Australia may appeal Indian doctor`s visa decision

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 15:51

Melbourne: A 36-year-old Indian doctor, who won an appeal in an Australian tribunal against his deportation, may face fresh trouble as immigration authorities have said they could challenge the verdict.

Suhail Durani had been held at an immigration detention centre in Perth since his release from Casuarina prison in February, where he served more than 18 months jail for indecently assaulting a patient at Royal Perth Hospital.

He was taken to the centre on the day he left Casuarina after federal immigration authorities terminated his visa. He then lodged an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to fight the deportation order, saying he should not be separated from his family.

In its review of the decision, the tribunal ruled yesterday the doctor should be allowed to keep his visa.

The Immigration Department said that it was now "exploring options" and could appeal the decision in the federal court, an AAP report said.

"We`re considering if there was an error of law," a spokeswoman said.

The department will provide advice to the immigration minister, who will decide whether to pursue the case, the report said.

Durani was jailed for more than 18 months for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old patient while examining her at Royal Perth Hospital`s emergency ward in February 2010.

Durani had said that he will now focus on challenging his conviction.

Australian Medical Association (AMA) Western Australia president Richard Choong was quoted as saying that the organisation had been assisting Durani`s family since he was moved into detention.

"We thought it was unfair because he wasn`t able to see his family," he said, adding that if Durani was successful in his appeal, he could return to practicing medicine in Australia.

He said the AMA WA would support Durani in pursuing the appeal, but not financially.

The tribunal yesterday stated if he was deported to India, his four-year-old son`s social, emotional and general wellbeing would be substantially affected.

The tribunal said it "has no doubt that cancellation of the visa is not in the best interests of the child."

The tribunal also found it`s "most unlikely" Durani would commit any serious offence again.

The review also included a statement from his wife Falaq. She said she was afraid if her husband did not stay in Australia it would be traumatic for her family.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 15:51

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