Top court to rule on extradition of B.C. duo accused in honour killing
Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu was murdered in India after marrying a rickshaw driver
Canada's top court is set to decide whether a pair accused of masterminding the honour killing of a young B.C. woman should be extradited to face trial in India.
The Indian government is asking for the extradition of Maple Ridge residents Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha, a bid supported by a B.C. Supreme Court decision but then overturned in the province's appeals court.
The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to have the final say today.
Sidhu and Badesha are accused of setting up the murder of 25-year-old Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu, whose throat was slit in Punjab in 2000. Malkit Sidhu was the victim's mother, and Badesha, her uncle.
Jassi Sidhu was killed after marrying a poor Indian rickshaw driver named Mithu Sidhu. Her family did not approve of the match, and she had reported threats and assault by relatives to Maple Ridge RCMP.
The young couple was riding a scooter when they were attacked by a group of armed men — the husband badly beaten and left for dead at the scene, the wife forced into a car and driven away. Jassi Sidhu's body was later found in a canal.
International justice in question
The two B.C. relatives accused of planning the murder were arrested in 2012, and two years later a B.C. Supreme Court justice ordered them to be sent to India.
But the mother and uncle argued that they may not receive a fair trial in India, and in a split ruling last year, the B.C. Court of Appeal set aside the order to surrender the pair.
In a Supreme Court of Canada hearing earlier this year, a government lawyer argued that failing to extradite Sidhu and Badesha would undermine the global justice system.
The accused pair have contended that they would be neglected or mistreated in the Indian prison system.
Seven men were convicted in India in connection with Jassi Sidhu's murder, but several of those convictions have since been overturned.