Judge stresses 'duty of candour' in dismissing couple's deportation challenge

The Pakistani nationals had asked the court to quash decisions of the Minister for Justice refusing them permission to remain in the State, as well as subsequent deportation orders
Judge stresses 'duty of candour' in dismissing couple's deportation challenge

High Court reporters

A High Court judge has dismissed a couple’s legal challenge to immigration refusals and deportation orders, while stressing the “duty of candour” litigants are subject to.

Mr Justice Mark Hyland said a failure to comply with the obligation of good faith disentitled the man and woman to the discretionary relief they sought from the court.

In his ruling published on Wednesday, the judge acknowledged references submitted about both applicants indicating they are of good character, anxious to make a positive contribution to Irish society, and are keen to educate and care for their child in this State. This is to their credit, and his decision to refuse the reliefs does not take away from that, he said.

The Pakistani nationals had asked the court to quash decisions of the Minister for Justice refusing them permission to remain in the State, as well as subsequent deportation orders.

The judge noted the man married a Slovakian national several years ago when his now-partner (the other applicant) was about three months pregnant with their child.

Through the Garda Operation Vantage, the marriage was found to be one of convenience, the judge said. It was discovered the applicants were living together with their child, while the man’s EU-national wife had returned to Slovakia immediately following the wedding ceremony.

The judge said the couple did not disclose this convenience finding in their respective affidavits to the court.

The man noted in his sworn statement that he had married the woman and was thus granted six months' permission to remain. He claimed she left Ireland about six months into their marriage, informing him her mother was sick.

He said he has had no further contact with her, they are now separated, and he is in the process of obtaining a divorce.

In pursuing a right to remain in the State, the applicants claimed they would be persecuted or killed if they returned to Pakistan because they have a child together out of wedlock.

The judge noted that, despite the foregoing fear, the man obtained a false marriage certificate for the couple to get a Pakistani birth certificate for their child in order to enable visits to family.

In dismissing their action, Mr Justice Heslin said the court had an entitlement to expect the applicants would be candid about the relevant facts, but it does not appear they have been.

He also said the couple’s challenge was made out of time and “utterly failed” to demonstrate any flaw in the way the Minister conducted exercises to reach the decisions.

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