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VANCOUVER: The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday paved the way for extradition to India of the mother and uncle of Jassi Sidhu for plotting her murder in Punjab in June 2000 for marrying a low-caste rickshaw driver.
In a 9-0 judgment, the apex court overruled a lower court order that had stopped the deportation of the two accused from Maple Ridge near here.
In what became Canada’s most honour-killing case, Surjit Badesha and his sister Malkit Sidhu had hired contract killers to eliminate Malkit’s daughter Jassi (Jaswinder) Sidhu in June 2000 for marrying the low-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 travelled to India to tie the knot.
Jassi was murdered near Mithu’s village in June 2000 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 the British Columbia’s Appeal Court overturned the deportation order against the mother and uncle of Jassi Sidhu on the grounds of India’s `appalling’ record on treatment of prisoners.
Friday’s order by the country’s apex court clears the decsk for their deportation.
Vancouver journalist Fabian Dawson, who broke the story 17 years ago and later wrote a book titled Justice for Jassi, told IANS, “Today’s decision is significant because it ends the case in Canada. Now the Indian justice system comes into play.. It is the start of another chapter in the quest for justice for Jassi.’’
Fabian added, “I fear for Muthu because there have been several attempts on his life because he is the principal winess in the case.’’