QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF KANTHARAJAH||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT||(DEFENDANT)|
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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MISS K GALLAFENT (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"I do not believe the story of the arrest and escape."
She recognised that in the light of cases (such as, in particular, Jeyachandran) the question was whether the claimant was an exceptional case. In general, following the cease-fire in Sri Lanka, applicants for asylum will be sent back unless they can bring themselves into certain exceptional categories. The Adjudicator concluded that she did not fall into an exceptional category.
"Miss Chapman relied on the Refusal letter and referred me to the case of Jeyachandran  UKIATO1869 which deals with the current situation in Sri Lanka. She said that there were major inconsistencies/discrepancies in the appellant's story but was willing to accept that they may have arisen from misunderstandings rather than an attempt to deceive."
In the notes that paragraph is essentially reflected. The relevant part is as follows:
"Major inconsistencies in appellant's story. Mostly because she did not understand - not set out to deceive."
The reference I have just made to the Adjudicator's notes are in respect of the submissions of the Home Office presenting officer. There is also a note of the submissions of Mr Hussain for the claimant, and it is as follows:
"Cred witness - accepted by HOPO. No intent to mislead."
Mr McGivern submits that in the circumstances the Home Office presenting officer must be taken to have made a clear and unambiguous concession on credibility. He puts considerable weight understandably on the phrase "not set out to deceive". He submits that that demonstrates that what the Home Office presenting officer was saying was that this claimant should be accepted as a witness of truth.
"The fact that the Home Office presenting officer appears to have accepted the applicant's credibility in no sense bound the Adjudicator who has to make her own assessment of credibility."