While awaiting trial for his wife's murder, former Vernon man said he was discriminated against - InfoNews

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While awaiting trial for his wife's murder, former Vernon man said he was discriminated against

Paramjit Singh Bogarh
Image Credit: NRIpress.com
April 29, 2020 - 8:28 AM

A Vernon man who helped his wife’s killer evade arrest for 33 years unsuccessfully filed a Human Rights Code rights complaint, alleging discrimination in services based on age, mental and physical disability.

Paramjit Singh Bogarh, 59, filed the complaint Nov. 19, 2019, alleging that more than a year earlier, when he was being transferred while incarcerated he suffered poor treatment.

“Bogarh is incarcerated and was 58 when he filed his complaint,” Steven Adamson, a tribunal member wrote, in a decision to dismiss the compliant that was posted online.

“At that time he reported having prostate issues, anxiety and claustrophobia. On July 17, 2018, Bogarh was transferred from a correctional facility in the Okanagan to (Surrey Pretrial Service Centre). He said the vehicle he was transferred in was small and being in a confined space triggered his claustrophobia which led to panic attacks.”

READ MORE: Helping a murderer escape justice

Bogarh also reported that his prostate issues created an urgency for urination during the transfer.

“Without washroom stops on the long journey, he reports being left in severe pain while fearing he would urinate himself,” Adamson said.

“Bogarh said he was worried about losing his dignity if that occurred, along with the threat of violence from other inmates that would come with such an incident.”

A similar transport occurred Aug. 2, 2018 and the complaint exceeded the one year limitation by several months.

When asked why he took so long to make the complaint, Bogarh said that learned that he was being transferred and feared the upcoming process.

“While appreciating Mr. Bogarh’s straightforward reason for his delay I am not convinced that getting new information about a future event further engages the public interest in allowing his late-filed complaint about past events to proceed,” Adamson wrote.

“Bogarh has provided no reasonable explanation for why he waited so long to file his complaint about events that occurred in 2018.”

Addison added that public interest would not be served by extending the timeline.

“Mr. Bogarh is seeking justice for the poor service he received during two transfers in mid-2018,” he said. “He believes that it is inhuman to transfer someone with claustrophobia and prostate issues in a confined space with no access to a washroom.”

While acknowledging Bogarh’s concerns, Adamson said he was not satisfied that the complaint included a novel issue that should be heard by the tribunal to advance the purposes of the Human Rights Code.

Bogarh was extradited from the U.S. and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

In court, earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to helping his brother escape after Narinder Bogarh allegedly murdered Saminder Kaur Bogarh on New Year’s Eve in 1986.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin sentenced Bogarh to five years, less three years for time served March 5, as per the recommendation of Crown counsel and defence. 

When she asked Bogarh if he had anything to say, before offering her sentence, he declined the opportunity.

Bogarh had been living in California since he left Canada shortly after his wife's murder.

He never fully immigrated, however, so once he is done serving his sentence in a Canadian prison he will likely be deported to India, leaving behind the woman he married after Saminder Kaur Bogarh was killed and the son they had together. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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