Around 150 asylum seekers denied the right to remain in the UK are facing eviction after losing a legal challenge over lock-changes.

The case against Home Office contractor Serco’s lock-change programme in Glasgow had argued eviction would be unlawful without a court order.

A judge dismissed the case in April but asylum seekers appealed against that decision at the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court.

READ MORE: Hundreds face asylum evictions in Scotland as Serco starts lock-changing programme

But in a ruling on Wednesday, the court backed the previous decision and said evictions without court orders are not unlawful.

Serco is still housing around 150 people whose application for asylum was turned down, and they are now facing eviction.

Mike Dailly of Govan Law Centre, which represents Shakar Ali, in whose name the case was brought, said she is now considering an appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

Charities have criticised the Court of Session decision.

Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, said: “What this decision has done is to legally institute a form of housing apartheid in the city where one section of our community have their human and housing rights upheld.

“And another very vulnerable community can be dragged from their homes at any time and turfed out on to the streets without recourse to work, support or a roof over their heads.”

Sabir Zazai, chief executive of Scottish Refugee Council, said: “This galling verdict leaves hundreds of men and women in Glasgow at risk of lock-change evictions and immediate street homelessness.”

Among those affected are Khadija Anwar, from Kenya, and her husband Muhammad Anwar, from Pakistan.

The couple, who are aged in their 70s, have been seeking asylum for eight years.

Mrs Anwar said: “How can they just lock our door and think that we are going to stay out on the road in this cold?

“It’s so stressful. What are they going to do with us? I hope they are not just going to throw us out.”

In the Court of Session ruling, Lady Dorrian said Ms Ali’s occupation of her property was “precarious” as it was temporary and she did not pay rent.

Lady Dorrian wrote: “The agreement under which she occupied the property made clear that her occupancy was temporary only, for the limited duration of the period during which her asylum claim was being assessed.”

Once the application was turned down she said Ms Ali need only be given written notice to leave the property and the process “does not require court procedure”.

Serco said it would work with the authorities and the sheriff court in Glasgow to ensure an “orderly sensitive application of the law”, and it would not seek to remove more than 20 people in any one week from their properties.

READ MORE: Serco loses asylum accommodation contract for Scotland

Julia Rogers, of Serco, said: “We have listened to the public concerns that the process to take back the properties they were living in might be unfair or illegal, but we now have clear judgments from Scotland’s highest court that our approach is completely proper and within the law.

“During this time Serco has been demonised and subject to extreme criticism, and the fact that we have spent millions of pounds supporting people who no longer have a right to remain in the UK and providing them with free accommodation has been widely ignored.”

New contract provider Mears, which took over from Serco, has agreed to improve the support for asylum seekers, help prevent destitution and replace lock-change evictions with a proper court process.