Minister cleared of bias

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The Independent Online
A GOVERNMENT minister was yesterday cleared of racially discriminating against an Indian-born maths professor.

An industrial tribunal ruled that Baroness Blackstone, currently Education minister, had not discriminated against Chandra Sharma on racial grounds when she refused him a merit-related pay rise. After the ruling, Professor Sharma said the decision was further proof of how the establishment considered him an outsider.

Professor Sharma had accused Lady Blackstone of discrimination during her period as master of Birkbeck College, part of the University of London, from 1987 to 1997.

The academic, who specialised in pure mathematics, said that Lady Blacksmith and the college had persistently refused him performance-related pay awards.

The tribunal in London heard four days of evidence and the panel of three members retired for just 10 minutes to consider its decision.

The chairman of the bench, David Roose, said: "The applicant's case before us was one of an unhappy man and one full of resentment and it is a matter of considerable regret that he should chose to end an otherwise distinguished career on such a sour note."