A bus driver sacked after relieving himself near his vehicle has told a tribunal there was “simply no possibility” the act had been seen by members of the public.
Pargat Singh said he had been left distraught and humiliated by a claim by one of his passengers that he had crouched down on a grass verge outside a supermarket, apparently preparing to defecate.
The 63-year-old driver, from Alderman’s Green, Coventry, was sacked last October, but is claiming unfair dismissal against Travel West Midlands.
Giving evidence through a Punjabi interpreter, Mr Singh told the tribunal he had urinated, but not defecated, behind the wall of a small building.
He said: “There was simply no possibility that anybody could have seen me doing what I did.
“The sort of behaviour attributed to me is not one that I would ever indulge in.
“The allegations have caused no end of distress, embarrassment and humiliation for me and my family.”
Mr Singh added that he believed the decision to dismiss him following the incident outside a Tesco superstore near Coventry’s Ricoh Arena was both unfair and unreasonable.
Asked to explain to the tribunal panel exactly what he did after leaving his vehicle on the afternoon of October 3 last year, the claimant insisted that he had neither crouched down nor squatted, but had merely bent his head and neck forward.
He also maintained that he had not dropped his trousers, as was alleged by a female passenger.
Earlier, Keith Hadley, a former operations director with West Midlands Travel, told the tribunal he had rejected an appeal against dismissal by Mr Singh last December after thoroughly investigating the matter.
Although he established that Mr Singh was “more likely than not” to have been urinating, his behaviour still warranted summary dismissal, Mr Hadley said.
Mr Hadley said of Mr Singh’s actions: “It could be classed as reckless - urinating in public is something that to me is unacceptable, it’s certainly unacceptable to the company.
“I formed the belief that it was gross misconduct ... and that the sanction [dismissal] was appropriate with all the evidence put forward.
“It was clearly something that I saw as inappropriate behaviour and something that I would not tolerate.”
In rejecting Mr Singh’s appeal, Mr Hadley concluded that the driver had not defecated, as was initially alleged.
Mr Hadley said that during the appeal he had taken into account a letter from an official at the claimant’s Sikh temple which stated that, because of the unusual underwear he wore, Mr Singh may have had to drop his trousers and stoop in order to urinate.
The hearing was adjourned until October 27.