A taxi boss and former magistrate who was named in a tribunal case won by an employee of his Leeds firm has now had a £375,000 claim for damages thrown out by the High Court.
The YEP reported last year that taxi driver Ashiq Ali, 49, from Alwoodley, had been awarded more than £18,000 in damages, costs and unpaid wages after he was suspended from a treasurer’s job at the City Cabs Association amid allegations of misappropriating funds.
The tribunal panel concluded that the then-chairman of the firm, Khaliq Ahmed, had fabricated evidence and that Mr Ali’s suspension had not been properly ratified by committee members.
A counterclaim by the Association, with a list of allegations against Mr Ali, was dismissed by the tribunal judges.
Mr Ahmed, who later resigned from an additional job as a magistrate, has since requested a judicial review, claiming the original tribunal judgment humiliated him, branded him a “common criminal” and breached his human rights. He asked for the judgment to be overruled, and claimed £375,000 damages.
But his request has now been thrown out by a High Court judge, who said the case was “totally without merit”, made “hopelessly out of time” - and the application to review the tribunal findings was made wrongly.
In his claim, Mr Ahmed had said the tribunal’s judgement, and its finding that he had faked evidence - had “condemned” him as a “common criminal” and done so “without any due process of law”.
It had also ruined his chances of a hoped-for entry into politics, and led to him having his own taxi driver’s licence revoked by Leeds City Council. This was later re-instated on appeal.
The High Court judgement found that Mr Ahmed had “simply misconceived” the tribunal’s findings in this matter, and that “there was not, nor could there be, any finding of criminal behaviour by the Employment Tribunal”. It rejected his claims of a breach of his human rights.
The decision letter from judge Penelope Belcher said: “The claim has no prospect of success. [The claimant] challenges findings of fact made in the Employment Tribunal.
“The proper place to challenge such findings is by way of appeal. Judicial review is not the appropriate forum. Whilst the findings of fact relate to matters capable of constituting criminal conduct, the findings are made by a civil court to the civil standard of proof.”