External ministry clears officer in ex-help case
New Delhi, Jul 7: A senior officer, who was sued by her former domestic help in New York, was exculpated by the External Affairs Ministry on Jul 7.
Neena Malhotra, who returned from New York about a year back in 2009, is currently Director, Southern Division of the External Affairs Ministry.
Neena's former maid, Shanti Gurung earlier filed a case of harassment and captivity against her.
Shanti alleged in her lawsuit that she was "essentially kidnapped" from India in 2006 at age 17 and was ordered to give daily massages and perform other chores.
The lawsuit also alleged beside her payment of only $ 120 over 40 months issue that Gurung was made to work 16 hours in a day without holidays and she was often refused food and had to sleep on the floor.
Gurung claimed that Malhotra took away her passport and she was almost held a prisoner at the couple's house.
Malhotra rejected Gurung's allegations and had furnished bank statements that show the domestic help was given at least Rs 5,500 each month and had a bank deposit of Rs 2.4 lakh.
The Ministry said to CNN-IBN that it's satisfied with Malhotra's statements.
Officials suspected that the domestic help's sudden disappearance in 2009 and equally sudden re-appearance a year later in 2010 only to file a lawsuit, is an attempt to legalize her stay in the US.
The External Affairs Ministry, as reported by CNN-IBN, has sought legal opinion on whether US authorities have jurisdiction to investigate the allegations against Malhotra.