Who's A Lucky Girl?

For that matter, who's a lucky country?  "A man convicted of killing his sister-in-law in India 11 years ago by dousing her in kerosene and setting her on fire will be allowed to sponsor his new wife for immigration to Canada, the Federal Court has ruled.  The court found Immigration Board provisions against allowing someone convicted of a domestic violence offence to sponsor an immigrant are only for those convicted of harming a blood relative, and not an in-lawBaljinder Singh Brar, a Canadian citizen, was married in March 1997, one month before he was convicted in India of culpable homicide in the death of his brother's wife, who died from severe burns.


 [Meet Mr. Irresistible!]  Brar was released from jail in July 2004, returned to Canada, and six months later submitted an application to the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi for spousal sponsorship.  An immigration official rejected the application, citing Brar's conviction as a failure to comply with Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which bar those who have caused bodily harm against a relative.  Brar successfully appealed the decision citing that an offence involving a 'sister-in-law' is different than an offence involving a 'relative' as defined by the board.  The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration asked that the decision be reviewed, noting that another clause in the regulations provides a broader definition of 'relative' which includes 'family members' such as common-law partners or spouses.  This month, the Federal Court ruled that the Brar is eligible to sponsor his wife to come to Canada, and that the board had not erred in its interpretation of the regulations.  The word 'sister-in law' does not fall within the definition of 'family member' as outlined by the Immigration and Refugee Board, the ruling states."  (CanWest News, November 27, 2008)


Got it.  He's still a murderer, just not technically a murderer of a "family member."  "Indian police say that every year they receive more than 2,500 reports of bride-burning -- a form of domestic abuse often disguised as an accident or suicide.  These women are burned to death over wealth -- because their husbands or in-laws are unhappy with the size of the dowry that accompanied them into the marriage.  ... Mohini Giri, head of India's National Commission for Women, said ... 'Fire was used by most people who did this kind of crime ... (because) they thought that they will not leave any evidence behind.  ... Whereas if you use a knife, there is an evidence that someone else has done it.'"  (CNN, August 18, 1996)  A strategy that appears to fool no one outside Canada's high court. Well, for the lucky girl from the Punjab, it could be a hot time in the old town tonight!


[This article appears in the November, 2008 issue of the CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE. Published monthly, the CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE is available by subscription for $30 per year. You can subscribe by sending a cheque or VISA number and expiry date to CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE, P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3.]