Canadian court stops extradition of honour killing accused to India

A Canadian court has stopped the extradition of a woman and his brother to India to face trial for the honour killing of her daughter over concerns that they may not get justice in the country.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 27, 2016, 15:45 PM IST

Toronto: A Canadian court has stopped the extradition of a woman and his brother to India to face trial for the honour killing of her daughter over concerns that they may not get justice in the country.

Malkit Sidhu and brother Surjit Badesha, accused in the slaying of Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, have been granted a judicial review by the British Columbia Appeal Court of the extradition order on grounds that they may not receive a fair trial in India, CBC news reported.

In its judgment released on Friday, the court said that, in the light of India's human rights record, it was not reasonable to accept India's assurances over the future health and safety of the accused.

Canadian-born Jaswinder Sidhu was found dead, her throat slit, in Punjab in 2000. She was 25.

Her mother Malkit, 65, and uncle Surjit, 70, were arrested in 2012, suspected of a so-called "honour killing".

They are accused of killing Jaswinder after she married Mithu Sidhu, a rickshaw driver she had met in India a few years earlier.

Her family did not approve of the match.

Jaswinder and her husband were attacked as they rode a scooter in a village near Sangrur, Punjab, in June 2000. Her husband was severely beaten and left for dead while she was kidnapped and later killed. Her body was left in a canal.

Investigations in India confirmed that the murder was an honour killing plotted by Jaswinder's mother Malkit and her uncle Surjit while the duo were in Canada.

Former justice minister Peter MacKay ordered their surrender to face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, conditional on assurances from India that they would not face the death penalty, that their health and safety would be protected in custody, and they would get consular access.

In January 2015, MacKay wrote to the accused's counsel, saying he had received assurances from India, and that he considered them satisfactory.

That decision was then appealed.