Narayan takes on tribunal judges

John Malpas reports

AN EX-BARRISTER is battling to force three judges to appear before an industrial tribunal to face charges that they breached race relations law when disbarring him.

Rudy Narayan was disbarred in July 1994 following a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Inns of Court. He will take his case before a review hearing this month.

Now he is claiming "unfavourable treatment" at the Woburn Place Industrial Tribunal Court under sections 11 and 12 of the Race Relations Act.

His accusations are levelled against the Bar Council, which prosecuted him, and three judges he says were instrumental in unfairly disbarring him.

The judges are Lord Justice Nourse, president of the Council of the Inns of Court, Mr Justice Wright and Mr Justice French.

Leading employment lawyer Jane Gaymer, partner at Simmons & Simmons, is acting for the three judges. However, she says it is not appropriate to comment on the case before the hearing.

Narayan was found guilty in his absence in September 1993 of two offences. The first was of sending a draft writ claiming damages of u250,000 to a lay client who had complained to the Bar Council about him. The second offence was of receiving u6,500 from a lay client when a legal aid order was in force.

He was disbarred in July 1994 after an appeal to the Visitors to the Inns of Court was dismissed.

Narayan says the five members of the tribunal which found him guilty, headed by Judge French, were all white.

He claims that Judges Nourse and Wright were responsible for appointing the tribunal and ignored his requests for one black person to sit on it.

He also alleges the tribunal acted unfairly by accepting the testimony of a witness who had died since making allegations about him, and by going ahead with the original hearing in his absence, despite the fact he was seriously ill.

Narayan, who now runs the legal consultancy Civil Rights (UK), says two hearings have already taken place behind closed doors at the tribunal.

He says he will have achieved something even if he loses the case, as long as he can force the judges to defend themselves in public.

"Win or lose it would be the first time judges were on trial in public for alleged misdeeds."

The Bar Council also declines to comment.