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Indo-Canadian youth to be deported in accident case

An NRI involved in a car accident that killed a woman is to be deported to India after he lost a court battle.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2005 12:48 IST

An Indo-Canadian man involved in a car accident that killed a woman is to be deported to India after he lost a court battle to stay on in the country.

Bahadur Singh Bhalru, who was trying to avoid deportation, lost his case after Federal Court Judge Paul Rouleau ordered that he be sent back to India, the South Asian Observer reported.

The 26-year-old was street racing with a friend in November 2000 when the accident occurred, killing Irene Thorpe, 51.

Bhalru, who was sentenced in the case, had contended before the court that he had already been sentenced for his crime and deporting him would amount to a "double punishment".

Canadian law has recently been amended to incorporate a new rule under which permanent residents can be deported to countries of their origin for serious crime. The case generated a lot of heat as some quarters alleged that the whole case was racially motivated.

Bhalru's lawyer argued that he would risk harassment if he was sent back to India, a country he left a decade ago. But Rouleau found that the risk was just a speculation.

In his ruling that judge said: "There has been no persuasive evidence that he faces a substantial danger of being tortured if returned home. At best, it can be said that if Indian authorities become aware of his Canadian criminal conviction, he could be ostracised and harassed."

Visibly upset at the court decision, Bhalru's lawyer Zool Suleman said: "He is obviously very disappointed. He was hopeful and he's absorbing the decision and dealing with it."

The broader issue of the case, he said, was whether immigration policies should be applied to further punish people who have already gone through the judicial system.

First Published: Sep 16, 2005 12:48 IST