British Columbia

SCOC will hear appeal to have suspects extradited in Jassi Sidhu 'honour killing' case from B.C.

The duo accused of masterminding an 'honour killing' in the case of a 25-year-old woman is facing possible extradition — once again.

Family allegedly hired hitman to slay young woman who married a rickshaw driver

The duo accused of masterminding an 'honour killing' in the case of a 25-year-old woman is facing possible extradition — once again.

Today the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to hear the Attorney General of Canada's leave to appeal — on behalf of the Indian courts — the B.C. Court of Appeal's decision not to extradite the pair accused of organizing the murder of Jassi Sidhu.

Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu was found dead — her throat slit — in Punjab in 2000.

Her mother, Malkit Sidhu, and uncle, Surjit Badesha, both of Maple Ridge, B.C., were arrested in 2012, suspected of the so-called "honour killing". The young woman had allegedly fallen in love with a rickshaw driver in India.

Four years of court proceedings

Indian courts asked to have the pair extradited to face trial in the killing.

The couple was ordered by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in 2014 to be sent back to India, and the federal justice minister issued a surrender order.

But the mother and uncle won a judicial review of that order on the basis they may not receive a fair trial in India.

In a split ruling in February of 2016 the B.C. Court of Appeal allowed an appeal, setting aside the ministerial order to surrender the duo, ruling that in light of India's human rights record, it was not reasonable for the minister to accept India's assurances over the future health and safety of the two accused.

That ruling found there was a basis for concern that the pair could be subject to violence, torture or neglect if surrendered to India.

Today, Canada's top court was set to decide whether to hear the attorney general of Canada's leave to appeal the fact that the "the surrender order set aside on the basis that the Minister's acceptance of assurances from extradition partner on health and safety in custody was not reasonable."

No reasons were given by the SCOC.

Jassi Sidhu's death

Jassi Sidhu was killed after marrying Mithu Sidhu, a rickshaw driver she had met in India a few years earlier. Her family did not approve of the match because of his lower social status. Jassi Sidhu and her husband were attacked as they rode a scooter in a village near Sangrur, Punjab, in June 2000.

According to reports in India, her husband was severely beaten and left for dead. Sidhu was kidnapped and later killed. Her throat was slit and her body was left in a canal. The case received extensive media coverage, which included a book and more than one television documentary.

Seven men were convicted of the crime in India, but several of those convictions were overturned on appeal.