CHANDIGARH: Nineteen years after the honour killing of Jaswinder Kaur, alias Jassi, a Canadian citizen who married Sukhwinder Singh Mithu, a poor Sikh boy against the wishes of her family, a court in Sangrur on Tuesday framed charges against the victim's mother Malkiat Kaur (70) and maternal uncle Surjit Singh Badesha (74).
The duo was extradited from Canada and are lodged in Kapurthala jail at present.
Mithu's counsel Ashwani Chaudhary said, "The judge of Additional District and Sessions court Smriti Dhir framed charges under IPC Sections 302, 307 and 120-B against Malkiat Kaur and her brother Surjit Singh.
"After they were extradited from Canada, a supplementary charge sheet against Mithu's mother and uncle was submitted in the Malerkotla court by the Sangrur Police and later the case was transferred to the Sangrur court.
"As the charges have been framed thus now 23 witnesses (police officers and others) of prosecution would be produced in court who had some role in the case. In 2003 both Kaur and Singh were declared Proclaimed Offenders (POs) but they used tactics to delay their extradition proceedings from Canada thus the framing of charges got delayed," he said.
Subsequently, on September 5, the court had dismissed the bail plea of Malkiat Kaur.
Jassi, who was the daughter of a multi-millionaire blueberry orchard owner in British Columbia, in March 1999 had secretly married Sukhwinder Singh Mithu, a kabaddi player from a poor Sikh family. Mithu had returned from Canada in May that year and was working as an auto driver in Amritsar.
Jassi had first met Mithu in December 1994 when she had come to India with her mother Malkit Kaur. The duo started an affair before Jassi returned to Canada. However, the couple continued used to be in touch over the phone.
Sources said that in February 2000 Sukhwinder was falsely booked for kidnapping and forcible marriage by the Punjab Police after a forged complaint was lodged on behalf of Jassi by her relatives. Jassi visited India in May and gave the statement to the police in favour of her husband. In the following month, the contract killers attacked the couple when they were returning from Malerkotla. While Jassi died in the attack, her husband Sukhwinder survived.
The Punjab Police arrested the all the seven attackers ( Anil Kumar, Ashwini Kumar, Gurwinder Singh Cheema, Joginder Singh, Hardev Singh, Darshan Singh and Gursharan Singh) in July and it came to light that they attack was hatched by Jassi’s mother and maternal uncle who were in Canada.
In May 2002 Punjab Police contacted the Royal Canadian Mounted Police but their request for extradition was turned down. In October 2005 a court in Sangrur pronounced life imprisonment for all the seven accused in the case.
On January 24, a team of Sangrur police led by SP (Investigations) Gurmeet Singh had taken the custody of Jassi's mother and uncle from Delhi Police following their extradition from Canada.