General News of Monday, 2 October 2017
Ashok Kumar Sivaram, an Indian businessman has dragged Kwame Takyi, Controller of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) before an Accra High Court for contempt.
The businessman wants the court to jail the GIS boss over his failure to carry out the orders of the court. According to Ashok the orders of the court were clear, unambiguous and the respondent knows what to do. The Court presided over by Mrs. Justice Naa Adorley Azu on September 18, 2017 ordered Mr. Takyi to restore within seven days Ashok’s work and residence permit he had earlier canceled.
Garry Nimako Marfo, lawyer for the applicant in an affidavit in support of the application for committal said although the GIS boss is aware of the decision of the court he is adamant.
It said, “the respondent knows or ought to know that the orders of the court are valid and must be complied with.” The application for committal further argued that it is patently clear that Mr. Takyi being a professional lawyer knows the full force and effect of the court orders insisting that “…and thus his decision not to restore my residence and work permit within the seven days as ordered by the court is a deliberate and willful attempt to undermine the authority of the high court”.
The court on Friday dismissed motion a filed by the Attorney-General against an order directing the GIS Controller to restore Ashok’s work and residence permit. According to the court, the application was an attempt to return the Respondent to the status of an illegal immigrant.
In the view of the judge, if the application of the AG was granted, it would place the Ashok in the mercy of the applicant indicating that the court was not sure any harm would be caused the AG if same was not granted. She said it is not clear if per the arguments of the AG represented by Jasmine Armah, the “GIS is not subject to the laws of Ghana”.
The court had granted the applicant’s request for injunction restraining the GIS from harassing the Indian businessman in whatever shape or form until the permit is issued.
The court’s orders follow an application for mandamus filed by lawyers of the Indian businessman challenging the cancellation of his work and residence permit leading to his subsequent deportation by the GIS. Ashok was asking the court to make an order of Mandamus directed at the respondents-the Minister of Interior and Director/Controller of Immigration to restore his residence/work permit which was cancelled by the GIS on the basis of a Deportation Order dated May 15, 2017 which was quashed by the High Court in a ruling dated July 31, 2017.
In a 21-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by one Cecilia Boatemaa Tufuor, an Assistant State Attorney, the AG insists that if the orders of the court were not stayed, it would open the floodgates for persons within the category of Ashok to use judicial means to prevent the GIS from performing its mandate adding “this may further put the security of the nation at stake.”
She argued that if the order was not stayed it would serve as a precedent for others to resort to the court for the grant of residence/work permit though same had been revoked legally.
The Assistant State Attorney further averred that the orders of the judge ought to be stayed in order not to serve as a precedent for the grant of immunity to a party from the consequences of breaching an act of Parliament.
According to her, the order by the court was “a direct interference with the work of the Ghana Immigration Service.