The extradition of two accused — Malkiat Kaur and her brother Surjit Singh Badesha — to India to face trial in an alleged honour killing case in Punjab was stayed Thursday following a Canadian court order. The court passed the order based on an application moved by the duo’s lawyer.
Canadian authorities took custody of the duo from a three-member Punjab police team, moments before the flight was about to take off, sources said. The two would be produced in the Canadian court, they added.
IG (Patiala zone) A S Rai said, “The Punjab police team had reached Toronto airport from Vancouver. It was given custody of the accused earlier. Now, the team will stay put and wait for the outcome of the Canadian court order.”
The Punjab police team had reached Canada on Sunday as the Supreme Court of Canada had cleared the decks for extradition of the deceased Jassi’s mother, Malkiat Kaur, and uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha.
“Yes, they were granted stay. We don’t know the grounds yet,” said Patiala SP (Headquarters) Kanwardeep Kaur, who is heading the three-member team, in a text message to The Indian Express.
In June 2000, Canada-born Jaswinder Kaur Jassi was murdered in Punjab in a suspected case of “honour killing” as she had “clandestinely” married Sukhwinder Singh Mithu against her family’s wishes.
Kaur and Badesha are alleged to have orchestrated the crime in which Jassi and Mithu were attacked by “contract killers.” Mithu survived the attack.
In 2005, seven accused in the case were awarded life imprisonment by a trial court in Sangrur. Later, four accused were acquitted, while the Supreme Court upheld life imprisonment for three, including a Punjab police inspector, Joginder Singh.