Case # 35958
Francis Anthonimuthu Appulonappa, et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen, et al. (February 17, 2015)
On October 17, 2009, Canadian authorities intercepted a freight ship off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The vessel was carrying 76 Sri Lankan Tamils, none of whom had proper documentation to enter the country. All 76 initiated refugee claims upon arrival in Canada. Each had paid or promised to pay between $30,000 and $40,000 for the voyage. The crown alleged that the four appellants, who were on board the ship, had organized the voyage. The crown alleged that the appellants were also the captain and chief crew members of the ship. The appellants were charged under section 117 of the immigration and refugee protection act. The offence is known as the offence of “human smuggling.” The appellants sought an order declaring that Section 117 unjustifiably infringes on their section 7 Charter Rights. The appellants claimed that Section 117 was overbroad and inconsistent with the principles of fundamental justice.