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WA sex assault doctor’s visa cancelled

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An Indian doctor who was jailed for molesting a patient but allowed to stay in Australia after a tribunal ruling, has had his visa cancelled and fears he will be deported.

Suhail Ahmad Khan Durani was jailed for more than 18 months for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old patient while examining her at Royal Perth Hospital’s emergency ward in February 2010.

He unsuccessfully tried to overturn his conviction in Western Australia’s Court of Appeal in August last year but intends to try again in the High Court.

After Durani was released from jail, then-immigration minister Brendan O’Connor sought to have him deported, but the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) determined in May this year that his visa would not be cancelled.

The doctor’s wife had pleaded for “compassion” towards their four-year-old son. Both are Australian citizens.

After the AAT decision, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said it was “exploring options”, but did not end up appealing it in the Federal Court.

On Friday, on the eve of the federal election and with the government in caretaker mode, Durani was served a letter from DIAC’s National Character Consideration Centre saying his visa had been cancelled, making him an unlawful non-citizen.

The letter said the reasons for the cancellation, including all matters considered by outgoing minister for immigration Tony Burke, would be provided through his lawyer.

Durani is now in an immigration detention.

Ethnic communities advocate Suresh Rajan said the unsigned letter came with “absolutely no warning”.

“It’s happened in caretaker mode – that’s one issue that concerns me,” Mr Rajan told Fairfax Radio on Monday.

“We’ve detained a person with no reasons being provided.”

If Durani was served a deportation notice, he should have a 28 days to challenge it, Mr Rajan said.

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