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Indian Consul General slapped with forced-labour suit in New York

New York: Prabhu Dayal, the Indian Consul General in New York, has been accused of treating a former domestic help as a slave and making sexual advances, charges rejected by him as ”complete nonsense”.

Santosh Bhardwaj, Dayal’s former maid, has filed a forced labour-suit against him for making her work for long hours everyday at USD 300 a month, confiscating her passport and letting her sleep in a storage closet. She has also alleged him of making sexual advances.

“I filed the complaint because I want to be paid for all the labour I provided and for all the injustice I suffered – and I want my passport returned,” Bhardwaj (45), the mother of four children, said.

“The Dayals did not treat me fairly,” she said in a statement issued by the Legal Aid Society, which is representing her.

Dayal, however, has rubbished the charges against him. “Complete nonsense. These are mischievous and malicious lies,” he told PTI.

Bhardwaj said she was lured to the US with a promise of an hourly pay of USD 10 and overtime pay. Instead, she said her payment was less than USD 1 an hour, and her passport was confiscated.

She also alleged that on one occasion Dayal told her she could only have the additional money if she gave him a “massage.”

“Bhardwaj interpreted this as a sexual advance and was deeply offended. After that incident, Bhardwaj left the Dayals home and did not return,” said the statement.
Dayal rejected the accusation, saying, “No question. I never asked for a massage… I deny it outright…I don’t need a massag… I’m fit.”

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