Supreme Court quashes High Court order that restored Indian businessman's resident permit

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson

The Supreme Court has quashed a High Court decision that ordered the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to restore the resident and work permits of an Indian businessman, Mr Ashok Kumar Sivaram.

In a unanimous decision on Thursday morning, the five-member panel of the Supreme Court, held that the High Court had no business to order the GIS to restore the permits because the businessman failed to exhaust the administrative process.

The businessman, the court held, should have petitioned the Minister of Interior within 7 days after his permits were revoked by the GIS as stipulated by Section 46 of the Immigration Act , Act 573 before going to court.

“The High Court had no business to go into the case when the Minister had not been given the opportunity to hear a redress, the court held.

Read also: Restore work permit of Indian businessman Sivaram in 7 days – Court to GIS

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The panel was presided over by Mr Justice Julius Ansah with Mr Justice A.A Benin, Mr Justice Sule Gbagegbe, Mr Justice Yaw Appau and Mr Justice Gabriel Pwamang as the other members.

High Court decision

In September, 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.

Related: Court orders Immigration to grant Indian businessman residence permit

The court’s decision followed an application for mandamus filed by Mr Sivaram, which named Mr Takyi and the Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, as respondents

In the said application, the businessman wanted the court to compel the respondents to restore his residence and work permits, which were cancelled by the service following his deportation on June 1, 2017, on the basis that his deportation was quashed by the High Court on July 31, 2017.

The said permits, valid for two years, were issued by the GIS to the businessman on November 24, 2016.

Related: Indian businessman sues Immigration boss for contempt of court