Darshan Singh Sidhu, one of seven people in India originally implicated in the alleged “honour” killing of a B.C. woman, Jaswinder Sidhu in that country in 2000, was granted a permanent resident visa to Canada by mistake in 2008 after he lied about his criminal record.
The error was revealed in a recent Federal Court decision concerning whether Sidhu’s son, who was granted a visa at the same time, should be allowed to remain in Canada despite the misrepresentations of his father, who has since returned to India.
It is one of many legal twists and turns that have taken place in Canada and India since the murder of Jaswinder Kaur Sidhu, 25.
The woman from Maple Ridge, B.C., and her rickshaw-driver husband, Sukhwinder Singh Sidhu, were attacked by a mob of men in the Punjab region of India in June 2000. Her body was found the next day, her throat slit.
Police in India alleged that Jaswinder’s mother, Malkit Kaur Sidhu, and her uncle, Surjit Singh Badesha, ordered the killing from B.C. after Jaswinder did not marry a wealthier man chosen for her.
Seven people in India, including Darshan Singh Sidhu, were originally convicted of orchestrating the killing on behalf of Jaswinder’s family in Canada.
In January 2007, while serving a life sentence, Sidhu applied to become a permanent resident in Canada along with his wife and adult son. His daughter was already in Canada. When asked on his application form if he had been the subject of any criminal proceedings, Sidhu answered “no.”
In 2008, Sidhu, who was in the midst of appealing his conviction, was granted temporary parole.
In May of that year, Sidhu, his wife and 25-year-old son — Canadian visas in hand — travelled to Vancouver and obtained permanent residence status after undergoing interviews at the airport.
Sidhu and his wife returned to India about six weeks later so Singh could resume serving his sentence. They have not been back to Canada. However, their son, Barinder Singh Sidhu, remained in the country and started a family.
In early 2014, during a short visit to India, the son didn’t realize his permanent resident card had expired and so he had to go to a Canadian consulate to get a travel visa to return to Canada. That’s when immigration authorities realized they had previously granted permanent resident visas to a convicted murderer and his family.