A claim of race and disability discrimination by a Mr Khan against Kirklees Borough Council has just been struck out – after 49 days of hearing over a period of four-and-a-half years. If you are wondering why 49 days should span such a long period, then perhaps paragraph eight of the final Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment gives a clue: “Mr Khan is by some distance the most obdurate, recalcitrant and openly contemptuous party that any of us have ever had to deal with,” it said.
Once he had consulted his dictionary, Guru was appalled. It seems Mr Khan was a pretty awkward customer.
After making his original claims against the council, our obdurate, recalcitrant and openly contemptuous friend proceeded to make allegations against the tribunal, the respondents and even a local school. And he didn’t just throw his weight around he dragged his heels, which is a pretty nasty situation for anyone to get into, as well as not being very good for the knees.
Anyway, what hope isthere for HR to keep their employers out of court when one man – albeit an obdurate, recalcitrant and openly contemptuous one – can make an empty case spin out for almost half a decade? It’s legal correctness gone mad.
…and a case of Swift justice
Meanwhile, in a judgmentthat will make every right- thinking person’s heart sing, lawyers have been told topay back up to £100m oftaxpayers’ money they received for dealing with compensation claims fromchronically ill miners.
The High Court judgment by the marvellously monickered Mrs Justice Swift (and Guru can’t help thinking she would have been a great choice to deal with the obdurate, recalcitrant and openly contemptuous Mr Kahn) found that payments of £1,769plus VAT for each fast-track claim – which took on average less than seven hours to complete – were a little on the generous side.
Solicitors were told to cut their charges to a measly £1,192 – and pay back the Department of Trade and Industry the difference oneach claim so far.
Suddenly, the world seems a better place.