Federal Court Decisions

Decision Information

Decision Content

Date: 20050105

Docket: IMM-9728-03

Citation: 2005 FC 2

Ottawa, Ontario, this 5th day of January, 2005



                                                                 SANKAR SEN





                                    REASONS FOR JUDGMENT AND JUDGMENT

[1]                Mr. Sankar Sen first came to Canada from Bangladesh in 1997. He claimed to have been the victim, as a Hindu, of political and religious persecution by Muslim fundamentalists. His refugee claim was dismissed by a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board in 1999, resulting in his return to Bangladesh in 2002. He says that conditions for Hindus had worsened during the intervening years, so he decided to come back to Canada. He made his second claim for refugee protection in 2003.

[2]                According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, a person whose first refugee claim was dismissed may not make a second claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (s. 101(1)(b); relevant provisions are set out in an Annex). However, the person is entitled to an assessment of the risk associated with removing him or her from Canada (s. 112). An immigration officer conducted a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) for Mr. Sen and believed Mr. Sen's description of violent attacks against him in the city of Chittagong, despite some concerns about the authenticity of some of the documentary evidence he supplied. However, the officer concluded that Mr. Sen could have found a safe refuge elsewhere in Bangladesh.

[3]                Mr. Sen argues that the PRRA officer erred in assessing the value of the documents corroborating his story and by ignoring evidence showing that he was not safe anywhere in Bangladesh.

[4]                I agree that the officer erred and will order that another officer reconsider Mr. Sen's PRRA application.

I. Issues

1.          Did the PRRA officer wrongly discount the value of Mr. Sen's documentary evidence?

2.          Did the PRRA officer ignore evidence showing that Mr. Sen had tried and failed to find a safe refuge within Bangladesh (i.e. an internal flight alternative)?

[5]                In light of my finding that the officer erred in respect of the second issue, it is unnecessary for me to consider the first. Another PRRA officer will have to assess the value of Mr. Sen's documentary evidence.

II. Analysis

Did the PRRA officer ignore evidence showing that Mr. Sen had tried and failed to find a safe refuge within Bangladesh ( i.e. an internal flight alternative)?

[6]                The officer accepted that Mr. Sen had been attacked and threatened in Chittagong, and that state officials in Bangladesh could not protect him. However, the officer went on to find that the authors of the violence against Mr. Sen were merely local gang members. Accordingly, he could simply move to a safer place within Bangladesh.

[7]                Mr. Sen's evidence, set out in his written narrative, was that Muslim fundamentalists had been looking for him at his home in Chittagong. To avoid them, he decided to live at his brother's house in a different neighbourhood. After an attack in December 2002, he decided to move to a village called Uttar Vurshi to live with another relative. He learned from his brother that he was still being sought and that his attackers had been looking for him at his country house in Chandanaish. He moved again, this time to Sylhet. But he was attacked once more, and decided to leave the country.

[8]                The officer's duty was to consider whether it was reasonable for Mr. Sen to flee to a safe place within Bangladesh rather than seek Canada's protection:Thirunavukkarasu v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [1994] 1 F.C. 589 (C.A.), [1993] F.C.J. No. 1172 (QL). In order to answer that question properly, the officer was obliged to consider and weigh the relevant evidence. Here, the officer did analyze documentary evidence relating to the overall circumstances for Hindus in Bangladesh. However, the officer did not consider Mr. Sen's description of his unsuccessful attempts to find safe refuge in various locations throughout Bangladesh. Therefore, the officer's decision must be set aside because it was made without regard to the relevant evidence. (Federal Courts Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-7, s. 18.1(4)(d)).

[9]                Neither party proposed a question of general importance for me to certify, and none is stated.



1. The application for judicial review is allowed;

2. The matter is returned to another officer for reconsideration.

3. No question of general importance is stated.

                                                                                                                             "James W. O'Reilly"           



Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27


101. (1) A claim is ineligible to be referred to the Refugee Protection Division if


(b) a claim for refugee protection by the claimant has been rejected by the Board;

Application for protection

112. (1) A person in Canada, other than a person referred to in subsection 115(1), may, in accordance with the regulations, apply to the Minister for protection if they are subject to a removal order that is in force or are named in a certificate described in subsection 77(1).

(2) Despite subsection (1), a person may not apply for protection if

(a) they are the subject of an authority to proceed issued under section 15 of the Extradition Act;

(b) they have made a claim to refugee protection that has been determined under paragraph 101(1)(e) to be ineligible;

(c) in the case of a person who has not left Canada since the application for protection was rejected, the prescribed period has not expired; or

(d) in the case of a person who has left Canada since the removal order came into force, less than six months have passed since they left Canada after their claim to refugee protection was determined to be ineligible, abandoned, withdrawn or rejected, or their application for protection was rejected.


(3) Refugee protection may not result from an application for protection if the person

(a) is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights or organized criminality;           (b) is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality with respect to a conviction in Canada punished by a term of imprisonment of at least two years or with respect to a conviction outside Canada for an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years;

(c) made a claim to refugee protection that was rejected on the basis of section F of Article 1 of the Refugee Convention; or

(d) is named in a certificate referred to in subsection 77(1).

Federal Courts Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. F-7

Grounds of review

18.1(4) The Federal Court may grant relief under subsection (3) if it is satisfied that the federal board, commission or other tribunal


(d) based its decision or order on an erroneous finding of fact that it made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it;

Loi sur l'Immigration et la protection des réfugiés, L.C. 2001, ch. 27


101. (1) La demande est irrecevable dans les cas suivants_:


b) rejet antérieur de la demande d'asile par la Commission;

Demande de protection

112. (1) La personne se trouvant au Canada et qui n'est pas visée au paragraphe 115(1) peut, conformément aux règlements, demander la protection au ministre si elle est visée par une mesure de renvoi ayant pris effet ou nommée au certificat visé au paragraphe 77(1).

(2) Elle n'est pas admise à demander la protection dans les cas suivants_:

a) elle est visée par un arrêté introductif d'instance pris au titre de l'article 15 de la Loi sur l'extradition;

b) sa demande d'asile a été jugée irrecevable au titre de l'alinéa 101(1)e);

c) si elle n'a pas quitté le Canada après le rejet de sa demande de protection, le délai prévu par règlement n'a pas expiré;

d) dans le cas contraire, six mois ne se sont pas écoulés depuis son départ consécutif soit au rejet de sa demande d'asile ou de protection, soit à un prononcé d'irrecevabilité, de désistement ou de retrait de sa demande d'asile.


(3) L'asile ne peut être conféré au demandeur dans les cas suivants_:

a) il est interdit de territoire pour raison de sécurité ou pour atteinte aux droits humains ou internationaux ou criminalité organisée;

b) il est interdit de territoire pour grande criminalité pour déclaration de culpabilité au Canada punie par un emprisonnement d'au moins deux ans ou pour toute déclaration de culpabilité à l'extérieur du Canada pour une infraction qui, commise au Canada, constituerait une infraction à une loi fédérale punissable d'un emprisonnement maximal d'au moins dix ans;

c) il a été débouté de sa demande d'asile au titre de la section F de l'article premier de la Convention sur les réfugiés;

d) il est nommé au certificat visé au paragraphe 77(1).

Loi sur les Cours fédérales, L.R.C. 1985, c. F-7


18.1(4) Les mesures prévues au paragraphe (3) sont prises si la Cour fédérale est convaincue que l'office fédéral, selon le cas_:


d) a rendu une décision ou une ordonnance fondée sur une conclusion de fait erronée, tirée de façon abusive ou arbitraire ou sans tenir compte des éléments dont il dispose;



DOCKET:                                           IMM-9728-03



PLACE OF HEARING:                     TORONTO, ON

DATE OF HEARING:                       November 3, 2004



DATED:                                              January 5, 2005


Douglas Lehrer                          FORTHE APPLICANT

Jamie Todd                                           FOR THE RESPONDENT



Toronto, Ontario                                   FOR THE APPLICANT


Deputy Attorney General of Canada

Toronto, Ontario                                   FOR THE RESPONDENT

 You are being directed to the most recent version of the statute which may not be the version considered at the time of the judgment.