Australian immigration examine options in Indian doctor case

Sydney, May 7 (IANS) Australian immigration authorities are looking at options after an Indian-origin doctor, convicted of sexually assaulting a patient, escaped deportation, local media reported Tuesday.

Suhail Durani, 36, walked free from an immigration detention centre in Western Australia state after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled in his favour during a hearing after he, facing deportation, filed an appeal.

The tribunal took into account the emotional stress that his wife and four-year-old son would have to undergo if he was to be deported before delivering its verdict.

Durani was found guilty of five charges of assaulting a 20-year-old patient Feb 20, 2010, at the Royal Perth Hospital and was convicted.

He was brought to the immigration detention centre in February this year and kept there after he served 18 months in Casuarune prison, south of Perth.

Australian immigration authorities say that they are still looking at options if they can appeal. According to an immigration department spokesperson, the department is looking at options if there has been an error in law.

Durani’s lawyer Shahid Shakur said his client planned to stay in the country.

“He is now a lawful, non-citizen holding a permanent resident visa in Australia,” ABC News quoted Shakur as saying.

He said his client was focussing on challenging the original conviction.

Meanwhile, president of the Western Australia unit of Australian Medical Association, Richard Soong, said the medical profession was closely following the case.

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