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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Police appeal disability ruling
Detective sergeant Gurpal Virdi
Mr Virdi claims he was refused extra time for an exam
The Metropolitan Police is challenging a decision to allow an officer to make a disability discrimination claim.

Det Sgt Gurpal Virdi alleges the force did not give him extra time during a promotion exam, despite having a cyst on his eye.

In April a tribunal hearing ruled that his condition did constitute a disability and the case could continue.

The employment tribunal has been adjourned and a reserved judgement may come through within two weeks.

The Met says the tribunal interpreted the law incorrectly and the ruling should be overturned.

Coping strategies

Mr Virdi claims he was refused an extra 15-20 minutes for the exam and was denied a five minute break after each hour.

He told the tribunal he felt his request was justified because of a 20% sight reduction in his left eye.

At an employment tribunal hearing on Friday, lawyers for the Met said the previous ruling had not taken "coping strategies" into account.

Speaking for the Met, Clive Sheldon said strategies, such as looking away from the computer screen and refocusing, would assist Mr Virdi with his condition and allow him to carry out activities as normal.

Wrongly sacked

He said by ignoring these strategies "you ignore the impact of what he can and can't do".

"All the things that suggest he would be disabled, Mr Virdi can do, whether with a coping strategy or not" added Mr Sheldon.

Mr Virdi is also bringing an appeal against the Met after his other claims for race discrimination and victimisation were thrown out in April because they were brought a day late.

This comes after he returned to work for the Met in 2002 after being wrongly accused, and sacked, for sending racist hate mail to black to staff where he was based in Ealing, west London.

If the judge decides to overturn any of the decisions, the case will be returned to the original panel in the tribunal, to reconsider its earlier ruling.

See report on the discrimination case

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