Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the Republic of India v. Surjit Singh Badesha, et al.
(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)
Canadian charter (Criminal) - Criminal law, Extradition, Judicial review.
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Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Criminal Law – Extradition – Judicial review of Minister’s surrender order – Surrender order set aside on basis that Minister’s acceptance of assurances from extradition partner on health and safety in custody was not reasonable – What is the appropriate scope of review under s. 7 of the Charter for alleged deficiencies in an extradition partner’s justice system? – What is the appropriate standard of review of a Minister’s decision to accept diplomatic assurances from an extradition partner? – Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 7 – Extradition Act, S.C. 1999, c. 18.
The respondents are the uncle and mother, respectively, of the victim. They are alleged to have planned a long-distance “honour killing” in India from Canada because the victim had married a man whom the respondents considered unsuitable. The respondents are alleged to have resorted to hostility, violence and threats, failing which they hired hitmen who tracked the couple down in the state of Punjab, killed the victim and severely beat the victim’s husband. Indian authorities charged several Indian nationals connected to the murder, three of whom have been convicted, as well as the respondents.
India sought the respondents’ extradition for prosecution on the offence of conspiracy to commit murder. The respondents were committed for extradition, and the Minister proceeded to issue a surrender order. The respondents, who have health issues that require medical care in custody, placed before the Minister the record of human rights violations in India’s prison system. The Minister issued a surrender order conditional on receipt of formal assurances from India, including assurances regarding death penalty, fair trial and the respondents’ health and safety in Indian custody.
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