Two Khalistanis lose fight to get off Canada’s no-fly list

A Canadian court has thrown out a bid by two Khalistani extremists to get off Canada’s no-fly list because there were reasonable grounds to suspect they would commit an act of terror.

The Federal Court of Appeal in its ruling this week dismissed an appeal by Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai after they lost a constitutional challenge of their no-fly designations under Canada’s Secure Air Travel Act, The Canadian Press reported.

This was a unanimous decision of a three-judge panel.

Federal Court of Appeal Justice David Stratas, writing the ruling on behalf of the panel, said Brar and Dulai had their Charter rights breached when they were added to the Secure Air Travel Act’s (SATA) no-fly list in 2018, reports The National Post, a Canadian newspaper.

The two Sikh Canadians were not allowed to board planes in Vancouver in 2018.

PTI quoted sources in New Delhi as saying that Dulai was a member of the banned Babbar Khalsa.

Sources told PTI that Dulai was a close associate of opposition New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh.

Dulai runs a channel called ‘Channel Punjabi’ from Surrey and ‘Global TV’ from Chandigarh. Both the channels spread Khalistani propaganda, they said.

The National Post said that the ruling saved the federal Canadian government’s no-fly list from a constitutional challenge.

The ruling says the act empowers the public safety minister to ban people from flying if there are “reasonable grounds to suspect they will threaten transportation security or travel by air to commit a terrorism offence.”

The appellate panel found that based on confidential security information, the minister “had reasonable grounds to suspect that the appellants would travel by air to commit a terrorism offence.”

In 2019, Brar and Dulai went to the Federal Court of Canada to have their names struck from the list.

But Justice Simon Noel ruled against them both in 2022.

The limits imposed on Dulai, he ruled, “were the result of evidence-based suspicions that he could fly abroad in order to plot a terrorist attack.”

“The Government of Canada must enact laws that protect national security and intelligence activities in a way that respects rights and freedoms and encourages the international community to do the same,” Noel ruled.

In their appeal, both Brar and Dulai argued the impairment of their rights as a result of being placed on the list was not “minimal” and therefore unjustified.

However, the appellate court ruled the legislation was justified and that confidential portions of the court process were procedurally fair.

Lawyers for Brar and Dulai did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the court’s ruling, said PTI.

The appellate court’s ruling comes amid strained ties between Canada and India over the Justin Trudeau-led government’s refusal to act against Khalistani elements in the country.

The Trudeau government survives on the support of Jagmeet Singh’s party, the New Democratic Party. Khalistanis like Dulai are reportedly linked to Jagmeet Singh.

Published By:

India Today Web Desk

Published On:

Jun 21, 2024

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