Singh Popinder v Torture Claims Appeal Board / Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office [Decision On Leave Application]

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCAL414/2017
Judgment Date:31 Jan 2018
Neutral Citation:[2018] HKCFI 138
HCAL414/2017 SINGH POPINDER v. TORTURE CLAIMS APPEAL BOARD / NON-REFOULEMENT CLAIMS PETITION OFFICE

HCAL414/2017
[2018] HKCFI 138

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW LIST No. 414 of 2017

BETWEEN

Singh Popinder Applicant
and
Torture Claims Appeal Board / Non-Refoulement Claims Petition Office Putative Respondent
Director of Immigration Putative Interested Party

Application for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review

NOTIFICATION of the Judge’s decision (Ord. 53 r. 3)

Following;

consideration of the documents only; or
consideration of the documents and oral submissions by the Applicant in open court;

Order by Deputy High Court Judge Woodcock:

Leave to apply for Judicial Review refused.

Observations for the Applicant (Order by Deputy High Court Judge Woodcock):

1. The applicant is an Indian national who entered Hong Kong on 10 December 2013 and had permission to remain as a visitor for 14 days. However, he did not leave and overstayed from 25 December 2013. He was arrested by the police on 14 January 2014. He then lodged a non-refoulement protection claim which was rejected by the Director of Immigration (“the Director”) on 7 April 2016 and 24 January 2017. He lodged an appeal/petition to the Torture Claims Appeal Board (“TCAB”) which rejected his appeal on 7 July 2017. He then filed a notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review on 17 July 2017. The applicant requested an oral hearing which was set down for 10 November 2017 and he appeared in person.

2. The basis of the applicant’s claim was that if he were to be refouled to India he would be harmed or even killed by his uncle because of a land dispute. Both the Director and the adjudicator of the TCAB set out the applicant’s claim and evidence in full in their decisions therefore, I only intend to summarise it here. The applicant was born in 1990, had 16 years of education, was single and had never worked before leaving India for Hong Kong. The applicant comes from a middle-class landowning family. His grandfather owned land which he transferred in equal shares to his two sons. In 2002, the applicant’s father left India to work in the United Kingdom. His uncle then questioned whether the applicant’s father should retain ownership of his 50% of the land. The applicant was living on the land at the time with his family.

3. In October 2012, the applicant’s uncle visited the applicant’s home and invited his older brother to drink with him outside. The family found him dead the next morning and it was confirmed he had been poisoned. They suspected the uncle but were afraid to report him to the police because he was a politically connected man. Six months later, the uncle came again and demanded the applicant and his mother surrender the land to him. They refused and accused him of murdering the elder brother. He hinted to the applicant’s mother that she may lose the applicant as well if she did not agree to transfer the land.

4. Several months after this incident, the applicant was beaten up by several men he recognised as associates of his uncle outside his college. They told him to give up his land. His mother advised him to leave for his maternal grandparent’s home about 50 km away. About a week later the applicant saw his uncle approaching with some men but he managed to escape through the back...

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