- “If the government does not allow our boss to return, we will march to the Immigration office and the Flagstaff house. As a nation, we are also crying for investors to come and create businesses, but if this is how we will treat them, where will the jobs come from,’’ he fumed.
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has deported Mr Ashok Kumar Sivaram, an Indian businessman, three days after the Supreme Court quashed a High Court decision that ordered the restoration of his residence and work permits which were revoked by the GIS.
According to sources, Mr Sivaram was whisked away from his house at Laterbiokoshie in Accra on Sunday around 10am by six immigration officials.
But his deportation has enraged workers of Mr Sivaram’s company, Jai Mai Communications Limited, which specialises in the installation and maintenance of fibre optic cables.
The workers, numbering about 30, staged a demonstration at the company premises at Laterbiokoshie on Monday demanding the return of the businessman
Clad in red armbands and chanting war-like songs, the workers called on the government to allow their Chief Executive Officer back into the country in order to protect their jobs.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as “Bring back our boss”, “We need him now” “Mr President please intervene’’ and “Please do not sack investors’’.
One of the workers, who identified himself as Ali, told the Daily Graphic that hey staged the demonstration because of fears that the deportation of their boss would result in job losses.
According to him, Jai Mai Communications employed about 300 workers, who are working on fibre optic projects all over the country.
“If the government does not allow our boss to return, we will march to the Immigration office and the Flagstaff house. As a nation, we are also crying for investors to come and create businesses, but if this is how we will treat them, where will the jobs come from,’’ he fumed.
Another worker, Kwame, begged the government to reconsider its decision to deport the businessman, and rather give him an opportunity to regularize his stay in the country.
Graphic Online made efforts to get in touch with the GIS for their side of the story, but all phone calls and text messages were not answered.
Permits restoration quashed
Mr Sivaram was deported because he had no legal status to be in the country following a Supreme Court decision.
On March 8, 2018, the Supreme Court quashed a decision by the Accra High Court which ordered Comptroller General of the GIS to restore Mr Sivaram’s residence and work permits which were revoked by the GIS.
In a unanimous decision, the five member panel of the apex court held that the High Court had no legal standing to issue the order because Mr Sivaram failed to exhaust all administrative process before going to court.
The businessman, the court, held should have petitioned the Minister of Interior within seven days when his residence and work permits were revoked by the GIS as stipulated by Section 46 of the immigration Act, (200), (ACT 573), before heading to court.
According to Section 46 of Act 573, when an immigrant is dissatisfied with the revocation of his permits by the GIS, he should petition the Minister of Interior, who will then set up a committee to investigate the revocation and advise him accordingly.
The act stipulates that the committee shall not include any personnel of the GIS.
In view of Mr Sivaram’s failure to follow the act, the court ruled that the High Court should not have entertained the businessman’s application for mandamus to compel the GIS to restore his permits.
The ruling by the court was followed a certiorari application filed by the Attorney-General (A-G) seeking the court to quash the order by the High Court.
Since May 2017, Mr Sivaram had been embroiled in a bitter legal warfare with the GIS from the High Court all the day to the Supreme Court to ensure that he continues to reside in the country.
The GIS accused Mr Sivaram of using a fake marriage certificate to support his application for permit residence and, therefore, deported him on June 1, 2017, per a deportation order signed by the Minster of Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery on May 15, 2017.
Not happy with the deportation, lawyers for the Mr Sivaram filed an application for judicial review by way of certiorari for the order to be nullified by the Accra High Court.
On July 31, 2017, the High Court, presided over byMr Justice Kweku T Ackah-Boafo, quashed the deportation order on the basis that the Interior Minister exceeded his jurisdiction when he determined that Indian had engaged in fraud.
Based on the court’s decision, Mr Sivaram, flew back to the country on August 2, 2017, but was detained at the KIA premises by GIS officials.
His lawyers went back to the High Court and the court on August 4, 2017, ordered his immediate release.
According to the court, the GIS had not charged the businessman with any offence to warrant the detention.
Mr Sivaram’s lawyers, then initiated another legal case by filing a mandamus application at the High Court to compel the GIS to restore his residence and work permits, which were cancelled by the service following his deportation on June 1, 2017.
He wanted the Accra High Court to order the GIS to restore his permits on the basis that his deportation was quashed by the High Court on July 31.
On September 18, 2017, the High Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Naa Adoley Azu, ordered the Comptroller -General of the GIS, Mr Kwame Takyi to restore the businessman’s resident and work permits within 7 days.
The High Court also ordered the GIS boss or any person working under his authority not to make any attempt to deport the businessman or “harass him in whatever shape or form’’ prior to the issuance of the permits.
The said permits, valid for two years, were issued by the GIS to the businessman on November 24, 2016.
It was this decision by the court that was quashed by the Supreme Court on March 8, 2018, and which facilitated Mr Sivaram’s deportation last Sunday.