CAT/C/23/D/86/1997
page 3
November 1993, four Sikh militants wanted by the police hid in his sugar-cane field. The police
questioned him about the militants and, not convinced that he had nothing to do with them,
arrested him. He was tortured while in detention. Among other methods of torture, the police
hung him from the ceiling and then abruptly released the rope holding him up, whereupon he fell
to the floor, dislocating his shoulder. He was released on 29 November 1993 after his brother
had handed over a sum of money and on condition that he collaborate with the police. He
decided to move to Panchkula, in Haryana province, and then to New Delhi, where he obtained a
passport. During his stay in Panchkula, the police harassed his wife to make her say where he
was. On 5 February 1994, she too was arrested.
2.2
The author states that he paid an agent to help him obtain a Canadian visa.
On 10 June 1994, he left India for the United Kingdom, where he stayed for some months before
going on to Canada.
2.3
On 30 August 1994, the author applied for refugee status, but his application was rejected
in February 1996 by the Immigration and Refugee Board. He then applied to the Federal Court
for leave to seek judicial review of the rejection. That application was rejected on 17 June 1996.
Finally, the author submitted his case to a “post-claim determination officer” at the Ministry of
Citizenship and Immigration to determine whether he could settle in the country as a
“non-recognized applicant for refugee status in Canada”. Before granting that status, an
immigration officer must determine whether repatriation would constitute a risk to the
applicant’s life or safety.
2.4
On 23 September 1996, the immigration officer determined that the applicant was not
one of those covered by the risk of return programme. The author was therefore summoned to
the Immigration Centre on 22 October 1996 so that an expulsion order could be served on him.
The author claims that the post-claim determination officer’s decision was illogical, since it
merely repeated the decision of the Immigration and Refugee Board without taking into account
the reports1 of two health experts (a psychologist and a doctor) who had concluded that his
allegations of torture were credible. The psychologist had diagnosed “a state of chronic
post-traumatic stress caused by his illegal detentions and the torture and police brutality he had
been subjected to in prison, death threats, police brutality to his wife which he had witnessed,
death threats and a major bout of depression caused by the loss of significant social roles”.
The complaint
3.
The author argued that he would be imprisoned, tortured or even killed if he returned to
India, where human rights violations within the meaning of article 3, paragraph 2, of the
Convention are frequent, particularly against Sikhs; he provided reports from non-governmental
sources containing information to that effect. He also submits a medical certificate dated
28 August 1996, which confirms the existence of scars and conditions that may be consistent
with his allegations of torture. To support his complaint he refers to other decisions on asylum
in which the Canadian authorities recognize that Sikhs have been subject to persecution in India.
1

These reports are dated 23 June 1995 and 17 July 1995, respectively. According to the
doctor’s report, the author stated that he had also been tortured in detention in
December 1990 and July 1992.

Select target paragraph3