Toronto, Oct 16: A Canada-born man of Indian descent, who has served time in jail, has claimed that the Canadian government has trampled on his constitutional rights by trying to render him stateless and force him out of the country.
Deepan Budlakoti, 23, appealed before a federal judge to rule that he is “a Canadian citizen” and stop the efforts of federal ministers to render him “stateless, contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms”, the Globe And Mail reported Wednesday.
“It’s insane that the (Stephen) Harper government is taking this position against a Canadian-born man who has lived his entire life here,” said Yavar Hameed, the lawyer for Budlakoti.
The government must respond to the suit by next week, according to the report.
Budlakoti holds a birth certificate issued by the Canadian province of Ontario but his passport has been revoked by Canadian authorities who want to deport him to India, a country he has never been to.
Ottawa contends that when Budlakoti was born in October 1989, his parents had come to work as household support staff at the Indian high commission in Ottawa and thus their child was covered by diplomatic immunity and not entitled to Canadian citizenship.
Both of Deepan’s parents were granted Canadian citizenship after they applied for it but Deepan’s name was omitted from the application because they were allegedly told by Canadian officials that he was already Canadian.
According to the report, the then Indian high commissioner, in a letter made public last month, has confirmed that at the time of Deepan’s birth, the Budlakotis were no longer working for him.
India, however, told Canada that Deepan is not an Indian citizen and it will not issue him a passport or allow his entry into the country.