The High Court of Australia has refused to hear an appeal on behalf of a four-year-old Tharnicca whose Sri Lankan family are fighting to avoid deportation and want to return to the Queensland town of Biloela.
To understand this chapter of the family’s fight to stay in Australia, one has to understand their prolonged legal battle with the department of Immigration.
Nades Murugappan (father) and Priya Murugappan (mother) both came to Australia by boat and sought asylum in Australia alleging persecution in Sri Lanka for understandably their heritage and political views.
While their applications were being processed, they got married and decided to start their family. They now have two daughters Kopika and Tharnicca.
Both parents failed to convince Australia authorities of their claim of being refugees. They tried all legal avenues.
The Murugappan family had their asylum appeals to stay reviewed and rejected seven times through seven court and tribunal sessions.
They were on the plane, mid-air in August 2019 being deported to Sri Lanka when an injunction was granted by a Federal Court judge stopping their deportation on the basis that Tharnicca, their youngest daughter had not yet been assessed for a protection visa.
The injunction forced the plane to land in Darwin.
The family were then taken to Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre.
In September 2019, a Federal Court judge ruled that the Tharnicca (and hence the family) should remain in Australia until the case goes to a final hearing at a date to be determined.
Earlier this year the full bench of the Federal Court upheld that Tharnicaa had been denied procedural fairness when trying to apply for a protection visa to stay in Australia.
But the court also upheld the finding that Tharnicaa had not made a valid visa application back in 2019.
The family elected to challenge that in the High Court which required Speacial Leave of the High Court.
The litigation guardian (of Tharnicaa) sought special leave to appeal to the nation’s highest court, which has been declined.
The family and their lawyers believe, the Immigration minister, Alex Hawke will show compassion and use his discretionary powers to grant and not reject the family’s bid to stay in Australia.