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

Stabbing at Surrey banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

55-year-old man taken to hospital after fire at Surrey RV park

Firefighters find man suffering from smoke inhalation, burns to face and hands: battalion chief

South Surrey parking ticket perplexes, frustrates

Theresa Delaney predicts more people will be wrongly ticketed

OUR VIEW: Let’s find Surrey pellet-gun punks

Those who do have information – if they are also possessed of a conscience – must contact police

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pedestrian in serious condition after hit by car downtown Abbotsford

A youth was also hit, suffered minor injuries, police say

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read