Najeeb Nazir and city councillor Mohammad Aslam were ordered to pay £12,000 two years ago to a woman who claimed she had been a victim of sexual and racial discrimination.
But now, in a dramatic U-turn following an appeal, the case has been dismissed – and Aneela Asim, former chief executive of the Notts Black Partnership, will have to pay out more than £8,000 to the two men.
No-one comes out of this well, no-one.
Not the defendants, who after all made careers out of fostering a sense of grievance in the identity politics game. Not the plaintiff, who thought she had a winning hand at Victimhood Poker, because it was after all what she herself made a tidy living out of telling others.
Ms Asim claimed she was discriminated against because the men did not like seeing a Pakistani woman in a position of power.
When she won the tribunal in May 2009 she described it as not just a victory for her but “a win for many Asian women”.
However an appeal ordered a second tribunal to be held, declaring the first hearing applied the law incorrectly.
And as we all know, the only real winners in this sort of action are the lawyers…
Mr Nazir, a 37 year-old local government officer from Wollaton, said: “The past four years have been hell. It’s been terrible, I’ve suffered from illness and stressas a result of this.”It’s been awful. For someone who has worked all their lives to fight for equalities to be accused of something like this is horrendous.”
Did it never occur to you that your ‘fight for equality’ might have casualties? That not all of them might be guilty?
That one day, the boot might be on the other foot, and you might find out what it feels like to be accused of thoughtcrime?
Judge Hutchinson has ordered Mrs Asim to pay £4,200 to each of the men to cover their barristers’ fees, because he believes she proceeded “unreasonably” with the claim.However, Mrs Asim says she has also suffered “severe” depression following the latest tribunal ruling.
She says she was forced to represent herself after the GMB union, which helped fund legal representation for her earlier in the case, notified her that it would not be able to continue its support.
Which I suspect tells you quite a bit about the strength of her case…
The 39 year-old from Aspley said: “I’ve come out of it believing if you’ve got the money for a barrister you can make it, but if you don’t you can’t pursue it. How can one justice system have two very different judgements?”I’ve been in a state of shock since then, I’ve not been able to recover or been able to talk to anybody.”
Except for this interview you’re given the local newspaper, that is?
Mrs Asim, who is unemployed after being made redundant in March, says she has asked the tribunal judge to review the order.
And so it rolls on and on and on…