Raina v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCT 684 (CanLII) | Cases | Cases

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Date: 20030530

 

Docket: IMM-4351-02

 

Citation: 2003 FCT 684

 

Ottawa, Ontario, this 30th day of May, 2003.

 

Present:          THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE KELEN                              

 

 

BETWEEN:

 

                                                     HARJINDER KAUR RAINA

 

                                                                                                                                             Applicant

                                                                        - and -

 

 

                                                            THE MINISTER OF

                                             CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

 

                                                                                                                                          Respondent

 

 

 

                                            REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER

 

 

 

[1]             This is an application for judicial review of the decision of the Convention Refugee Determination Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (the "Board"), dated May 1, 2002, wherein the applicant was found not to be a Convention refugee.

 

 

 

[2]                The applicant is a 42-year old female citizen of India who claims to have a well-founded fear of persecution based on her religion as a Sikh and her membership in a particular social group of Sikhs living in the Indian province of Kashmir. The applicant alleges that after her marriage in 1987 she lived with her husband in a predominantly Muslim village in Kashmir. Her husband was a strong pro-India activist who openly advocated that Jammu and Kashmir remain part of India. Due to his political activities, the applicant's husband was shot and killed by Muslim militants outside his grocery store during the first week of October 2000. The militants also left a note threatening to kill the applicant. The applicant went into hiding with her young son for 2 months in India before being brought to Canada by two strangers. She was not accompanied by her son and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

 

[3]             The Board denied the applicant's claim, citing identity and credibility as the determinative issues. A number of errors in the applicant's identity documents were noted by the Board, and the panel also highlighted inconsistencies between those documents and information supplied by the applicant in her PIF and her testimony. As a result, the Board was unable to find the claimant was Harjinder Kaur Raina. The Board also found that the applicant was not a credible witness due to numerous inconsistencies, omissions and contradictions in her testimony and inconsistencies between her PIF and oral testimony. The Board also found that the applicant produced two newspaper articles about her plight which were fraudulent.

 

[4]             The applicant now contests many of the panel's findings that gave rise to its determinations on identity and credibility. Matters of credibility are within the expertise of the Board and are reviewed by this Court using a standard of patent unreasonableness, see Chen v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 FCT 1194 (CanLII), 2002 FCT 1194 at para. 4 and Baran v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCT 227 (CanLII), 2003 FCT 227 at para. 5. The same standard is used when reviewing the Board's findings with respect to the authenticity of documents, see Aboubacar v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 FCT 162 (CanLII), 2002 FCT 162 at paras. 11-13. In her submissions, the applicant is in effect asking the Court to reassess the evidence before the Board. That is not the role of this Court and is an insufficient basis to justify judicial intervention, see Dhindsa v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2001 FCT 93 (CanLII), 2001 FCT 93 at para. 45.

 

[5]                The applicant also argues that the Board erred in its findings by not giving sufficient consideration to a psychiatric report indicating the applicant suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder. The applicant contends that the severity of her symptoms implies that she may not be able to present her case in a consistent and credible manner due to reasons beyond her control. It is submitted that where the panel is aware of such symptoms and that an applicant is on medication for trauma related problems, it errs by applying the regular test of credibility.

 

 

[6]                There is no substance to the applicant's submissions on this point. The assessment of credibility does not require the application of a definitive "test". It is a determination that must be made by careful examination of all of the evidence that is presented. The Board discussed the psychiatric report in its decision and was clearly aware of its contents. From these statements, the Court can infer that the conclusions found in that report were taken into consideration by the panel when it was assessing the applicant's credibility. It would be illogical to conclude otherwise. Furthermore, it was reasonable for the Board to accept the psychiatrist's diagnosis but still find that the applicant's condition did not result from the incidents alleged in her claim. On this point, see Mylvaganam v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2000] F.C.J. No. 1195 at para. 8 (T.D.) (QL), Syed v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [2000] F.C.J. 597 at paras. 21 and 25 (T.D.) (QL), and Kuanzambi v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2002 FCT 1307 (CanLII), 2002 FCT 1307 at para. 50. While the opinions of psychiatrists and psychologists are an important aid for the Board, they cannot usurp the Board's role as the primary finder of facts.

 

[7]                The following question was proposed for certification by the applicant:

Whether someone who is suffering from a post-traumatic situation should be treated differently by the panel hearing the claim than the norm?

 

 

 


The respondent submits that the panel clearly assessed the applicant with great care and attention to her emotional and psychological condition. The Court agrees. In fact, the panel stated that it was concerned about the psychological condition of the applicant and noted that the claimant's demeanor throughout both sittings of the hearing was very emotional with frequent crying and screaming. Accordingly, the Court concludes that the panel did apply a more careful and considerate approach to the emotional condition of the applicant so that this question is not pertinent to this case. For that reason, the Court will not certify this question since it is not determinative of any issue in the case.

 

 

                                                                       ORDER

 

THIS COURT ORDERS THAT:

 

This application for judicial review be dismissed.

 

 

 

"Michael A. Kelen"                                                                                                   ________________________________

           J.F.C.C.


                       FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA

            Names of Counsel and Solicitors of Record

 

 

DOCKET:                                           IMM-4351-02

 

STYLE OF CAUSE:             HARJINDER KAUR RAINA

 

Applicant

 

- and -

 

THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND

IMMIGRATION

Respondent

 

PLACE OF HEARING:                     TORONTO, ONTARIO

 

DATE OF HEARING:                      TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2003         

 

REASONS FOR ORDER

AND ORDER BY:                            THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE KELEN

 

DATED:                                              FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2003

 

 

APPEARANCES BY:                         Mr. Marvin Moses   

 

For the Applicant

 

Mr. Jeremiah Eastman

 

For the Respondent

                                                                                                                                                           

SOLICITORS OF RECORD:          Marvin Moses   

Barrister and Solicitor

480 University Avenue, Suite 610

Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V2

 

For the Applicant                     

 

Morris Rosenberg

Deputy Attorney General of Canada

 

For the Respondent


      FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA

 

            Date:20020530

 

            Docket: IMM-4351-02

 

 

BETWEEN:

 

 

HARJINDER KAUR RAINA

 

 

Applicant

 

 

 

- and -

 

 

 

 

THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

 

                                Respondent

 

 

 

                                               

 

REASONS FOR ORDER

AND ORDER