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Bhatt Murphy Solicitors

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Shamik Dutta

Shamik Dutta specialises in pursuing civil claims and public law challenges against the police and in enforcing the rights of those subject to unlawful immigration detention and unlawful deportation. He also acts for the families of individuals who have died in police and prison service custody.

Shamik has brought numerous successful claims against the police and Home Office for assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in a public office, negligence, race discrimination, breaches of the Data Protection Act and breaches of the Human Rights Act. He has also pursued a number of successful judicial reviews in relation to the unlawful retention by the state of individuals’ personal data including DNA samples. He acts for, amongst others, young people, refugees, protestors, photographers and activists who seek accountability having suffered state misconduct.

Shamik is actively involved in a number of voluntary organisations. He regularly provides training sessions to young people on individual rights and has also provided training on police powers for members of the Association of Photographers and National Union of Journalists.

Shamik is the joint-chairperson of the Police Action Lawyers Group and is a member of Liberty. He is also an Executive Committee member of the London Anti-Racist Alliance.

Shamik's notable cases include:

Catt v Association of Chief Police Officers and Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2013] EWCA Civ 192
This landmark case establishes that Article 8 is applicable to police intelligence reports about law-abiding activists whose details are retained on the National Domestic Extremism Database. The Court of Appeal ruled that the data about the Claimant had been unlawfully retained in breach of Article 8(2) ECHR.

R (GC) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011] UKSC 21
This leading case involved a challenge to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) policy on the indefinite retention of DNA, photographs and fingerprint samples. The Supreme Court ruled that the ACPO policy was unlawful and that, unless Parliament changes the law within a reasonable period of time, police forces must alter their policies on the indefinite retention of DNA samples and other biometric data.

M v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2011]
The claimant was stopped and searched outside his home address before being arrested and detained. He was subsequently released without charge. He pursued a claim for assault, false imprisonment and race discrimination. He also applied for disclosure of previous complaints lodged against one of the officers who searched and arrested him. The Court ordered that the Commissioner must allow the claimant to inspect and rely, at trial, upon documents related to the officer’s previous disciplinary record. The Commissioner agreed to pay the claimant £19,500 in settlement of his claim.

John Bosco Nyombi v Home Office [2010]
A civil claim was brought in the High Court on behalf of John Bosco Nyombi, a gay man who was detained in the UK before being forcibly removed to Uganda. He was detained there by the Ugandan authorities before the Administrative Court ordered that the Secretary of State for the Home Department should return him to the UK. The Home Office admitted liability and paid £100,000 in damages to Mr Nyombi.

E v Home Office [2010]

E, a victim of torture, was detained unlawfully by the Home Office in breach of its own policies. The claimant brought an action for false imprisonment and was awarded £57,500 at court including £25,000 exemplary damages which the Court awarded to the claimant for “institutional failings” in the provision of adequate medical examinations and reports under rules 34 and 35 of the Detention Centre Rules 2001.

Mark Thomas v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2010]
The comedian and journalist Mark Thomas instructed Shamik to pursue a police complaint and civil claim for assault and false imprisonment after his stop and search at an anti-arms fair demonstration at the DSEi in Docklands. The police complaint was upheld and the Metropolitan Police awarded Mr Thomas damages after admitting trespass and false imprisonment.

R (A) v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009]
The claimant, a Muslim man with no previous convictions, was detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. During the detention his DNA and biometric data was seized. He pursued a successful judicial review challenging the seizure and retention of his data.

M & ME v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2009]
M & ME, a father and his son, were arrested outside school gates in North London. ME was given a formal reprimand during his detention which he successfully challenged by way of a judicial review. He and his father then brought a claim alleging assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in a public office and race discrimination. The Commissioner offered a full apology and paid damages of £25,000.
Shamik Dutta and Rosie Brighouse, in association with Editorial Photographers UK, have prepared the following guide on police powers for photographers and journalists: Police, photographers and the law.