Human Rights

Former employee wins case but embassy not keen to honour Indian law

New Delhi: A dismissed Iranian embassy official has approached the Delhi High Court seeking a direction  to the Centre to grant him sanction to move a civil court for executing a decree directing his previous  employer to pay him a compensation of Rs 789,600. A district court, in a decree order last November, had asked the Iranian embassy to pay Rs 789,600 with  nine percent annual interest (till the payment is made) for removing him from his service seven years  ago.

The High Court sought its response on a  petition filed by Syed Ashraf Hasnain Rizvi (ashrafrizvi0025@yahoo.com), who worked in Science and Education Section of the embassy, as secretary from 1 Oct. 1989 to 15 May  2002 when his services were terminated by an oral communication “without any reason” according to Rizvi who in his petition has sought direction to the MEA to grant him sanction for execution of  the decree passed in 14 Nov. 2007 by the additional district judge  DC Anand. He also pleaded for  setting aside an order issued by MEA on 4 April denying him the sanction.

"Rejection by the MEA of his request for grant of sanction to execute a decree obtained in a suit,  consent for which was earlier granted by the same ministry, is arbitrary, illogical and capricious," the  petition filed through his counsel Saif Mahmood and Sumant De alleged.

The Counter Affidavit was filed by the Deputy Chief of Protocol (F), Ministry of External Affairs on  5 August 2008 while the rejoinder was filed by Rizvi on 17 November 2008.  Since my illegal termination I am jobless, living on the mercy of others, Rizvi told MG.

Earlier there were two more cases against foreign missions which were disposed off at the stage of  permission to file the suit. One of Mr. Ali Akbar Kashani sought permission from the MEA for filing a  suit against UAE Embassy in 1971, while the second one was by Harbhajan Singh Dhalla who sought  permission to file a suit against the Algerian Embassy during 1983-86. In both the cases the MEA  has refused to give its consent for filing the suits against the respective embassies. The refusal was  challenged by both the petitioners in the Court Law.  The  MEA/UoI lost  both the cases.

Rizvi said, while speaking to MG, that it is not a matter of a few lakhs rupees as ordered by the court, it is the matter of the life and honour of Indian citizens in their own country. Are foreign missions not bound to obey/follow Indian laws, Rizvi asked.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2009 on page no. 11

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