A child who was born while his parents visited Hong Kong on a two-way permit is being unlawfully denied the right of abode, a judge heard yesterday. Barrister Gladys Li SC, for 26-month-old Chong Fung-yuen, told Mr Justice Frank Stock in the High Court that the child was entitled to live in the SAR according to Article 24 of the Basic Law. Ms Li said the amended immigration ordinance introduced on July 1, 1997, which denied the right to Fung-yuen, was unconstitutional and invalid. The application for a judicial review against the Director of Immigration was lodged by Fung-yuen's grandfather, Chong Yiu-shing, who has been a permanent resident since 1987. The child's parents were married on the mainland and visited the SAR in September 1997. They were permitted to stay until September 29, 1997, when Fung-yuen was born. His parents were repatriated in December that year, but the child's father, Chong Kei-yim, sneaked back to the SAR in June this year. Fung-yuen remained in the SAR with his grandfather and is now being cared for by his father, who has been allowed to stay pending the outcome of his own right of abode case. According to Article 24 of the Basic Law, Chinese citizens born here before or after the establishment of the SAR are permanent residents. But the amended immigration ordinance requires at least one parent of an abode claimant to have been settled, or have the right of abode, in Hong Kong at the claimant's time of birth. Barrister Joseph Fok SC, for the Government, argued it would be 'anomalous' to construe Article 24 as entitling any person born in the SAR by 'pure happenstance' to claim the right of abode. 'It is submitted that Basic Law Article 24(2)(1) does not confer eligibility to acquire the status of a permanent resident of Hong Kong on any Chinese citizen born in Hong Kong,' Mr Fok said. He said it would also encourage an influx of pregnant women from the mainland wanting to have a baby born here. The hearing continues today.