Application No. 14467/88
by P.S.
against the United Kingdom

        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
11 March 1989, the following members being present:

                MM.  C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                     J.A. FROWEIN
                     S. TRECHSEL
                     F. ERMACORA
                     G. SPERDUTI
                     E. BUSUTTIL
                     G. JÖRUNDSSON
                     A.S. GÖZÜBÜYÜK
                     A. WEITZEL
                     J.C. SOYER
                     H.G. SCHERMERS
                     H. DANELIUS
                     G. BATLINER
                     J. CAMPINOS
                     H. VANDENBERGHE
                Sir  Basil HALL
                MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                     C.L. ROZAKIS
                Mrs.  J. LIDDY
                Mr.  L. LOUCAIDES

                Mr.  H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 15 May 1988
by P.S. against the United Kingdom and registered on
13 December 1988 under file No. 14467/88;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:


        The applicant is a citizen of India, born in 1960 and
temporarily resident in London.  He is a Sikh.  He is represented
before the Commission by Messrs.  Singh and Choudry, solicitors,

        The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant and which
may be deduced from official documents lodged with the application,
may be summarised as follows:

        The applicant arrived in the United Kingdom by air from
Baghdad on 26 February 1985, travelling on an Indian passport.  He had
been working in Iraq since 1981.  He sought entry for two to four
weeks to visit a maternal uncle, after which he was to return to
India, prior to going to live in Canada.  The applicant was
interviewed by an immigration officer, with the aid of an interpreter,
as he does not speak English.

        According to a letter from the Minister of State, Home Office,
dated 17 May 1985, he had said that he intended to return to India for
a year to learn English.  He had no job to go to, but would live on
his savings.  His ambition was to settle outside that country.  The
maternal uncle was contacted by the immigration service and had
difficulty remembering anything about the applicant and was surprised
to learn that he was to stay for four weeks.  The immigration service
also noted that the applicant was unemployed and had no intention of
working again in India if possible.  Factual discrepancies arose
during the applicant's interview with the immigration officer.  In
these circumstances the immigration officer was not satisfied that the
applicant was genuinely seeking entry as a visitor and leave was
refused.  He was, however, granted temporary admission.  After two
months the Home Office took steps to remove him from the United

        On 23 May 1985 his solicitors, Messrs.  Singh and Choudry,
applied for political asylum on his behalf on the grounds that the
applicant is a relative of a Dr.  J.S. Chohan, the leader of the
separatist Sikh Khalistan movement and that the applicant himself is
involved in that movement.  As a young Sikh (then 25 years of age) he
feared for his life if returned to India.  Dr.  Chohan averred that if
the applicant were returned to India he would be likely to be
arrested, interrogated and harassed because of his association with
him and his separatist movement.  In making this statement Dr.  Chohan
relied on the experience of what has happened to his other relatives
and close associates who have been arrested, interrogated and

        On 22 November 1985, asylum was refused.  The Minister of
State informed the applicant's Member of Parliament of his decision in
the following terms:

        "P.S. has an extensive family of half brothers
        and sisters yet the closest and only relative actually in
        detention (in India) is an uncle by marriage who was arrested
        on an allegedly false charge of murder.  He himself claims
        that he is wanted in connection with a shooting that took
        place in Amritsar in 1981 though he categorically denies
        involvement in the incident.  He does not appear to be of
        interest to the authorities since he was readily released
        on 7 September (1981) after being detained overnight for
        enquiries, on his return to India from Iraq, along with
        other Sikhs on the flight.

        He alleges that the situation for Sikhs has deteriorated since
        the assassination of Mrs.  Ghandhi, yet he can hardly claim to
        be likely to be singled out for persecution because of the
        incident, as he himself has stated, and his passport confirms,
        that he was not in India on the date in question.

        He stated that neither he, nor his half brother or his
        brother-in-law, both members (of) the Indian army, have
        suffered persecution or harassment in any way.  Irrespective
        of when he claims to have joined the Khalistan Movement he
        is adamant that he has never held any offical position in
        that organisation.

        I have carefully considered Mr.  Singh's case in the light of
        your representations and the further information obtained
        at the second interview but I am not satisfied that he has
        a well-founded fear of persecution.  I am not therefore
        prepared to alter my previous decision and the Immigration
        Service will now contact Mr.  Singh to advise him of this
        decision and arrange for his removal from the United Kingdom."

        The applicant originally submitted to the Commission Amnesty
International Reports from 1986 on the difficult conditions of
detention and proceedings against those Sikhs arrested under the
provisions of the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act and
the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act 1985, and in
particular those Sikhs detained since the Indian army's storming of
the Sikhs' Golden Temple in June 1984.  This material had not been
before the Secretary of State at the material time and the High Court,
in refusing judicial review on 22 May 1987 because the Secretary of
State's decision could not be described as unreasonable, hinted that
the applicant should request the Secretary of State to review his
decision on the basis of the Amnesty Reports.

        On 16 February 1988, the Court of Appeal dismissed the
applicant's appeal against the High Court's decision and it refused
leave to appeal to the House of Lords on 11 March 1988.  The House of
Lords itself refused leave to appeal on 24 November 1988.  The
applicant's removal from the United Kingdom back to India is imminent.

        The applicant subsequently submitted to the Commission Amnesty
International Reports dated August and October 1988 reviewing human
rights violations in India and, in particular, the fate of 324 Sikhs
held without trial for more than four years since the storming of the
Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984.  He has received letters from
his family describing their various fears about the turbulent
situation where they live.  According to newspaper reports a fellow
Sikh was returned to Delhi and immediately arrested on the basis of
computerised information against him.  The applicant's activities may
similarly be known, for there have been reports about the refusal of
his request for asylum in Punjabi newspapers.  The applicant claims
that the Secretary of State has failed to take this and other relevant
material into account.

        The applicant claims to fear for his life if he is returned
to India.  This fear is aggravated by the existence of the National
Security Act 1980, which permits detention without charge or trial for
two years, by the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention)
Act, the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act, section 1.1A
of the Indian Evidence Act (which places the burden of proof on the
accused) and amendments to the Indian Constitution suspending the
protection afforded to the right to life.


        The applicant complains of the refusal of political asylum in
the United Kingdom and claims to have a well-founded fear of
persecution if returned to India.


        The application was introduced on 15 May 1988 and registered
on 13 December 1988.

        On 16 December 1988 the Commission refused the applicant's
request, under Rule 36 of its Rules of Procedure, to indicate to the
respondent Government a stay of the applicant's removal pending the
Commission's decision on admissibility.


        The applicant has complained that the United Kingdom
Government have unjustifiably refused him political asylum and claims
that his imminent removal back to India will expose him to a serious
risk of persecution, because he is a Sikh closely associated with the
Sikh separatist Khalistan movement.

        The Commission recalls its case-law that, whilst the
Convention does not guarantee a right, as such, to political asylum,
a person's removal to a country where there are serious reasons to
believe that the individual will be subjected in the receiving State
to severe ill-treatment may give rise to an issue under Article 3 (Art. 3) of
the Convention which provides as follows:

        "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman
        or degrading treatment or punishment."

        However, it is only in exceptional circumstances that such a
removal will give rise to an issue under this provision, and the
burden lies on the applicant to substantiate his fear that he will be
exposed to treatment or punishment falling under the Article (see No
10308/83, Altun v.  Federal Republic of Germany, Dec. 3.5.83, D.R. 36
pp. 209-235; No. 10078/82, M v.  France, Dec. 13.12.84, D.R. 41 p. 103;
No. 10479/83, Kirkwood v. the United Kingdom, Dec. 12.3.84, D.R. 37
pp. 158-191 and No. 8581/79, Dec. 6.3.80, D.R. 29 p. 48).

        The Commission has examined the material which the applicant
has submitted concerning the protection of human rights in India with
particular regard to the Sikh community.  It has also examined the
applicant's claims concerning his personal situation.  However it
finds no evidence to cast serious doubt on the Secretary of State's
conclusion in November 1985 that the applicant's fear of persecution
is not well-founded.  Given the applicant's absence from India since
1981, there is no evidence of any close association with the Khalistan
movement, or any involvement with Sikh terrorism, or any particular
interest in his case being shown by the Indian authorities.  In these
circumstances the Commission concludes that the applicant's claims are
unsubstantiated and that the case discloses no appearance of a
violation of Article 3 (Art. 3) of the Convention.  It follows that the
application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27
para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

        For these reasons, the Commission


  Secretary to the Commission         President of the Commission

         (H.C. KRÜGER)                      (C.A. NØRGAARD)