Family separated as court supports deportation order

A MOTHER was separated from her seven children last night when the High Court turned down a last-ditch appeal against a Home Office order that she should be deported to her native Punjab.

Campaigners for the woman, who has been in Britain for eight years, say she does not know when - or even if - she will see her family again. She was uanble to say goodbye to them last night as the ruling was made less than 15 minutes before her plane was due to leave Gatwick airport.

As six of the children are wards of court, in the care of the eldest daughter, they cannot go abroad without the permission of a judge. The family cannot be identified because of the wardship case.

After accepting deportation as inevitable, the woman yesterday asked Kenneth Clarke, the Home Secretary, for leave to stay in Britain for a few more days, enabling her to seek a court order to take her children to India. But in a decision that stunned her legal advisers, Mr Clarke insisted that she should leave last night. The High Court said it had no power to review his order.

Lawyers who had previously described the case as a significant test of children's rights in immigration proceedings said the Home Office had adopted an unexpectedly tough approach.

Usha Sood, a barrister and campaigner for the family, said her anger was all the greater as the Home Office had appeared sympathetic to their plight earlier in the day, only to dash their hopes later. 'Even a condemned person is allowed to meet their family for the last time. What has she done to be treated with less dignity than a condemned person? The children are totally distraught.

'Why was there such a hurry? What difference would it have made if she was allowed to stay in Britain a few more days to apply to deward her children. It seems so barbaric. If this happened to English people in another country we would call it fascist. It is ignoring the children's rights.'

A Home Office spokesman said Mr Clarke had refused to postpone the deportation order because he was doubtful whether the courts would give permission for the children to leave Britain.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Clarke made clear he believed the woman had used wardship proceedings as a device to avoid removal. In so doing, the family had created its own difficulties, he said. Observers said the Home Office had been concerned that the case should not set a precedent.

The family had come to Britain seven years ago to visit relatives and, while here, had applied for asylum when their home was destroyed in the rioting that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. This was refused and they were issued with deportation notices in 1988. In 1990, they lost their final appeal and the father was deported last year.

The two youngest children were born in Britain, and none can read or write any of the Indian languages, according to Ms Sood. As a result, if they are ever able to rejoin their mother in the Punjab, they will be at a serious disadvantage in school. They have won considerable sympathy in Nottingham, where local MPs and religious leaders have been among those campaigning for them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Offshore Wind Grid Connection Specialist

£50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

SEN Science Teacher

£21804 - £31868 per annum + SEN allowance: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are ...

Media Studies Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting for a M...

History Teacher

£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices