An Australian man stuck in India has launched a legal challenge to the government’s controversial travel ban.
A legal challenge to the Australian government’s controversial ban on travellers from India has landed in the Federal Court.
Australian man Gary Newman, 73, filed a lawsuit against Health Minister Greg Hunt on Wednesday.
Mr Newman is in Bangalore, India, and wishes to return to Australia but is prevented by the ban, his lawyer Christopher Ward SC said at an urgent hearing before Justice Stephen Burley on Wednesday afternoon.
Dr Ward said the ban was being challenged on a number of bases, two of them relating to how the courts interpret legislation, one about questions of proportionality, and the fourth a constitutional argument.
Justice Burley ordered the proceedings be expedited and said another hearing date would be set in the next 24 to 48 hours.
The law banning anyone who has been in India in the past 14 days from entering Australia came into force on Monday and will be reviewed on May 15.
The prospect of jail or fines for Australian citizens returning home has sparked an uproar, but the government has stood by its decision.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke told Sky News on Wednesday the ban was “fully consistent” with international human rights law.
“The government has to act for the public health and safety to protect Australia from threats,” he said.
“And we have acted in the context of a global pandemic to temporarily pause flights from a country that is rated high risk by our health officials.”