Housewife absolved from mistreatment of maid, judge says maid "prone to exaggeration"


SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A housewife was acquitted on Wednesday (Feb. 27) of charges of mistreatment after a trial, with the judge saying the maid was "prone to exaggerate."

District Judge Kenneth Yap said in his pleas that his employers were "valued individuals" who had treated their domestic servants "with a good deal of generosity."

Indian citizen Singh Manu, 42, has faced four counts of voluntarily injuring his maid Rajinder Kaur on four occasions in January 2017.

She was accused of physically hurting Miss. Rajinder in her apartment in Jurong, even banging on her back, tugging at her hair, twisting her arm and tapping it with a knife.

During the nine-day trial, the judge heard the testimony of the maid and her sister, as well as the couple who employed her.

The court also examined a note made by Rajinder's journal and a medical report documenting a 5-6 cm bruise on Miss Scalp's scalp. Rajinder, and reported tenderness in the neck and arm.

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The judge observed that Ms. Rajinder, 28, was the youngest of the three sisters and had come from Punjab to Singapore to replace her older sister as family provider.

She missed her flight and cried when she was taken to the house of her new employers, staying only after both her sister and Mrs. Manu calmed her down.

"What impressed me about Miss Rajinder was the lack of maturity, which was exacerbated by the cultural differences between her home and the host country," the judge said.

He pointed to an entry in the diary that Mrs. Rajinder did where she wrote that she had to "endure the treatment and rebuke" and received "food that was not good."

When asked, Ms. Rajinder said he was referring to the dough that had been prepared the night before and stored in the refrigerator.

She found this "bad" because only fresh dough had been used in her own home.

Ms Manu pointed out that the family ate bread, while the batter was given to Ms. Rajinder to make chapati for herself.

"It also became clear that the claimant did not know how to behave as a domestic helper," the judge said.

"On a picnic tour, she was spotted playing with the defendant's daughters instead of assisting in the organization of the picnic and food."

He added that Rajinder's sister admitted that her sister might be "lazy and irresponsible."

A friend of Manu said that Mrs. Rajinder initially had problems with cleaning the bathroom "as it was considered a work for the lower caste in India," the judge added.

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Addressing the charges, the judge said that he thought Mrs. Rajinder's account of the alleged robberies lacked clarity and was subject to exaggeration.

Ms. Rajinder said at first that his employer had slapped him twice, but then changed his evidence to say that he had been struck back twice with his fist.

She accused Mme. Manu to hurt her when she got mad because Ms. Rajinder could not touch the dryer, as she asked, but Mrs. Manu testified that the machine was too heavy for him to lift.

"It seems unbelievably incredible that the accused asked the maid, who was of small size, to even try to lift the machine," the judge said.

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Ms Rajinder stated that she had been hit on a third occasion because she did not warm milk to her employer's daughters.

However, when told that daughters did not drink milk, but banana shakes with almonds, Rajinder changed his evidence to say that he was referring to banana milkshakes.

"However, that still did not explain why the milk had to be heated if a milkshake was needed," said the judge.

There were also different reports of the latest indictment of how the knife was used, and no mention of the injury in her hand was made to police officers on January 31, 2017. The doctor who examined her later that day did not report such an injury either .

The prosecution had fought over Rajinder's case, saying she had no reason to falsely implicate her employer.

"She had flown back to Singapore from India to testify against the accused," said deputy prosecutors Yang Ziliang and Sheryl Yeo.

"When asked and asked if she had lied about being thrown at the head of the bed, (she) calmly replied:" If I had lied, I would not have come back, I would have stayed in India. "

The judge ruled otherwise and acquitted Ms Manu of all charges.

He said: "It should be borne in mind that while there is a demonstrable need to protect domestic workers because of their vulnerable nature, employers also need to receive the benefit of the doubt when the allegations are full of inconsistencies, as in the case . " case present ".

The prosecution has yet to indicate whether they will appeal.


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