Diaspora

Canada Supreme Court order extradition of two BC residents to India to face trial in honour killing case

September 08, 2017 08:48 PM

Punjab News Express
OTTAWA: The Supreme Court of Canada has paved way for the extradition of a Punjab origin British Columbia mother and uncle accused in an honour killing a girl in India should be extradited to face trial there.

The Supreme Court has upheld a 2014 ministerial order that Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha should surrender themselves for extradition. They are accused of plooting and executing the murder of daughter if Sidhu in 2000. The victim girl Jassi Sidhu and her husband were ambushed by a group of people hired by accused and she was killed in cold blood. Her husbadn Mithu Singh was also seriously injured but survived.

Court heard that Jassi and Sidhu, an auto-rickshaw driver, had secretly married in Punjab, against the wishes of Jassi’s family, who wanted to marry the girl to an older man. The Punjab police in India has claimed that Sidhu and Badesha had hired supari killers(contract killers) to eliminate the couple. They are already convicted by a court in Punjab.

According to the judgment, 13 people, including Badesha and Sidhu, were charged in India in connection with the killing and attack. Eleven of those were tried together in India. Seven were convicted and four were acquitted of offences, and four of them were later acquitted on appeal.

The accused mother and uncle of girl had contested  extradition on the ground that they would face substandard prison conditions in India. Sidhu and Badesha, who are now 67 and 72 years old respectively, say they are in poor health and will require medical care in custody.

Their lawyers argued that the justice minister who ordered their extradition had not received reasonable assurances from India that the pair’s health and safety would be protected while in custody.

But in its decision Friday, the Supreme Court disagreed.

According to a report in CTV news.ca, “In this case, it was reasonable for the minister to conclude that, on the basis of the assurances he received from India, there was no substantial risk of torture or mistreatment of B and S that would offend the principles of fundamental justice protected by Sec. 7 of the Charter, and that their surrenders were not otherwise unjust or oppressive.”

Eleven other people stood trial in India for the murder. Initially, seven were convicted and four were acquitted, then four more were acquitted on appeal. Three people are currently serving life sentences for their roles in the attack.

Sidhu and Badesha have been free on bail while awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision.

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