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Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
Having taken into account all information made available to it by the author of the
communication, his counsel and the State party,
Adopts its Views under article 22, paragraph 7, of the Convention.
1. The author of the communication is Mr. T.P.S., an Indian citizen born in 1952 who was
seeking asylum in Canada at the time the communication was registered. He claimed that his
forcible return to India would constitute a violation by Canada of article 3 of the Convention
against Torture. He is represented by counsel.
Facts as presented by the author
2.1 In January 1986, the author and four co-accused were convicted by a Pakistani court of
hijacking an Indian Airlines aeroplane in September 1981 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Counsel explains that no violence was used during the hijacking and that the plane, which was
on its way from New Delhi to Amritsar, landed safely in Lahore, where it was diverted. There
were no reports that any passenger had been mistreated. The purpose of the hijacking was to
draw attention to the general maltreatment of Sikhs by the Indian Government. The author
states that he was arrested within hours of the plane landing and forced to sign a confession at
gunpoint. He also states that he was held in pre-trial detention for four years without access to
counsel. It is not clear whether he claims to be innocent, but he argues that his trial was unfair
and the ensuing conviction unlawful.
2.2 In October 1994, the Government of Pakistan released the author and his co-accused on the
condition that they leave the country. The author states that he could not return to India for fear
of persecution. With the assistance of an agent and using a false name and passport, he arrived
in Canada in May 1995. Upon arrival he applied for refugee status under his false name and did
not reveal his true identity and history. In September 1995, the author was arrested and kept in
detention by Immigration authorities. He was later released on the condition that he reports once
a week to a Vancouver immigration office.
2.3 At the end of 1995, an immigration inquiry was opened against the author to determine
whether he had committed an offence outside Canada which, if committed in Canada, would
constitute an offence punishable by a maximum prison term of 10 years or more. His refugee
application was suspended. In the beginning of 1996, an adjudicator decided that the author had
committed such an offence and, as a result, a conditional deportation order was issued against
him. At the same time the Canadian Minister of Immigration was requested to render an opinion
whether the author constituted a danger to the Canadian public. Such a finding by the Minister
would prevent the author from having his refugee claim heard and would remove his avenues of
appeal under the Immigration Act.
2.4 The author successfully appealed the adjudicator's decision and a new inquiry was ordered
by the Federal Court of Canada. As a result of the second inquiry the author was again issued
with a conditional deportation order. No appeal against the decision was filed for lack of funds.
The Minister was again requested to render an opinion as to whether the author constituted a
danger to the public. The Minister issued a certificate so stating and the author was detained
with a view to his removal.
3.1 The author states that the use of torture against suspected Sikh militants in India is well
documented. He provides the Committee with articles and reports in that respect. He claims that
he has serious grounds to believe that he will be subjected to torture upon return to India.
Moreover, there is evidence that the Indian and Pakistani Governments have been actively
cooperating with Canadian enforcement officials to have the author expelled. Given that he has
already served his sentence, rightfully or wrongfully, and that he faces no charges for which he