News East West
TORONTO: Citing India’s `appalling’ record on treatment of prisoners, the British Columbia’s Appeal Court in Vancouver has stopped deportation of a man and his sister to India to face trial for the honour killing of the man’s niece in Punjab.
Surjit Badesha and his sister Malkit Sidhu had hired contract killers to eliminate Malkit’s daughter Jassi (Jaswinder) Sidhu in June 2000 because she had married a lower-caste autorickshaw driver in Punjab.
Canadian-born Jassi Sidhu had met lower-caste rickshaw driver Sukhwinder Singh (Mithu) in Jagraon during her visit to Punjab in 1996 and fallen in love with him. The two secretly married in 1999 when she came back from Canada to tie the knot.
Jassi was murdered in June 2000 near Mithu’s village when the couple were going on a scooter. They were waylaid by hired contract killers.
Punjab Police investigations confirmed it was an honour killing plotted by Jassi’s mother Malkit Sidhu and her uncle Surjit Badesha sitting in Canada.
Based on the solid evidence of 266 phone calls that Badesha made with the hired killers, India formally requested Canada in 2005 to extradite Baadesha and Malkit Sidhu to face trial.
In May 2014, the the British Columbia Supreme Court in Vancouver ordered that Jassi’s uncle and mother must be deported to India to face trial.
But on Friday, the British Columbia’s Appeal Court overturned the deportation order against the mother and uncle of Jassi Sidhu on ridiculous grounds.
Citing India’s `appalling’ record in regard to prisoners, Justice Ian Donald wrote in two-to-one decision, “In my view, there is a valid basis for concern that the applicants will be subjected to violence, torture and/or neglect if surrendered.’’