LONDON: An Indian man today won 40,000 pounds in damages from the UK government for unlawfully detaining him in an immigration centre that prevented him from caring for his four-year-old daughter.
The man, who can only be named as AJS, won his legal battle over "false imprisonment" and "disruption" to contact with the child, who is a Lithuanian national.
The UK Home Office has also been directed to pay the child 10,000 pounds in damages and to cover the family's legal costs.
Justice Blair of the UK High Court, hearing the case, described the outcome as "reassuring and heart-warming".
In June 2017, after AJS had served a prison sentence, the UK Home Office ordered him to be detained in an immigration centre, pending his deportation back to India.
However, a local authority had recommended that he be reunited with his young daughter, a citizen of European Union, so that he could care for her, the BBC reports.
He was held under immigration powers at Wormwood Scrubs prison in London and then the Verne immigration removal centre in Dorset, about 250 miles (400 km) from where his daughter was living under the care of the local authority.
In July 2017, a family court judge endorsed the local authority's plan for AJS to look after his daughter, saying that, if he was not released within four months an application would be made for the girl to be placed for adoption.
The Home Office refused to move AJS so he could maintain contact with the girl, twice refused him bail and, when he was finally let out, placed him on an electronic tag with a curfew which meant it was impractical for the pair to be reunited.
The Home Office has now accepted in the court that it had acted unlawfully.
With the conclusion of the case this week, the process has begun for the man and his daughter to live together so that he can look after her.