The Australian High Court has refused to hear an appeal on behalf of a four-year-old girl whose Sri Lankan family is fighting to avoid deportation and return home to Biloela, Queensland.
The litigation guardian of Tharnicaa Murugappan had sought special leave to appeal to the highest court, but that was declined today.
Earlier this year the full bench of the Federal Court upheld a judge’s ruling that Tharnicaa had been denied procedural fairness when trying to apply for a protection visa to stay in Australia.
However, court also upheld a judgement that Tharnicaa had not made a valid visa application back in 2019 and the family sought to challenge that in the High Court.
In June, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke granted three-month bridging visas to Tharnicaa’s father, mother and older sister, who, like Tharnicaa, was born in Australia.
Before Tharnicaa was born her parents applied for protection visas but were unsuccessful, as were their court challenges on fairness grounds.
The family had been in detention for three years, being kept on Christmas Island from August 2019 when an urgent injunction stopped their deportation mid-flight.
They moved back to the mainland after Tharnicaa needed hospital treatment for a blood infection.