Court blocks Australia from deporting Tamil family

Melbourne: A dramatic late-night call from an Australian judge to a plane bound for Sri Lanka has temporarily spared a family of four – including two Aussie-born toddlers – from deportation and fuelled a political firestorm Down Under.

Australia’s conservative government had ordered the Tamil family to be taken from immigration detention in Melbourne, put on a plane and deported to Sri Lanka late on Thursday.

But an injunction made by a phone call from Federal Judge Heather Riley after the plane took off forced pilots to land the aircraft and deposit the family in the far north city of Darwin.

Agency