India seeks consular access to asylum seekers aboard Australian vessel

India seeks consular access to asylum seekers aboard Australian vessel

India seeks consular access to asylum seekers aboard Australian vessel

Written by Bella Dalima

23 Jul, 2014 | 5:35 pm

India has sought consular access to the 157 asylum seekers on board an Australian border protection vessel, following a visit to New Delhi by Australia’s Immigration Minister where he formally requested that India take back the group of asylum seekers.

Australian media reported quoting a senior Indian government officials, that India was seeking to determine if the asylum seeker’s hold Indian citizenship.

The Guardian reports that a diplomat from the Indian High Commission in Australia was due to be dispatched to speak to the asylum seekers face-to-face.

Australia’s Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison met with India’s Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj at Parliament House in New Delhi on July 22. 

Reuters reported that the trio discussed all issues pertaining to illegal migration.

Scott Morrison is the highest level Australian official to visit India since the election of the new BJP led government of Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, an Australian High Court hearing in Melbourne into the legality of the asylum seekers ongoing detention ruled on July 23 that a full bench hearing should begin August 5. It is expected to last for two days.

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