London, Feb 26 : A Sikh policeman has been awarded a five-figure compensation after the Greater Manchester Police was charged of racially discriminating against him by turning down his job application a dozen times in 18 years.
An industrial tribunal ruled that the Greater Manchester Police is guilty of racial discrimination against 40-year-old Sangram Singh-Bhacker.
Sangram Singh-Bhacker, who comes from an Indian family in Manchester, had been trying to join the city's police since 1990.
He had served with five other forces in England, but the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) repeatedly refused to allow him to transfer to work in his home city.
In February last year, Andrew Marston, its head of personnel, told him in a letter: "I am not prepared to consider you as a potential transferee with the GMP now or in the future."
"I had had my suspicions over the years and that letter confirmed it. I thought it was personal and racial. I decided to go to an employment tribunal because that was the only way I was going to get any answers," Bhacker said.
The tribunal ruled that Bhacker had suffered racial discrimination. It will rule on compensation next month.
It noted that he was a qualified, physically fit officer who had been accepted by the Wiltshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire and Cheshire forces, as well as British Transport Police, his current employer.
Yet Manchester police had blocked his applications despite a white officer of similar age and experience being allowed to transfer into the force, the tribunal said.
In its written judgement the tribunal expressed surprise and shock at some of the evidence presented by the police force and said that it had been puzzled and perplexed at the reasons advanced for not employing Bhacker.
The GMP had given a variety of reasons - including poor health - and cast doubt on his integrity at the hearing.
Marston, who raised the issue of integrity, was heavily criticised by the tribunal, which said that it "did not find him to be a convincing witness".
Some of Bhacker's applications had been refused with either no reason given or partial explanations.
The ruling said: "The respondent had changed the reasons for refusing the claimant on so many occasions that he was indeed in a 'Catch-22' situation."
Bhacker said that the judgement marked an end to his battle and that he would no longer try to join the Manchester force.
"I love my city. I wanted to work in the city as a policeman, to be close to my family and especially my mother, who was ill for a long time until she died last year," The Times quoted him, as saying.
Bhacker added that he had experienced racism during most of his police career.