TORONTO: The mother and the uncle of young Indo-Canadian woman Jassi Sidhu, who was killed in Punjab in June 2000 for marrying a low-caste man, are set to be deported to India to face trial.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal in Vancouver rejected the application of Jassi Sidhu’s mother Malkit Kaur Sidhu and her maternal uncle Surjit Singh Badesha on Tuesday — December 11— to stop their deportation.
The two were about to put on an Indian-bound plane at Toronto airport in September 2017 when their lawyers managed to stop their extradition by filing for a review of the order of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to deport them. Their lawyers argued that the two could face torture and inhumane conditions in Indian jail.
But on Tuesday, Appeal Court Chief Justice Robert Bauman and Justice Sunny Stromberg-Stein dismissed their request for a judicial review of the minister’s order.
The judges said, “The minister was right to express concern for an effective, expeditious extradition process and respect for the principle of finality.
“It was reasonable for the Minister to conclude that it was in the interests of justice to surrender the applicants.’’
The honour killing of Jassi Sidhu had shocked Canada.
Jassi, who was born at Maple Ridge near Vancouver in 1975, met kabbadi player and rickshaw driver Sukhwinder Singh (Mithu) in Jagraon and fell in love with him during her visit to Punjab in 1996. She had gone there with her mother.
She returned to Punjab in 1999 and secretly married Mithu in his village Kaunke Kalan on April 15, 1999, before returning to Canada.
A year later when she again came to India to bring Mithu to Canada, she was murdered on June 8, 2000, near Mithu’s village when the couple were going on a scooter. They were waylaid by four hired contract killers. Mithu survived, but Jassi was murdered.
Punjab Police investigations confirmed it was an honour killing plotted by Jassi’s mother and uncle sitting in Canada by hiring contract killers.
Police presented huge evidence, including 266 phone calls with the hired killers, against Badesha. India formally requested Canada in 2005 to extradite Baadesha and Malkit Kaur Sidhu to face trial.
An court convicted seven people in 2005 for Jassi’s murder. But three were acquitted in 2008.
In Chandigarh, Punjab police chief Suresh Arora said that a team of cops would be despatched to Canada as soon as his force gets official confirmation from the Canadian authorities that they are ready to hand over the two accused to India.