Equal Opportunities Commission

Sacked former EOC director faces bankruptcy petition by watchdog

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2011, 12:00am

A sacked former director of the Equal Opportunities Commission who lost a legal bid for damages and discrimination against the watchdog should be declared bankrupt, the body says.

Priscilla Sit Ka-yin, a former director of the commission's gender division, was dismissed in 1997. Two years later in the District Court, she lost a claim for damages for sexual and disability discrimination against the body and some supervisors.

As part of procedures before the case went to trial, the commission and Sit had made various applications - the former to remove parts of Sit's witness statements, and Sit to obtain certain documents. The court substantially allowed the commission's application and substantially disallowed Sit's. It ordered that she pay the costs.

A commission spokesman said yesterday that their bankruptcy petition 'is based on cost orders made by the court in 2007'. He declined to comment when asked about the amount of legal fees involved.

The court had also ordered Sit to pay the legal costs of the commission associated with the trial of her claim for damages, which took place in November 2009. It handed down the order on who should pay the legal costs in October.

The commission spokesman said the court had not yet finally settled the October legal costs order.

When handing down the costs decision in October, Judge David Lok Kai-hong said he had been led to understand that the commission had incurred substantial costs in defending itself in the lawsuit.

The commission hired Peter Ng SC to fight its case. According to Lok's ruling, the commission had engaged a senior counsel because Sit engaged one, Philip Dykes SC. Sit filed her claim in 1999, but it took 12 years for it to go to trial. Lok noted that there had been a delay on Sit's part in exchanging witness statements with the commission and she had done nothing to pursue her claim from 2003 to 2006.