On 15 August 2023, the High Court upheld the decision of the Minister for Justice to deport a Pakistani citizen who fraudulently impersonated his brother as a means to obtain permission to remain in the State, and whose “entire story was a fabrication”.
Barr J found that the applicant could not rely on the CJEU’s 2019 ruling in Case C-94/18 Chenchooliah v Minister for Justice and Equality (‘Chenchooliah’) that, as a person who previously held EU Treaty Rights in Ireland, he could not be deported pursuant to section of 3 of the Immigration Act, 1999 (‘section 3’). Barr J made this finding on the basis that the applicant’s fraud constituted an “essential difference” between the two cases. The High Court accordingly dismissed the application for judicial review.
The applicant arrived in Ireland in June 2015 with his brother, a UK citizen, and claimed that his brother was exercising his EU treaty rights within Ireland and that he (the applicant) was entitled to remain in Ireland on the basis that he was a “permitted family member” of his brother. The applicant continued to make this claim even after his brother left Ireland in August 2016. Following judicial review proceedings (during which the applicant submitted fraudulent documents including an employment contract that purportedly showed that his brother continued to work in Ireland), the Minister for Justice granted the applicant permission to remain in July 2020. The applicant’s fraud was discovered in late 2020, and the Minister for Justice indicated her intention to deport the applicant pursuant to section 3 in May 2021.
The applicant initiated judicial review proceedings in July 2021, arguing that his case came within the remit of the Chenchooliah jurisprudence and that he could not be deported pursuant to section 3, but instead should be afforded the broader protections offered by the removal process set out under Directive 2004/38/EC (the ‘Citizens Directive’).
Barr J examined the Chenchooliah case, noting that in that case an EU national was validly married to the applicant and was legitimately exercising his EU rights within Ireland, and there “was no question of fraud”. These circumstances contrasted with the present case, and Barr J therefore held that the ruling in Chenchooliah was not applicable.
The High Court also dismissed the applicant’s claim that he should have been afforded an oral hearing prior to the Minister for Justice taking the decision to deport him from the State. Barr J arrived at this conclusion for several reasons, including that the applicant had not contested the Minister’s finding that he had committed fraud, and had not addressed the Minister’s concerns when given an opportunity to do so through written submissions.
The High Court therefore held that the Minister for Justice was “perfectly entitled” to revoke the applicant’s immigration permission and to deport him in accordance with section 3, and accordingly refused all reliefs sought by the applicant. This matter will be listed for mention at 10:30am on 13 October 2023 for the purpose of making final orders.
Click here for the judgment in Muhammad Nasir Yaqub v The Minister for Justice  IEHC 500.