SURREY — The former managing director of Radio India, Maninder Singh Gill, has won a new trial after appealing his convictions related to a 2010 shooting in Newton near a Sikh temple.
“The appellant did not receive a fair trial,” Justice Gregory Fitch found.
Fitch quashed the convictions and ordered a new trial after Gill appealed, with his lawyer Richard Peck arguing the trial judge had misapprehended material evidence that was central to Gill’s claim of self-defence.
Gill had been sentenced to four years in prison, in 2016.
Justices Richard Goepel and Susan Griffin agreed with Fitch’s reasons for judgment, which were rendered at B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver on July 5.
|Maninder Gill. (File photo)|
Gill was convicted of aggravated assault and related firearms offences for the shooting of Harjit Atwal in a parking lot next to the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara temple on Scott Road following a wedding celebration on Aug. 28, 2010.
“Specifically, the judge misunderstood and overlooked evidence, elicited by the Crown in the cross-examination of the appellant’s niece, that she asked the appellant what had happened shortly after the shooting occurred,” Fitch stated in his reasons for judgment. “She testified that she thought the appellant told her he had been stabbed. The judge failed to take this evidence into account in assessing the self-defence claim.”
“I am satisfied that the misapprehension of this evidence played an essential role in the judge’s rejection of the self-defence claim,” Fitch found. “In addition, I am of the view that the judge engaged in impermissible speculation by concluding that an injury to the palm of the appellant’s left hand was not a puncture wound inflicted by assailants prior to the shooting, as the appellant testified, but a pinch wound caused by the hammer of the revolver used in the shooting. This factual finding as to the cause of the appellant’s hand injury was another important component of the judge’s reasoning that led him to reject the defence of self-defence.”
Gill had testified at his trial that associates of Atwal stabbed his hand. After one of them dropped a gun, he told the court, he grabbed it and fired a warning shot and then shot Atwal in the hip.
Atwal had testified at the trial that he was upset with Gill for “very bad stuff” said about his family on Radio India, Fitch noted in his reasons for judgment.