The extradition of two Maple Ridge residents facing murder conspiracy charges in India has been stayed, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Malkit Kaur Sidhu, 66, and Surjit Singh Badesha, 71, were facing extradition after being charged in India with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the June 2000 death of former Pitt Meadows secondary student Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, also known as Jassi.
Malkit is Jassi’s mom and Surjit Singh Badesha is her uncle.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld their being sent to India to face trial two weeks ago.
Former Pitt Meadows secondary principal Jim Longridge has been following the case.
He said Thursday that the two were flown to Toronto on Wednesday for transfer to Indian authorities.
However, one of the lawyers involved in the case filed another appeal in court, while Sidhu and Badesha were in custody in Toronto.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel from the B.C. Court of Appeal accepted an application for judicial review.
“Pursuant to the Extradition Act, the surrender order is stayed pending the outcome of this application,” said a Ministry of Justice spokesperson.
“This is a matter that has come before us on an emergent basis. It involves the potential surrender of two persons sought to India. A question has arisen as to what may occur upon the decision of the Minister of Justice concerning an application to reconsider the decision to surrender,” wrote Justice A. Donald.
“A point of difference arises in a letter dated September 20, 2017, from a general counsel of the International Assistance Group purporting to convey a position on behalf of the Minister; the effect of which, arguably, is that the persons sought may be surrendered immediately upon a Minister’s determination that she will not entertain the application to reconsider.
“The matter was referred to us by the Registrar because of a concern that the initial filing in the matter yesterday was bad on its face and may be obviously invalid. Subsequent filings and the surrounding circumstances as outlined by Mr. Crossin have persuaded me that there is an arguable case, that the Minister’s position, as expressed in the letter of September 20, 2017, constitutes a reviewable decision and, as such, is amenable to judicial review in this Court under the Extradition Act, S.C. 1999, c. 18, and the matter requires further development by the exchange of documents, affidavits in support, and the creation of a record which will make for a proper determination of the issue.
“Accordingly, I would adjourn this matter for hearing on an expedited basis so that a proper record can be constructed and counsel can put together their arguments to assist the Court.”