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Racism claim payment overturned


30 July, 2007  

The Court of Appeal has overturned an award of more than £800,000 made to an Asian surgeon over claims of race discrimination.

Rajendra Chaudhary, from Manchester, secured the record payout after taking the British Medical Association to an employment tribunal. It found the BMA had failed to support Mr Chaudhary in race discrimination claims against regulatory bodies.

However, Court of Appeal judges ruled his original claim had no merit. Lord Justice Mummery, giving the ruling of the court, said: “The essential ground is that no reasonable tribunal… could have concluded that the BMA was guilty of indirect race discrimination against Mr Chaudhary or victimisation of him.”

Tony Bourne, BMA Secretary, said: “The BMA feels that we have been totally vindicated by this result. Mr Chaudhary, said: “I accept the court’s finding but at the same time this decision is wrong and cannot stand up to public scrutiny.

“I have been fighting to establish a principle that the government promised all doctors coming from overseas that they will receive equal or the same registrar training in the NHS.” He claimed the BMA was one of the parties who made the agreement with the government, but when he tried to move up the career ladder, he was told by officers of the regulatory bodies that his registrar training was not comparable to other registrars.

He had been training to become a consultant, but the STA decided that some of his early training in Manchester was inadequate. It said he would need a further 25 months of training.

Lord Justice Mummery said the BMA initially supported Mr Chaudhary’s applications for automatic transition to the Specialist Register grade, but refused to support his claim for discrimination after it established that he had been dealt with according to the rules.