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October 20, 2019
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Indian taxi rapist loses racial discrimination case over prison course expulsion

CANBERRA, Australia: An Indian taxi driver, convicted of raping an unconscious woman in his car and home, lost a racial discrimination case upon expulsion from a sex offender’s course.

The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal dismissed his case on Thursday.

Neelander Neel Sirohi, 35, was deported to India earlier this year after serving four years in prison for raping a vulnerable woman in 2013.

Sirohi had picked up the intoxicated passenger early morning and assaulted her while she was in the front seat. He then took her to his home and molested her before dropping her to her destination.

The woman, who had consumed alcohol and prescription drugs, told police she had little memory of the attacks.

The sex offender had pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. He was soon arrested while trying to get travel documents at the Indian High Commission to escape the country.

Last year, the ACT’s prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, kicked Sirohi out of its adult sex-offender program due to his behaviour and an “incident” with another inmate.

His security status was also upgraded that disabled him from readmission in the course, which could have later helped him in applying for parole.

This led him to complain to the ACT’s human rights commissioner, saying his exclusion was based on racial bias.

He asked the tribunal to order the prison to grant him a completion certificate of the sex-offender’s course to verify he was rehabilitated.

The ACT’s Justice and Community Safety Directorate argued the complaint was “frivolous or vexatious” and should be dismissed.

Tribunal presidential member Elizabeth Symons said Sirohi failed to tender any evidence, other than his personal beliefs, to prove that his race was the reason he was expelled.

“The tribunal is comfortably satisfied that the applicant’s expulsion and subsequent exclusion from [the sex offender’s program] was based on his security classification and his behaviour,” she wrote in her decision.

“The tribunal will order that the application be dismissed as it is lacking in substance and has no reasonable prospects of success.”