2005: “Pizza man is deported to India.” 2019: “Deported pizza man is back”

Judy Sgro
Photo: Facebook

IN February 2005, in an article titled, “Pizza man is deported to India,” The VOICE wrote: “Harjit Singh, 49, of Brampton, Ontario, the controversial pizza shop owner who brought about the resignation of former immigration minister Judy Sgro, was put aboard an Air Canada flight to Delhi under police escort – but even as he left he didn’t end his barrage of allegations that won him no sympathy and in fact kept damaging any little credibility he had remaining.

“Media reports said Singh’s son Surinderpal Singh and his son’s wife, Harkamal Preet Virk, bid him farewell in a secure area at the airport. Virk told reporters that she feared Singh would be arrested and mistreated in India. In 1996, he had been convicted there under the alias Lakhbir Singh Sandhu for illegally escorting a four-year-old boy out of India. Although his fingerprints, handprints, footprints and photographed matched those of the accused man, he denied he was the same person.”

Harjit Singh claimed Sgro promised him asylum for helping in her election campaign in 2004 by bringing food and workers. He alleged that Sgro backed out when this started to leak out to save her job and ordered his arrest and removal from Canada.

Harjit Singh even filed an affidavit accusing Sgro of making the pizza deal, then backing out and argued that she exerted improper influence on his case. The judge rejected his argument. Sgro agreed to withdraw a $750,000 libel suit against Singh after he wrote that he had made up the story.

 

BUT this week, the National Post in an article titled, “Deported pizza man is back,” reported that Harjit Singh had been allowed into Canada and that his visa request was helped by a letter by Brampton MP Raj Grewal, who was hoofed out of the Liberal caucus following his gambling debt scandal.

It was this man’s sworn affidavit filed in the Federal Court of Toronto that forced then Immigration Minister Judy Sgro to quit the federal cabinet.

Sgro told the National Post she has asked immigration officials to explain how someone like Harjit Singh was allowed to come back to Canada and said that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are investigating and have promised to report back to her.

 

IN January 2005, The VOICE wrote a story titled, “Judy Sgro Controversy – Pizza man: Mindboggling affairs of a man who’s an embarrassment to Indo-Canadians.”

It said: “A police sergeant of the Peel Region (under which Brampton falls) in a sworn affidavit filed in Federal Court has stated that police discovered 17 fake Indian passports and other material in a raid on Singh’s house in 2000, the National Post newspaper reported. Court records state that a witness told police that Singh offered to help his brother enter Canada for $10,000 to $15,000.

“Police have accused him of traveling to India surreptitiously even while claiming to be a persecuted refugee from India. The documents suggest that he threatened those who tried to expose him.”

It also said: “The Toronto Star newspaper reported that a court ruled last year that Singh took part in a $1 million credit card scam with his three children. He also faces a civil suit for non-payment of a $57,000 legal bill launched by the lawyer who defended him. The lawyer, Mark Klaiman, in a statement of claims alleges that based on misleading information provided by Singh, he settled the bill for $5,000. But he later found that the family has “not sold their home, nor did they utilize the proceeds from the sale to pay the existing first mortgage or the outstanding judgment.”

“Court documents show that last year [2004] a judge ruled that Singh, his two sons Surinderpal Singh and Parminder Singh and his daughter Jatinder Kaur “acted jointly in skimming credit and debit cards, in making counterfeit cards and in using them fraudulently.”

“Canada’s five major banks filed a civil suit in 2000 against 16 people, including Singh, his wife and three children, but Singh was never convicted of a criminal offence, the Toronto Star reported.

“In the civil suit, the judge ruled: “These defendants agreed to work together in a common cause and, towards that end, one or more of them from time to time, with confederates as required, engaged in one or more of the three parts of the fraudulent scheme in order to advance their common cause.”

“The judge awarded the banks damages of $577,174.44 for the fraud committed by the Singh family. The family settled for $300,000 with the banks, the Toronto Star reported.

“Singh and his family actually converted to Christianity and have been regular churchgoers for years, according to the pastor of their church.

“The Globe and the Mail reported that Singh and his wife arrived in Canada in 1988. They sought asylum, claiming they had been tortured by Indian police for speaking out against the government. But their claims were turned down.

“However, when their two sons and daughter arrived in Canada in 1991, they were granted asylum. In 1994, Singh filed the first of four applications to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The final application was never processed although it was approved in principle because the authorities discovered that he had been convicted of forgery and of attempting to illegally escort a child out of India and was fined $320.

“Even though the accused man’s fingerprints, footprints, handprints and photographs matched Singh’s, he denied he had been in India and that he had been involved in any wrongdoing. In a statement in his court file, he said he could only assume that this was part of an effort by some people to frame him.

“The Globe and Mail reported that police charged Singh with perjury and obstruction of justice in 2000, but these charges were eventually stayed because an Indian police officer could not identify him positively.

“However, the Federal Court upheld his removal order, finding that he was inadmissible based on forensic evidence from India and the RCMP’s testimony.

“Singh then filed another motion, alleging that he would be at risk of torture if he was sent back to India. He said he had health issues and could not work. His wife had had kidney failure and was undergoing dialysis three times a week and would not be able to get the medical attention she needed in India, he added.

“That motion was rejected and Singh and his wife were to be deported in December, 2002. He appealed that ruling and lost in January, 2004. In March, his wife passed away and he could not then use her ill health as grounds for him to remain here.

“Newspapers have carried many other allegations against Singh.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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