The woman claimed that pressure is being mounted on her to withdraw the case but she will not do so
New Delhi: Another huge controversy on Friday struck the Indian Premier League (IPL) with an Australian player with Vijay Mallya owned Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) being arrested on charges of molesting an Indian American woman and severely attacking her fiancee leaving him in hospital, reports PTI.
Luke Pomersbach, the 27-year-old Australian player allegedly misbehaved with the woman, a US citizen of Indian origin, at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel in the national capital on Thursday night and has been arrested, police said.
A case has been registered against him under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including section 354 of IPC (outraging modesty of woman), 323 (hurt), 454 (lurking house trespass) and 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment).
The woman said the player invited himself for some drinks with the couple and some common friends from Mumbai in their room.
She left the men alone and went to her bedroom for catching some sleep but Luke followed her and misbehaved with her, she alleged.
When her fiancee intervened, Luke allegedly beat him up, she said.
The woman's fiancee has been admitted to a hospital.
The woman claimed that pressure is being mounted on her to withdraw the case but she will not do so.
IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said the IPL had nothing to with this because the incident did not take place in any party organised by it. "Let the law take its course," he said.
Denying the charge that IPL was full of controversies, Shukla said IPL 4 and 5 were free of controversies till now.
However, BJP MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad alleged that the IPL "has given rise to many unsavoury things. Today's attempt to rape is one such".
He said foreign players were taking advantage of the conditions here.
The IPL was rocked by controversy only Thursday when Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan faced the prospect of being banned from the Wankhede Stadium after an alleged scuffle with Mumbai Cricket Association officials.
Cross training of staff ensured that the staff could do their duties in the best possible manner to the satisfaction of the guests and the management, who duly rewarded them. The 35th part of a series describing the unknown triumphs and travails of doing international business
We had a great team at work in the hotel. All the departments worked in unison and cordiality at their best because, if one did not learn to smile at another all the time, one would not be able to maintain a friendly feeling or face when meeting the customer, which was the most important aspect of the hospitality business.
The management encouraged us to know more about the eateries in the area so that we could recommend the best places, should the guests ask for the same; likewise, we had to persuade the guests to sign up for the exclusive club membership, so that on every visit, they would be able to earn points on the amounts they spend, very much in line with the airline frequent flyer miles concept. Of course, in the process, we also earned ‘points’ for getting as many new members as possible. We could utilize the earned ‘points’ for our own holidays or get a gift from the hundreds listed.
The club membership ensured that guests would soon become repeat customers, get special arrival, check-in and check-out procedures, upgrading to the “super club level floor, special breakfast treats” besides getting a priority room allocation even when they walk in without advance booking!
Newcomers to the city who came on sight-seeing tours also needed great guidance and assistance. There were different types of tours and these companies were offering commissions to the hotel staff (like the concierge) for making the bookings. Similarly, long distance travels by taxi cabs, even for catching flights to their destinations from Dulles airport (some 50 miles away) meant ‘earning’ possibility of commission for the staff. All these activities brought in additional benefits to the staff, but this meant, they had to be alert and always at the beck and call of the guests. Thus, for the staff, it became a habit to be cheerful, well informed, and be always ready to assist the guest.
Likewise, even when the eateries had issued coupons for the benefit of the guests and the front desk staff would make the best possible recommendations for the guests to choose from; and utilized the coupon given by the staff, there was always a small code to identify the staff; and this meant free meals or commissions!
The Courtyard also arranged for an annual outing for the staff; it was a picnic of sort, much enjoyed by the staff and their families, with lots of games to play and enjoy special food prepared by the hotel. It was a get-together in the open; but almost at the fag end of the year, we had annual Christmas dinners when employees received special awards for the good jobs they did.
Our associate hotels located in the vicinity would also ask for assistance in staff locations when there was rush or overbooking; or caused by sickness or absenteeism; it would also be in the form materials, such as extra beds when guests turn up with young kids and do not want them to be alone in their rooms and so on.
Cross training of staff in our own hotel was mandatory. In certain jobs like housekeeping the female staff were well-trained and were able to consistently clear up 16 rooms in their shift, but this was not easily done by male members. Likewise, we had shuttle drivers who would not only go to the airport ever half hour, they were also fully in the know of dropping and collecting the guests from various eateries in the area in a friendly and efficient manner.
Work as a guest relations associate was well received, and the first chance for a promotion was made to me for a transfer to our associate hotel in Washington DC, where John was GM. I went for the interview but was not keen to take up the new assignment. In the meantime, as luck would have it, another internal candidate had shown much keenness to take that position and I was advised that something else might come in my way.
It was then we came to know that John was himself transferred from DC to Crystal City, much to the pleasure of most and our GM Doug Wiggins was promoted as Area MD and took over his job in DC.
We were coming closer to the end of 1999. There was a big scare that there would be a catastrophic computer-generated crash on the midnight of 31st December, as we moved into 1st January morning of 2000.
Nobody had any specific answers. All conjectures and wild imaginations were going berserk! The preparations for that fateful day were on a war footing. We had special packages made for each and every guest; first aid preparations; stand-by systems in case of complete computer break downs; emergency food supplies, etc.
As we came closer, we had more cancellations; many who had programmed to stay beyond 1st January, decided to take the first flight out and go back to their home bases. It was a kind of panic situation, though, nobody wanted to admit it.
But, at the Courtyard, the staff was totally prepared to meet any emergency situation that may arise. All the top-brass were on duty; they had for once, decided to skip the New Year eve dances and dinners, and chose to hold the fort at the hotel, which was a great and brave thing to do, and led the staff by their very presence.
But as we all know, this much-publicised event passed off without a whimper!
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts. From being the advisor to exporters, he took over the mantle of a trader, travelled far and wide, and switched over to setting up garment factories and then worked in the US. He can be contacted at [email protected].)
Speaking at a closed-door discussion organised by Moneylife Foundation, IRDA chairman J Hari Narayan also said that insurance companies should have a special window for fast-tracking of senior citizens’ grievance redressal
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) chairman J Hari Narayan met with a select group of insurance experts and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) before the Moneylife Foundation seminar in Wednesday 16th May.
To complaints that health insurance companies do not renew policies automatically, he clarified that IRDA does not want to mandate renewal notices. "We don't want to mandate renewal notice as it can get gamed. If the regulator mandates it and if the insured say that they have not received it, will the cover be considered as continued? The policyholder will go to court over the dispute. There are certain things that are not mandated. The customer knows the annual cover due date and hence can do the necessary renewal".
The IRDA chairman clarified the insurance regulator's approach to improve the mediclaim product entry and exit age restrictions. He said, "Mediclaim should be offered entry till age 65 years and exit age till minimum 80 years. For new product approval, we are asking for no limit for entry and exit age. The existing mediclaim products may not offer this feature".
Talking about the efforts made to improve senior citizens' health insurance grievance handling; he said "IRDA has suggested insurance companies to offer a special window for fast-tracking on senior citizens grievance redressal. Some companies have started it."
Recently, New India Assurance added reputed Jaslok hospital in Mumbai to its list of Preferred-Provider-Network (PPN). Its mediclaim policy states that there will be 20% co-pay for customers going to Jaslok hospital. The regulator clarified that, "We have issued a circular that customers should have access to current list of hospitals on PPN. If insurance companies have a clause in the policy about a specific hospital on PPN charging co-pay, then it is as per the contract. If customers are not happy with it, they can always move to another insurance company's product."
To complaints that premium on senior citizens is too high, the chairman clarified that premium rates for the young are higher than what really should be due to the need to keep senior citizen premium low. There is a built- in normalisation to benefit senior citizens".
To a suggestion that there is no clarity as to whether the TPAs (third party administrators) can process or settle claims, the IRDA chairman said: "The issue is where demarcation occurs considering the spirit of regulations and recognising the practicality of dealing with claim. A large part will get addressed when medical protocols get standardised. Some work has been done in collaboration with chambers of commerce and industry to develop protocols. So far, they have developed 10 of them. IRDA has written to the ministry of health, which has set up an expert body to finalise the protocols. It has not yet been notified to us, but they should be close to standardising 80 processes (medical protocols)".