An Indian man in New Zealand, who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl when he was also a teenager, will not be sent back to his home country because authorities reportedly said that his life there would be too hard.
The man, whose name was not given, appealed to New Zealand's Immigration and Protection Tribunal, saying that if he were deported his life would be incredibly difficult, after he was told that he would be sent back to India after his prison sentence was over, according to Stuff.
The man has been in New Zealand since 2003, when he arrived as a nine-year-old with his mother and siblings. Five years later, when he was 14, after the family had been granted New Zealand residence, he was reported to have raped a girl behind a local temple.
The girl's father agreed not to report the incident to police, as long as the boy was sent back to India immediately and did not return.
When he arrived in his home country, he lived with his uncle. The house was too crowded, however, and he was kicked out, unable to read or write in Punjabi, and unable to find work.
Punjabi, the native language of the Punjab region, is spoken by about 30 million people in India, according to Britannica.com. English is less widely spoken than Punjabi in the area.
Nine months after leaving, he returned to New Zealand, and the victim's family reported the rape to police after finding out that he was back in the country.
The young man was found guilty of rape in 2013, and sentenced to three and a half years of jail time. After serving just over a year of his sentence, he was released on parole.
In his appeal, the man said that he had proposed to a woman from New Zealand with whom he had started a relationship before going to jail.
The tribunal found that if sent back to India, the man would be at a significant disadvantage, and his fiancée would suffer "significant emotional distress." The tribunal also cited the man's age at the time of his offense, saying that it would be "unduly harsh" to deport the man from the country.