Pitt Meadows secondary student Jassi Sidhu died in India in 2000. (THE NEWS/files)

Immigration case winds slowly through court

Involves son of man convicted, then acquitted, of Jassi Sidhu murder

The aftermath of the alleged murder of Maple Ridge student Jazwinder Kaur Sidhu, also known as Jassi Sidhu, continues to play out in the courts, this time involving the son of one of the men who was previously charged, then acquitted of her murder.

The Federal Court in Ottawa is allowing a challenge by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of an immigration department decision that allowed Barinder Singh Sidhu into the country in 2008.

Barinder Singh Sidhu was 23 when he came to Canada as a dependent on his father’s application for permanent residency, according to the Federal Court judgment.

His father, Darshan Singh Sidhu, was one of seven men who had been charged with conspiracy and murder in connection with Jassi Sidhu’s death in 2000, said the March 16 judgment from Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley.

Jassi Sidhu was killed in June 2000 in the Indian state of Punjab after she married rickshaw driver Sukhwinder ‘Mithu’ Sidhu. She and her husband were attacked by a gang of men. Jassi’s body was found a day later in a ditch, her throat slit.

Darshan Singh Sidhu was either on parole or bail from that life sentence when he arrived in Canada in May 2008, said the judgment.

Darshan Singh Sidhu, who’s now living in India, was later acquitted of the murder charge following a 2015 decision by the Supreme Court of India.

The Federal Court ruling says there’s no dispute that Darshan Singh Sidhu didn’t reveal his criminal conviction when he applied to immigrate, making him inadmissible to Canada.

However, Darshan Singh Sidhu’s application included his son Barinder Singh Sidhu, as a dependent. Barinder Singh Sidhu made the same declaration about his own legal past. Barinder answered “truthfully,” said the judgment, that he had no criminal convictions.

The judgment also pointed out that the immigration declaration form didn’t ask Barinder Singh Sidhu for any information about his family, only about his own past.

“Nor is there any evidence that he [Barinder] was asked about his father’s history during his examination for landing,” the judge said in his analysis.

“Thus he did not make any direct misrepresentati0n that could induce an error in the administration of legislation.”

The judge agreed that there was no duty for Barinder to inform on his father when applying to enter Canada or when arriving in the country.

Barinder’s lawyer, Aleksandar Stojicevic, explained that the government maintains that the father’s misrepresentation simply disqualified his son’s application.

Stojicevic explained that the judge is saying the son didn’t have to inform on his father upon arrival in Canada, but is also saying that because the father was the principal applicant, that it also disqualified Barinder’s application.

Barinder has been in Maple Ridge since 2008 and is now married.

If an appeal was required, “He [Barinder] hasn’t done anything wrong, himself, so all of that would be looked at,” Stojicevic said.

“He didn’t know anything about this, he just showed up,” said Stojicevic.

But Stojicevic maintains that part of the immigration act doesn’t apply to permanent residents, which means the father’s application wouldn’t discredit his son’s application. It’s a matter of legal interpretation, he added.

The judge’s ruling means that Stojicevic can appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal to decide the issue, which he intends to do.

The immigration appeal division had previously dismissed another ministerial challenge in August 2017.

Meanwhile, the extradition case of Malkit Kaur Sidhu, 66 or 67, and Surjit Singh Badesha, 71, resumes again in April in Vancouver.

Both were facing extradition after being charged in India with conspiracy to commit murder of Jassi Sidhu.

Malkit is Jassi’s mom and Surjit Singh Badesha is her uncle.

An application has been filed in B.C. Court of Appeal, asking that the extradition order be stayed.

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