Indian-Origin Hindujas Found Guilty Of “Illegally Exploiting Poorly Paid Servants” In Geneva: Details Inside

Indian-Origin Hindujas Found Guilty Of “Illegally Exploiting Poorly Paid Servants” In Geneva: Details Inside

In 1914, the legacy of the Hinduja family started when Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja started a commodities trading business in British India’s Sindh Region. Under his four sons the business quickly expanded, initially achieving success by distributing Bollywood films internationally. The Hindjua Family has an estimated wealth of $20 billion and owns stakes in six publicly traded Indian companies. Hinduja Family has established their place in Asia’s Top 20 wealthiest families. Recently, the Hinduja family is making headlines for illegally exploiting servants in Geneva.

Hinduja family convicted for taking illegal advantage of staff

On Friday, four members of the popular Hinduja family were convicted for exploiting underpaid servants at their luxurious villa in Geneva, Switzerland. Prakash Hinduja and Kamal Hinduja, the elder members of the family who were unable to attend the trial due to health issues, received sentences of 4 1/2 years each. Ajay Jinduja, along with his wife Namrata, were sentenced for 4 years. Ajay Hinduja, along with his wife Namrata and his parents, were found guilty of illegally underpaying the hired servants from India and were paying them compensation far below the Swiss standard rate. Najib Ziazi, the family’s business manager, received an 18-month suspended sentence. The members of the Hinduja family were accused of preventing workers from leaving the villa, confiscating their passports, and forcing them to work for long hours with minimal pay. The workers used to work in harsh conditions along with no pay, and servants often had to sleep on mattresses in basements.

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Hindujas file appeal in higher court to challenge verdict

The Hinduja Family’s lawyers dimmed the legal accusations, highlighting that the servants were treated with respect and given appropriate working conditions. However, the Swiss Court dismissed severe charges of human trafficking but upheld the accusations of taking advantage of the workers. The Hinduja Family expressed their disappointment with the court’s ruling and stated that they have filed an appeal with a higher court. The family is hoping to overturn the court’s verdict, which accused the family of exploiting the servants.

Staff hired by Hindujas describe a ‘climate of fear’

The Hinduja Family is accused of providing wages far below the Swiss standard rate. Many workers who only spoke Hindi were paid in rupees to their Indian bank accounts, which the workers could not access while living in Switzerland. Workers reported a ‘climate of fear’ and were forced to work up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, without off or any benefit for wages far below the Swiss standard rate.

The conviction resulted due to a case that started in 2018 when the Hinduja Villa, Hinduja Bank offices, and other local businesses owned by the Hinduja family were raided by Swiss prosecutors. Documents and hard drives were seized as evidence. The four family members of the Hinduja Family were found guilty by the court for providing unauthorised employment, paying wages less than one-tenth of the standard rate of such jobs in Switzerland, and providing minimal health benefits to the workers.

About WR News Writer

WR News Writer is an engineer turned professionally trained writer who has a strong voice in her writing. She speaks on issues of migrant workers, human rights, and more.

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