Almost a year after Dubai NRI Sarah Thomas was detained by the immigration officials in Chennai, in Tamil Nadu (TN) who mistook her for someone else; the Madras High Court awarded her Rs. 2 lakh as compensation.
Ms. Sarah Thomas was mistaken for one Saramma Thomas Sara Williams wanted by the CBI, as she was involved in a cheating case, and had been absconding for last 13 years.
Sarah was put in prison and later handed over to the Kerala Police. The police later realized their blunder and eventually let her off. Ms. Sarah Thomas later moved the court for action against the concerned officials.
Pronouncing the judgement, the court observed, “There is a gross negligence on the part of the authorities in sending Sarah Thomas, mother of the petitioner to Central Prison, Puzhal, Chennai and then taking her to Kerala. We are of the view that there is a violation of human rights". The Bench further instructed that the airport authorities to be extra careful, while verifying the genuineness of the passenger's travel documents.
Since Sarah Thomas turned down the compensation, the Madras High Court further directed the state and the Central government to pay Rs. one lakh each to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Flood Relief Fund.