It was about 9.30 pm on June 8, 2000. Sukhwinder Singh and his Indo-Canadian wife Jaswinder Kaur, aka Jassi, were coming on a scooter when a car accosted them near a bridge. Four armed persons attacked the two after alighting from the vehicle. Jaswinder Kaur became the alleged victim of “honour killing”, while Sukhwinder Singh was hospitalised. Among others, allegations were levelled against Jassi’s mother and maternal uncle.
Two decades and several flicks later, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to Jassi’s maternal uncle Surjeet Singh. The order by Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan came after the petitioner-uncle had undergone “long custody” of over three years in India and about seven years in Canada, reported The Tribune.
According to The Tribune, “The uncle had moved the HC seeking regular bail in the FIR registered on June 9, 2000, for murder, abduction and other offences under Sections 302, 307, 364, 148, 149 and 120-B of the IPC and the provisions of the Arms Act in Sangrur.
The complainant-husband, Sukhwinder Singh, had claimed that he entered into love marriage with Jassi on April 15, 1999, against her parents’ wishes. Residents of Canada, they had come to India on a vacation. He alleged that the mother, perturbed over the solemnisation of marriage, hatched a conspiracy to eliminate the couple and paid Rs 5,00,000 to the contract killers.
His counsel PS Brar contended that the petitioner was aged about 75. He was extradited on January 22, 2019, though he was arrested on January 9, 2012, by the Canadian authorities. Brar also relied upon the order dated December 16, 2020, vide which his sister/co-accused and the victim’s mother Malkiat Kaur Sidhu was granted the concession of regular bail by the HC.
After hearing the counsel for the parties, Justice Sangwan asserted: “Considering the submissions and the fact that the petitioner is an elderly person; he is in long custody of three years and 21 days in India and about seven years in Canada and is not involved in any other case, this petition is allowed and the petitioner is directed to be released on regular bail, subject to furnishing his bail/surety bonds and subject to the conditions that his passport will not be released; he will not leave the country without prior permission of the court and will regularly appear before the trial court on each and every day….”