JASSI MURDER CASE: Extradition Of “Honour Killing” Accused Mother, Uncle Stopped At Last Minute

Jassi-Murder-Uncle-Mom-extradition3

TFG--banners website-F2>Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, mother and uncle respectively of Jaswinder Kaur ‘Jassi' Sidhu, who was killed in India.  — CBC file photoMalkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, who have been accused by Indian authorities of ordering the death of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu in an alleged honour killing, were being sent back to India to be tried for Jassi’s murder after the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the path for their extradition earlier this month. But on Thursday, the federal government confirmed that a surrender order had been stayed against the 67-year-old mother and 72-year-old uncle.​

VANCOUVER – While the media in Punjab and some South Asian media here were falsely reporting that Punjab police had taken the accused mother and uncle in the case of the murdered Mission woman and would be produced in Punjab court on Thursday but the extradition was stopped at the last minute, according to the Department of Justice.

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha, who have been accused by Indian authorities of ordering the death of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu in an alleged honour killing, were being sent back to India to be tried for Jassi Sidhu’s murder after the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the path for their extradition earlier this month. 

The judgement had set aside a ruling from B.C.'s Court of Appeal that halted the extradition over concerns that the accused, both Canadian Citizens, might be tortured in India.

Jassi-Murder-Uncle-Mom-extradition2But on Thursday, the federal government confirmed that a surrender order had been stayed against the 67-year-old mother and 72-year-old uncle.

The pair filed an application for judicial review, and that the extradition process would be halted pending the outcome of the application.

The process began three years ago, when a judge committed them for extradition to India to face charges. The judge cited evidence that Sidhu and Badesha viewed Jassi's marriage to Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu, a low caste rickshaw driver who is also a convicted criminal, was bringing dishonor to their family.

While none of the allegations have been proven in court, the judge said evidence suggested they'd issued death threats to the couple, and that phone calls had been made from Badesha's B.C. home to some of the perpetrators in India around the time of Jassi's death, reported CTV News.

Jassi-Extradition-stoppedJassi and her husband had been travelling by scooter in the Punjab region of India in June 2000 when they were attacked by armed men. Sukhwinder was seriously injured, and Jassi's body was found the next day.

The justice minister at the time issued surrender orders conditional on assurances from Indian officials that Sidhu and Badesha's medical needs would be met, and their safety ensured. Officials would also be required to allow the pair to have access to the Canadian consulate.

However, Sidhu and Badesha successfully challenged the orders in appellant court. The case was then brought before Canada's top court, who ruled it was reasonable for the minister to conclude they did not face substantial risk of harm after receiving assurances from India.

Jassi's mother and uncle were among 13 people charged in the case, three of whom are serving life sentences.

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