The rejected refugee claim was brought before Justice Gibson on March 21, 2006. The Court found that it is open for the Board to base its credibility concerns on the discrepancies between port of entry forms, that is the information that one provides to the Immigration Officer when one first enters Canada and the Personal Information Form, which is filled out later and where a claimant usually narrates the reasons behind leaving one’s country of origin.
In 2005 the RPD rejected the claim of an Indian citizen who claimed to have fled India in 2002 because of fear for his life at the hands of the militants and the military. Credibility was the main issue. In particular the Board noted that while the claimant alleged beating and detention in 1999, it was not mentioned in his port of entry (POE) forms and during the interview with the Immigration Officer. The Board also noted of the discrepancy in the story of a rape of a Muslim woman. In one version she died and in another she “almost died.” The Board also noted that the Applicant did not disclose to the Immigration Officer the detention of his father in February 2002.
The main issue of the judicial review was the extent to which the Board can rely on the discrepancies and omissions in the POE forms.
The Applicant’s counsel argued that the Board erred in relying on the discrepancies between the PIF and the Immigration Officer’s notes. The Applicant cited Sawyer v Canada, which suggested that the panel could not just reject the possibility that the Officer omitted information, since the Processing Claims for Protection in Canada manual instructed the Officer to only record information related to admissibility and eligibility.
Justice Gibson was not prepared to deem port of entry forms unreliable. Justice Gibson said that according to Parnian v Canada it is reasonable for the Board to use the POE forms and an Officer’s notes to identify discrepancies and evaluate credibility. The Court further suggested by citing Yontem v Canada that it was open for the Applicant to subpoena the Immigration Officer and the interpreter to testify at the hearing.
The Court also added that it was satisfied that the Board did not just rely on the discrepancies in the POE forms to determine that the Applicant did not have the ring of truth. Justice Gibson dismissed the review.