A HIGH COURT judge has ordered the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) to return the passports of a Muslim missionary and his wife who risked deportation to India, leaving behind their three Trinidad-born sons.
Justice Vasheist Kokaram also ruled that the decision of the CIO to instruct Hafiz Mohammed Abdul Ghani Rashid and his wife Inayat Fatima to report to Piarco Airport on April 30, 2017, with return tickets to India, was illegal.
He has quashed the CIO’s orders, which also included the issuance of an order of supervision.
According to the judge, the authorities “must conduct a balancing exercise of the "best interest" principle with the legitimate goals of deportation when deportations affect the rights of children.
“The duty to protect and safeguard their interest can only be trumped by superior legitimate aims of deportation.”
The couple was represented by attorneys Jagdeo Singh, Criston J Williams, Kiel Tacklalsingh and Shirvani Ramkissoon.
The couple’s three sons were all born in Trinidad. No deportation proceedings had started for Rashid and his wife, who have been living in TT for 15 years.