Attempts were under way yesterday to stall a deportation order against Indian-born businessman Satish Sehgal for joining the anti-government protests.
Satish, 70, yesterday petitioned His Majesty the King to intervene against the order by the government’s Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), which was signed on Wednesday by caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung in his capacity as the CMPO director.
His lawyer would also seek a court injunction against the deportation order. Satish said he would need to rely on the court to ensure justice, adding “I believe in the Thai justice system.”
He has seven days to petition the Civil Court.
Thaworn Senneam, a leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), yesterday said that he was preparing to petition the Civil Court on whether the CMPO had violated a court order in seeking the deportation of Satish.
The court had earlier prohibited the CMPO from limiting the constitutional rights of the protesters.
Lawyer Sithichok Sricharoen said yesterday that Satish has the right to seek an injunction from the Civil Court against the deportation order.
Satish’s brother, Arthit Sehgal, yesterday represented him in filing the petition at the Grand Palace because he said he worried about his safety. The King has the power to grant royal pardons.
Chalerm said yesterday that he had signed the deportation order because Satish had confessed to the authorities that he was involved in the seizure of five state agencies, including the Department of Civil Aviation, in the early days of the anti-government protests organised by the PDRC.
He said the order, which was signed on Wednesday, would next be forwarded to the Immigration Bureau to carry out the deportation.
“I have no other choice because this decision was made by the relevant authorities. I hold no personal grudge against Satish. We don’t know each other,” Chalerm said.
On February 22, the Interior Ministry’s Immigration Commission resolved that Satish had violated the immigration law and therefore should be deported. The panel reversed its decision three days earlier that Satish had not committed any wrongdoing in this matter.
Satish yesterday insisted on his innocence and said he was unfairly treated. He said that he had never been summoned by the authorities to hear a formal charge against him and that he had never been formally notified.
Yesterday, he went to the PDRC’s main protest site at Lumpini Park. “I am innocent and they should not have persecuted me. If I did anything wrong, I would have admitted to it,” he said.
Satish, a former chairman of the Thai-Indian Business Association, said he has lived in Thailand for 65 years. His family emigrated from India and his younger brothers were all born in Thailand and have citizenship, while Satish holds a permanent residency.