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

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’s 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

Ten of 11 people taken into custody after shooting in Surrey have been released

Police say four guns, two Tasers, drugs and other weapons were seized after home shot at in Whalley

Madchild headlines ‘Hip Hop For Hunger’ at Surrey’s Strumms ‘n Drums club

Venue at Turf Hotel has hosted a variety of music events in recent months

UPDATE: Surrey getting a new hospital, in Cloverdale

Premier John Horgan said the ‘brand new hospital’ will be built near Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Delta Police Department joins integrated forensics team

Forensics-trained DPD officers will investigate scenes in other cities as well as in Delta

15-year-old charged following threat to South Surrey high school

Police announce pair of teens arrested for Nov. 14 incident at Elgin Park Secondary

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Don’t expect extra bus service during impending SkyTrain strike, CMBC says

Full SkyTrain shutdown is scheduled to start Tuesday morning

Most Read