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Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury to pay $6.5 million in punitive damages

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Washington: What comes as a significant blow to his career, a Los Angeles County jury ordered Yoga founder Bikram Choudhury to pay over $6.5 million to his ex-attorney in punitive damages for harassment.

Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, who was employed by Choudhury as his general counsel in 2011, sued the 69-year-old yoga instructor alleging that she suffered gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sexual harassment, according to a news agency report.

The decision was taken a day after Choudhury was ordered to pay Jafa-Bodden approximately $1 million as compensatory damages. On 26 January, the jury found Choudhury guilty of acting with malice, oppression, and fraud, allowing Jafa-Bodden to proceed with punitive damages immediately.

Jafa-Bodden alleged that she was fired in 2013 for investigating the claims of Choudhury raping a yoga student.

Choudhury’s attorneys, however, claimed that Jafa-Bodden was let go because she did not have a license to practice in the United States. However, Jafa-Bodden countered the claim by saying the yoga guru had persuaded her to leave India in 2011 to work for him in America.

During the court proceedings, Choudhury claimed that he did not have any knowledge of his net worth, and had not been making any money from the yoga business for several years. He did acknowledge the fact that he owned a fleet of 40 luxury cars, but claimed that he had transferred the ownership of the cars to the state of California to start a ‘Bikram auto engineering school for children’.

His statements were overridden when one of Jafa-Bodden’s lawyers displayed photographs of Bikram Choudhury’s Beverly Hills Mansion, and a pair of white Ferraris he had brought for his children.

Bikram Choudhury, who left the courtroom without commenting, has in the past been sued by six other women for sexual misconduct. On being questioned about these incidents during the recent trial, Choudhury denied he had sexually assaulted any woman.(IANS)(Image- wikipedia)

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New York tops list of America’s dirtiest cities

Some 904,000 homes in New York have the litter on nearby streets or properties, and nearly 2.3 million homes have seen signs of mice, rats or cockroaches in the past year, according to the report

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Some 904,000 homes in New York have the litter on nearby streets or properties.
Some 904,000 homes in New York have the litter on nearby streets or properties. Wikimedia Commons

New York is the dirtiest city, with more pests and litter than any place else in the United States, according to a review of government data by the cleaning-services company Busy Bee.

The newly released report ranked 40 urban areas across the US-based on pest and litter data from the American Housing Survey, air pollution data from the Environmental Protection Agency and population estimates from the US Census Bureau, Xinhua reported.

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The Big Apple took the top spot in three of those categories with a score of 427.9 on Busy Bee’s “dirtiness index”. Los Angeles ranked second with a score of 317.8.

Some 904,000 homes in New York have the litter on nearby streets or properties, and nearly 2.3 million homes have seen signs of mice, rats or cockroaches in the past year, according to the report. New York also ranks first for population density, with 28,000 people per square mile. (IANS)

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