CHANDIGARH: India’s ties with Canada may have entered freeze zone just days back over the alleged killing of hardliner Hardeep Singh Nijjer in Canada, but Punjab and Haryana high court records in the alleged Rs 6,000 crore drug haul case bear testimony to the fact that the Canadian government has never responded positively to India’s request to extradite “fugitive NRIs” in the case.
The NRIs are wanted by Punjab police in the drug and multi-crore money laundering case involving former Punjab police DSP Jagdish Singh Bhola. As per records, despite several efforts by Punjab police and the central agencies, the Canadian agencies had rejected their cases citing various technical discrepancies in the documents. The investigation agencies including the Punjab police and directorate of enforcement (ED) have been looking for these NRIs since 2015-16 as they are suspected to be part of the cartel behind the drug supply racket. The requests for their extradition were made through CBI and MEA.
The special PMLA court, Mohali, had issued two LRs (Letters of Request) on January 20, 2016, under Section 57 of PMLA Act against 18 NRIs –16 living in Canada and two in the UK. LR is a formal request to a foreign country seeking judicial assistance in investigation of a case. Those wanted from Canada are Anup Singh Kahlon alias Ruby, Ranjit Kaur, Manpreet Singh alias Manni Gill (Mount Street, Ottawa), Daljit Singh (Mount Street Ottawa), Sukhraj Singh Kang alias Raja, Nirankar Singh Dhillon (Light Kechar, Circle Brampton, Ontario)) Lehmbar Singh, Ranjit Singh Aujla (now deceased), Amarjit Singh Koonar, Tony Parmod Sharma, a native of Delhi (Brampton), Satpreet Singh alias Satta Ave-Nw, Edmonton), Pradip Singh Singh Dhaliwal (Surrey, Vancouver) Davinder Singh Narwal, a native of Ganganagar in Rajasthan (Sanforrest Drive, Ontario) Harmahinder Singh, Parminder Singh alias Pindi (Finn Road Richmond) and Roy Bahadur Nirwal (Sanforrest Drive Ontario). Later, a look-out circular (LOC) was issued to 13 of them for their alleged involvement in the drug case.
Two others who are wanted in the drug haul case and are living in the UK include Madal Lal alias Mic and Kulwant Singh alias Kanti from Kapurthala district of Punjab.
Niranjan Singh, former deputy director, ED, who had probed the money laundering aspect in the drug haul case, too had found Canada to be very non-cooperative over extradition. “I had even traced the personal addresses of some of the accused and posted them through the Indian authorities in Canada, but nothing happened. While other countries were very cooperative, Canada kept on rejecting our requests on one pretext or another,” he added .
This view was echoed by the then assistant solicitor general (ASG) of India, Chetan Mittal, in May 2018, while representing the central government before the HC in the drug case. He had told the court that despite sending all the proposals through proper channels for extradition of fugitive NRIs who were responsible for so many deaths in Punjab due to drug abuse, the Canadian agencies had been very non-cooperative in clearing the process.
Senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who was also associated with the drug haul case, had told the HC, “It is strategic and willful stonewalling by Canadian authorities to stall the extradition process.”

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