .com Est. Feb 2003

Kamlesh Bahl

KAMLESH BAHL v THE LAW SOCIETY - ROUND III (1 March 2004)

www.ukmm.org.uk/issues/shame/bahl.htm --- - www.redhotcurry.com/news/kamlesh_bahl_bopio.htm#top

Bahl set to take case to Europe

Former Law Society vice-president Kamlesh Bahl plans to take her claim of sex and race discrimination against the Law Society to the European Court of Human Rights, her lawyers said last week.

The move to a possible hearing in Strasbourg is the latest development in the long-running dispute between Chancery Lane and Ms Bahl. It follows a decision at the end of July in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) overturned an earlier finding of vicarious race and sex discrimination against the Law Society.

The EAT found that former Law Society president Robert Sayer and former secretary-general Jane Betts had not unconsciously discriminated against Ms Bahl. The EAT was sharply critical of the original judgment (see [2001] Gazette, 12 July, 4), saying the tribunal had misdirected itself in law. The EAT finding said: 'The [original] tribunal has made findings of discrimination where no proper evidential basis for it exists.'

Ms Bahl withdrew her appeal against the finding that she deliberately lied to the original tribunal as the authorities suggest the EAT has no jurisdiction to hear appeals which do not attempt to disturb an order of the tribunal - it is this issue that she intends to take to Strasbourg. Her solicitor, Shahid Khan, said: 'One should be given the opportunity to clear oneself fully.'

The EAT dismissed Ms Bahl's cross-appeal that the tribunal should have found deliberate and conscious discrimination.

A Law Society statement said: 'This result will help us to draw a line under this affair so that we can concentrate on representing our members and improving the regulation of the profession.'

Mr Sayer issued a brief statement, saying he was 'relieved to have been cleared of the allegations of discrimination'. Likewise, Ms Betts said: 'The judgment vindicates the stance we have taken. We hope this painful saga is now at an end.'

Mr Khan described the appeal ruling as 'a travesty of justice', adding: 'This decision will dent further the confidence of the ethnic minority communities in the British legal system. We... intend to appeal against this unfair and unjust decision.'

There are other outstanding disputes between Ms Bahl and the Society (see [2003] Gazette, 15 May, 3).

Jonathan Ames

Excerpt from the 'Law Zone' web pages Wednesday, 20th August 2003

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