(Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Appeal Number: HU/05274/2018
THE IMMIGRATION ACTS
Heard at Field House
Decision & Reasons Promulgated
On 24 January 2019
On 5 February 2019
DEPUTY UPPER TRIBUNAL JUDGE SHAERF
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
MUZAMMAL TEHSEEN IQBAL
(anonymity direction not made)
For the Appellant: Ms S Cunha of the Specialist Appeals Team
For the Respondent: Mr M Iqbal of Counsel instructed by NR Legal, solicitors
DECISION AND REASONS
1. The Respondent to whom I shall refer as "the Applicant" is a Pakistani born on 6 February 1975. On 28 October 2006 he entered with leave as a student. This leave was extended on a number of occasions and converted to leave as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant under the Points-Based Scheme. On 10 June 2016 he applied for indefinite leave which application on 7 October 2016 was varied so as to be made on the basis of 10 years' continuous residence.
The SSHD's decision
2. On 15 March 2018 the Appellant (the SSHD) refused the application on the basis that the various errors in the Appellant's tax returns were such as to amount to conduct which having regard to the public interest made the grant to him of further leave undesirable. The SSHD relied on paragraphs 322(5) and 276B of the Immigration Rules.
3. On 20 February 2018 the Appellant lodged notice of appeal. The grounds are general.
Proceedings in the First-tier Tribunal
4. By a decision promulgated on 16 November 2018 Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Zahed allowed the appeal on human rights grounds. He analysed the content of the Appellant's tax returns for the periods covering his applications for further leave of 16 February 2011 and 19 April 2013 and referred to the Appellant's amended tax return of 12 January 2016. The Judge noted the Appellant had commenced proceedings in negligence in the County Court against his former accountants and that the proceedings had been settled on the basis that the Accountants had admitted liability and agreed to pay substantial damages at the monthly rate of £800. The Judge referred to the bank statements which the Applicant had submitted to show that he had received the earnings which he had claimed in his application for further leave.
5. The SSHD sought permission to appeal. The grounds refer to and quote from the judgments in R (Samant) v SSHD HU/6546/2016, R (Abbasi) v SSHD HU/13807/2016 and R (Khan) v SSHD  UKUT 384 (IAC). The grounds make no reference to the negligence proceedings which had been settled in the Applicant's favour. On 6 December 2018 Judge of the First-tier Tribunal Andrew granted the SSHD permission to appeal. She found it arguable that the Judge had not taken account of the guidance in the three judicial review cases just mentioned.
The hearing in the Upper Tribunal
6. The Applicant attended. I explained the purpose of the hearing and procedure to be followed. He confirmed his current address but otherwise took no active part in the proceedings.
Submissions for the SSHD
7. Ms Cunha for the SSHD acknowledged the Applicant's successful conclusion of the County Court proceedings but nevertheless relied on the learning in R (Khan) especially paragraph 37(iv) that for an applicant simply to blame his or her accountant for an 'error' in relation to an historical tax return will not be the end of the matter and that failure to remedy the situation itself justifies a conclusion he has been deceitful or dishonest. She referred to the length of time which it had taken the Appellant to realise there was a problem at his accountants. I drew her attention to the evidence in the Applicant's bundle before the First-tier Tribunal and in particular the Applicant's witness statement of 21 September 2018 and the letters from the Applicant's erstwhile business partner at pages 108-109 of the Appellant's bundle who had been the liaison with the accountants.
8. I indicated that I did not need to hear from Mr Iqbal.
Consideration and conclusions
9. The Applicant had been open with SSHD about difficulties with his tax affairs at the interview of which the record is to be found at section J of the SSHD's bundle. The County Court proceedings and evidence of payment of damages were before the Judge who referred to them when making his findings of fact which findings were adequately and sustainably reasoned. There was no suggestion that any of them was perverse.
10. In consequence I find the decision of the First-tier Tribunal did not contain an error of law and so it shall stand.
11. I remain puzzled why, if the Judge's decision had been read, the SSHD sought to appeal in the terms which he did and why permission to appeal was granted on that basis.
12. There was no request for an anonymity direction and having heard the appeal consider none is warranted.
SUMMARY OF DECISION
The decision of the First-tier Tribunal does not contain an error of law and shall stand.
No anonymity direction is made.
Signed/Official Crest Date 25. i. 2019
Designated Judge Shaerf
A Deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal