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Australia:Compensation to detained Indian student

Melbourne: An Indian student, who was detained in 2004 by Australian immigration authorities for violating visa rules, is likely to get a whopping compensation of 600,000 Australian dollars after the country`s human rights body termed his detention as `arbitrary`.

Prashant Cherkupalli, 31, was detained in late 2004 by Australia`s Department of Immigration and Citizenship for working at a bakery in Western Sydney despite having "no work" condition on his visa.

Cherkupalli, a student of Masters degree in Engineering, had spent nearly 18 months in south-western Sydney`s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre before he was released in April 2006. Since then he has been living on bridging visas there. He had lodged a case with the Australian Human Rights Commission which released its findings earlier this month.

Cherkupalli`s lawyer Tom Mithieux said that his detention was found by the Human Rights Commission to be an arbitrary detention and breached the Migration Act. The commission subsequently made recommendations in relation to compensation and also on an apology among others.

Human Rights Commissioner Catherine Branson found that Cherkupalli should be paid 597,000 dollars in compensation for the 509 days he was illegally detained. "The commission also found Cherkupalli should be paid nearly 600,000 Australian dollars in compensation. It takes into account general damages, which is generally looking at the hurt and humiliation I suppose of being arbitrarily detained for that period of time. There is also some scope for past economic loss," Mithieux said.

"I came to Australia to get a job and get a permit and to settle down, but things have gone wrong for me and I ended up in detention, where I should not end up," Cherkupalli was quoted as saying by ABC news.

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