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Australia cancels visa of Indian hoax threat maker Sanjay Korat

Newcastle-based Sanjay Kalubhai Korat had made two phone calls in March 2019 asserting there was a bomb on board Singapore Airlines.

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Australia has cancelled the visa of an Indian man who falsely claimed there was a bomb on an international flight.

Sanjay Kalubhai Korat, a 42-year-old chef from Newcastle, had made two phone calls in March 2019 asserting there was a bomb on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ423, which was travelling from Mumbai to Singapore.

Korat pleaded guilty and was sentenced to up to two years in jail by the district court.
The Department of Home Affairs and Immigration cancelled Korat’s visa on 24 March 2021 after determining that he did not meet the character test under s 501(6)(a) because he has a ‘substantial criminal record’ based on having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more.

Korat lodged an application for review with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in March this year. During the proceedings, it was brought to the court’s attention that Korat had a lengthy criminal history.

Apart from the Hoax Threat, he had also been convicted of driving with middle-range PCA, for which he was fined $800 and disqualified for six months. On 24 August 2020, Korat was convicted of common assault (Domestic Violence) and sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order.

On 12 April 2021, he was convicted of common assault (DV) and contravening prohibition/restriction in AVO (Domestic), and he was sentenced to six months imprisonment, expiring on 11 October 2021.

The Tribunal acknowledged Korat’s wife’s situation while deciding on the matter.

In her decision, Tribunal’s Deputy President Antoinette Younes said, “The Tribunal acknowledges Ms Korat’s strength and willingness to work through difficulties with the Applicant. However, the Tribunal views with concern her comments in the hearing that she would reunite with the Applicant “today.” The couple has been separated since November 2019, and it is odd that when she was asked about any intention to reunite, she said “today,” potentially suggesting a lack of adequate consideration of her relationship with the Applicant. In any event, the Tribunal cannot predict the future, but the Tribunal does not consider any potential reunion to underestimate the seriousness of the common assaults Ms Korat endured. The Applicant’s domestic violence offences against Ms Korat are severe and reflect the magnitude of his criminal conduct.”

The Tribunal also considered the seriousness of the hoax threat offence, considering the impact on the affected individuals and public resources.

Additionally, Korat had provided false information to the Department by not declaring the drunk driving offence on a passenger card. These factors indicated an increasing trend of seriousness in the Applicant’s conduct.

In light of the nature and seriousness of the Applicant’s criminal conduct, the Tribunal determined that revocation of Sanjay Korat’s visa cancellation would not be appropriate.

“The decision as to whether to revoke a cancellation is not a simple, mathematical, or formulaic exercise. It requires the decision maker to weigh up different considerations. On balance, although there are aspects favouring revocation, the aspects against revocation outweigh those in favour. The seriousness of the Applicant’s offending conduct, the fact that the offending conduct involved family violence, the risk of reoffending, and the expectations of the Australian community weigh heavily against revocation,” concluded Ms Younes.

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