A man is disputing a HK$5,000 fine imposed by the Hong Kong Labour Tribunal for what he said was the simple act of helping his girlfriend, who was using a crutch, walk to a table during a court proceeding last month. Mahesh Roy, 55, was fined for "insulting behaviour" and breaching section 42 of the Labour Tribunal Ordinance. The ordinance states that a person behaving in an insulting manner or who wilfully interrupts proceedings can be sentenced by a presiding officer to six months in jail and a HK$10,000 fine. Arguing before presiding officer Susan Wong, Roy's lawyer, Azan Marwah, questioned the punishment, saying his client had merely assisted girlfriend Obana Vargras to get to a court table on August 19. Wong said she decided to punish Roy after he refused requests to stop what he was doing. The lawyer said Roy was not given a detailed allegation and was not given sufficient time to prepare his defence. Wong insisted she gave a verbal briefing to Roy. It was unclear, however, what specific behaviour she deemed a breach of the ordinance. In court on Thursday, Marwah said his client spoke Bengali as his mother tongue, but was given a Hindi interpreter. He also said Roy was also not given adequate time to seek legal assistance financially. Referring to the language difficulties, Marwah said: “It’s been very painful to take instruction from him [Roy]." “Then why did you accept the case if ... you don’t understand him?” Wong said. She handed down the fine after deciding that Roy understood the proceedings. Outside court, Roy said he had done nothing wrong and would appeal the decision.