The Manhattan Federal Court turned down a plea by Islam and his wife Fahima Tahsina Prova to let them off the case.Masud Parvez Rana, a Bangladesh native, sued the couple March 21 last year accusing them of forcing him to work 16 hours a day without pay, keeping him in an inhumane condition and serve as cook at Bangladesh consulate events whenever Monirul Islam wished.

Islam and his family, however, left for Morocco March 23 after being appointed as the Bangladesh ambassador to the north African country. In their plea, the couple said they cannot be implicated in such cases as they were diplomats. The court observed that the matter of abusing a house-staff was not covered by consular functions.

It said that the Bangladesh consul general in New York has not been accused -- rather Monirul Islam and his wife Fahima Tahsina Prova have been accused as individuals.The ex-house servant Rana claimed that the couple promised to pay him USD3,000 per month and provide "good working conditions" if he agreed to work as their servant at their Manhattan apartment.

If he complained, Islam threatened to kill him, the law suit says. Rana -- who is seeking an unspecified amount in monetary compensation -- worked for the family from September 2012 until March 2014.

After making such promises and bringing Rana to the US, he was subjected to forced labour in slavery-like conditions, he was forbidden to leave their residence, threatened with beatings and murder or arrest by police. He was physically assaulted on at least two occasions and his passport was kept by Islam and all compensation to Rana for a period of over 18 months was withheld," the suit says.

Islam, however, refuted the abuse charges then and said Rana was trying to secure permanent residency in the US by bringing the charges.

Latest News from World News Desk