Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court, in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

A Sikh woman who says she was forced into a sham marriage with her boss’s relative upon threat of being fired from her job as a hairdresser if she didn’t comply has won an annulment in B.C. Supreme Court.

Justice Gordon Weatherill presided over the case, Kaur v. Jhamb, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

He outlined the “uncontroverted evidence” that was presented in court in his reasons for decision, published Monday, Jan. 21.

The court heard the claimant, Pardeep Kaur, began working on Aug. 1, 2018 as a full-time hairdresser with a company identified only as BPL, owned and operated by a man identified only as B.S.S.

Her boss, B.S.S., suggested she marry his relative, identified as respondent Harpreet Singh Jhamb, who was living in India and whom B.S.S. subsequently sponsored to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident.

Weatherill noted that B.S.S. “told the claimant that her employment with the company would be secure only if she accepted this suggestion” and that Kaur had asked him for a day to think about it, “as she was neither willing nor ready for marriage.

“The following day,” the judge said, “the claimant agreed to marry the respondent under duress, as she did not want to lose her job.”

Eighteen days later, Kaur and Jhamb were married in a civil ceremony attended by some of B.S.S.’s friends and family.

“Immediately after the ceremony, the claimant went home alone,” Weatherill noted. “She has not seen the respondent since. The marriage was not consummated.”

The court heard the parties involved are Sikh, and Punjabi. According to their religion, beside a civil wedding there must also be a religious one before their holy book, Shri Guru Granth Sahib, prior to cohabitation and/or consummation of the union, but in this case no such ceremony took place.

Kaur was fired from her job shortly after the civil ceremony, Weatherill said.

“She believes she was fired because she did not go through with the religious ceremony.”

The judge said he had “overwhelming evidence” before him that the civil marriage ceremony was “a sham and was entered into solely for immigration purposes.

“I am satisfied that the claimant did not enter into the agreement to participate in this sham of her own free will but did so because of the threat of losing her job,” Weatherill decided. “I find that she was coerced into marrying the respondent and participated in the civil ceremony under duress.”

READ ALSO: South Surrey mother didn’t have the intent to kill her daughter: defence

READ ALSO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

READ ALSO: High court ruling allows long-term expats to vote in byelections across Canada



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

29 Years Ago (1990): Starting on Sept. 1, smokers had better checked… Continue reading

Cow Moose Sign founder wants LEH for antlerless moose hunt in B.C. stopped

“Shooting a cow moose — it’s just not the right thing to do, especially in this region”

Cost-free adult crafting classes come to the South Cariboo this September

‘What I want to promote is a group having fun, something to come to that doesn’t cost them’

What was your favourite part of the Summer Reading Club at the library?

Pawan Nijjar 100 Mile House “The crafts and the prizes we got… Continue reading

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Most Read