• Sunday, April 21, 2024

Business

Lord Ranger, Sun Mark vindicated as former employee’s appeal dismissed

Justice Jennifer Eady upheld a previous ruling from 2023 in favour of Lord Ranger and two of his companies against Ramandeep Kaur.

By: Shubham Ghosh

LORD Rami Ranger CBE and his company, Sun Mark Ltd, have emerged victorious in a legal dispute following a ruling by Dame Jennifer Eady, president of the Employment Appeal Tribunal on March 21, dismissing a case brought by Ramandeep Kaur, one of their former employees.

Kaur, who had sought £673,000 from Sun Mark Ltd and Sea, Air and Land Forwarding Ltd, also founded by Lord Ranger, escalated her case to the highest echelon of employment justice in the country. Following a hearing earlier this month, Justice Eady upheld a previous ruling from 2023 in favour of the two companies and Lord Ranger, along with Sun Mark Group CEO Hamreet Singh Ahuja. The previous judgment deemed Kaur’s conduct as “scandalous, unreasonable, and vexatious”.

From the outset, the credibility of the claimant was doubted, as the judge’s findings of the liability hearing in 2020 revealed that she had a pattern of exaggeration and a tendency to ascribe a more sinister interpretation to events.

Read: Lord Rami Ranger lodges protest with BBC over documentary series on PM Modi

The ruling marks the conclusion of a six-year legal battle, affirming the decision to vigorously defend the businesses and their senior leadership against contentious allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment.

Justice Eady upheld the ruling given by Judge Hyams that Kaur had deliberately frustrated the course of justice by destroying critical evidence to the case, including a phone used to record a conversation covertly with Lord Ranger in October 2018 after provoking him, and a notebook in which she allegedly kept details of some of the incidents.

Read: Lords inquiry launched into journalist’s claims of abuse by Tory peer Rami Ranger

The claimant, it was said, repeatedly refused to allow the phone and notebook to be examined by Sun Mark’s legal representatives to establish that she provoked the Tory peer to say what he said before finally admitting in October 2022 that she had destroyed the evidence on which aspects of the case hinged.

In her appeal judgment delivered last week, Justice Eady affirmed Judge Hyams’ determination that Kaur had engaged in dishonest conduct, including lying about the destruction of evidence and the timing thereof.

He had concluded that she had deliberately ensured the evidence could no longer be examined to avoid the credibility of her case being tested further.

Justice Eady concluded on that basis that it was right to strike out the case.

She concurred that a fair trial was rendered impossible due to Kaur’s destruction of evidence, thereby preventing the investigation of pertinent evidence.

“Her actions (whether in destroying evidence or in lying about having done so) meant that relevant evidence could no longer be investigated, either to test whether it did support her case or to examine it to see whether it might weaken that case. The decision reached reflected the permissible findings of fact made and an entirely proper assessment as to whether there could still be a fair determination of the remaining aspects of the claim,” the judgment stated.

Lord Ranger ‘delighted’

Lord Ranger, 76, welcomed the ruling to say, “We are delighted that the most senior employment tribunal judge in the land has ruled in our favour and that Ms Kaur’s appeal against the strike out of her case has been dismissed. We have always
argued that the employment tribunal system should deter anyone who believes they can abuse our legal system by behaving dishonestly or bringing false claims.”

Sun Mark said the prolonged legal battle has considerably affected Lord Ranger’s health, reputation, as well the company’s
businesses.

“Still, we were determined to fight it because we could not let our good name be tarnished unfairly, and our reputation undermined through duplicity and malice. We are very proud of how we run our businesses and take our responsibilities as employers very seriously. We want to thank our legal team, Ms Sarah Garth and Ms Suzanne McKie KC, who have worked tirelessly to defend our position robustly and helped us ensure the right outcome was eventually reached.”

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