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April 13, 2003

Kathirkamu v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2003 FCT 308 (CanLII)

Date: 20030313 Docket: IMM-3430-02 Neutral Citation: 2003 FCT 308     OTTAWA, ONTARIO, this 13th day of March 2003 PRESENT: The Honourable Mr. Justice James Russell   BETWEEN:   SATHTHIYATHASAN KATHIRKAMU   Applicant   - and -     THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION   Respondent   REASONS FOR ORDER AND ORDER   [1]                By motion in writing dated September 18, 2002, the Applicant sought consolidation of these proceedings with the proceedings in Court file IMM-2112-02 on the basis that the decisions impugned in both proceedings were made by the same Board Panel, and that the decisions are arguably in conflict on a central point.   [2]                By Order dated October 3, 2002, the Applicant's motion for consolidation was adjourned sine die, to be returned to the Court for disposition should leave for judicial review be granted in both proceedings.   [3]                Leave for judicial review has now been granted in both proceedings.   [4]                By letter dated March 3, 2003 to the Registrar of the Federal Court of Canada from Raoul Boulakia, counsel the Applicants in both applications, Applicants' counsel has pointed that both applications are set to be heard consecutively on the same day, by the same judge, and has requested that the consolidation issue be decided by the Court.   [5]                Rule 105 of the Federal Court Rules, 1998 provides that:

The Court may order, in respect of two or more proceedings, (a) that they be consolidated, heard together or heard one immediately after the other; La Cour peut ordonner, ? l'égard de deux ou plusieurs instances : a) qu'elles soient réunies, instruites conjointement ou instruites successivement;
  [6]                Generally speaking, the case law suggests that the policy behind consolidation is the avoidance of a multiplicity of proceedings and the promotion of expeditious and inexpensive determination of proceedings. See, for instance, John E. Canning Ltd. v. Tripap Inc. 1999 CanLII 8029 (FC), (1999), 167 F.T.R. 93 (T.D.).   [7]                Among the factors that a court should look at to determine if there is a sufficient commonality of legal and factual issues to warrant consolidation are common parties, common legal and factual issues, simular causes of action, parallel evidence, and the likelihood that the outcome of one case will resolve the other.   [8]                In the present case, the Applicant contends that both claims were heard by the same Board Panel, the same lawyer has conduct of the applications for both Applicants, and that a principal issue in both applications is the same i.e. the Board Panel adopted conflicting positions on the probative value of Sri Lankan National Identity Cards, which give rise to the possibility of bad faith on the part of the Panel in both decisions.   [9]                In essence, the Applicant seeks consolidation of the applications so that the bad faith argument on conflicting decisions by the same Panel can be foregrounded and dealt with in an expeditious way that may be dispositive of both applications, and that may forestall the need for evidence and argument on other issues raised in the applications.   [10]            In a letter to the Registrar of the Court dated March 3, 2003, the Applicants' counsel suggests as an alternative to consolidation a procedure whereby the issue of conflicting Board decisions can be dealt with by having counsel on both applications attend and address the matter in a preliminary way.   [11]            Having reviewed both applications, and the arguments of counsel for the Applicants and for the Respondent, I do not feel that this is an appropriate case for consolidation or for proceeding in the manner suggested by counsel for the Applicants in the letter to the Registrar of the Court dated March 3, 2003.   [12]            Even on the single issue of the Panel's treatment of Sri Lankan National Identity Cards in both applications, there is insufficient commonality of legal and factual issues to warrant consolidation.   [13]            In the Sivamoorthy application the Panel found that the Applicant's "NIC was improperly obtained, its "genuineness" notwithstanding.... Previously referenced documentary evidence indicates that it is possible to obtain NICs by fraudulent means."   [14]            In the Kathirkamu application the Panel found that the Applicant's birth certificate and postal identity card were of limited probative value and that the "primary identity document in Sri Lanka is the National Identity Card (NIC) that citizens are required to carry on their persons at all times, and, therefore the NIC is the key identity document utilized in refugee hearings for Sri Lankans." The Panel then went on to point out that the Applicant "gave confusing and inconsistent evidence about what happened to his NIC."   [15]            Both decisions raise the probative value to be attached to NICs, but they do so in very different ways. In Sivamoorthy, the Panel felt that the Applicant's NIC, although a genuine document, had been improperly obtained. In Kathirkamu, the Panel dealt with a situation where no NIC was presented. There is nothing inherently contradictory about these separate conclusions. Nor is there sufficient commonality of fact and law to justify consolidation.   [16]            The appropriateness of the Panel's decisions in each case, and the probative value of NICs, will be addressed in the context of the separate judicial review hearings. My sole purpose here is to indicate that there is insufficient commonality of legal and factual issues to consolidate the applications or to proceed by way of quasi-consolidation by having counsel argue the NIC point in both applications at the same time.   [17]            If the Applicants' counsel wishes to argue bad faith on the basis of inconsistent decisions by the same Board Panel, then counsel must seek other means than consolidation to introduce evidence of such bad faith and argue the point at the hearing of each application.   [18]            Consequently, the motion for consolidation is dismissed.   ORDER   THE COURT HEREBY ORDERS THAT: the motion for consolidation of docket number IMM-2112-02 and IMM-3430-02 is dismissed.     "James Russell" J.F.C.C.   Ottawa, Ontario March 13, 2003 FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA TRIAL DIVISION   NAMES OF SOLICITORS AND SOLICITORS ON THE RECORD         DOCKET:                  IMM-3430-02   STYLE OF CAUSE: SATHTHIYATHASAN KATHIRKAMU v. MCI   MOTION DEALT WITH IN WRITING WITHOUT THE APPEARANCE OF PARTIES   REASONS FOR ORDER OF THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE RUSSELL   DATED: March 13, 2003       WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS BY:   Ms. Raoul Boulakia                                                                   FOR APPLICANT   Mr. Jeremiah Eastman                                                 FOR RESPONDENT     SOLICITORS OF RECORD:   Mr. Raoul Boulakia                                                                   FOR APPLICANT Toronto, Ontario   Morris Rosenberg                                                                      FOR RESPONDENT Deputy Attorney General of Canada

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