Gurdev Dhillon files civil lawsuit for wrongful conviction and federal court judicial review of deportation order

Lawyer Jason Gratl
Lawyer Jason Gratl


“GURDEV Dhillon was convicted in October 2005 of a sexual assault he did not commit and he was sentenced to four years in jail. His wife left him. His daughter, believing him to be a rapist, ceased to have contact with him. He lost his job and when he was released from prison in October of 2008, he was deported,” lawyer Jason Gratl told The VOICE on Monday.

He added that now he and his co-counsel Paul Briggs “are doing everything we can to restore his permanent residency in Canada and secure compensation for Mr. Dhillon’s losses.”

Besides this civil case, there is also a federal court judicial review of the deportation order. It was started on Monday and Gratl told The VOICE that he hopes to have an answer in a few months.


IN the notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Gratl states: “Before the conviction, the plaintiff was a married man with a decent job who was working towards his Canadian citizenship and planning a future for his family. Now, because of his conviction, the plaintiff is a rural farmer with few economic prospects in the Village of Raitwal, in the District of Jalandhar in the Province of Punjab, India.”

The lawsuit names the RCMP lead investigator Ryan Roth, an unknown member or civilian employee of the RCMP, the B.C. Minister of Justice, Dhillon’s former lawyer Sukhjinder Grewal and lead prosecutor Don Wilson.

The allegations have not been proven in court but the document states that when police arrived at the plaintiff’s basement suite five or six hours after the sexual assault, they found him “unconscious, highly intoxicated and naked on his own floor.”

The document states: “The victim testified at trial that she was brought to the plaintiff’s basement suite when the plaintiff was home by two men names Harris and Adam. All four of them drank alcohol. The victim testified that [she] was sexually assaulted by two of the three men, that Adam was not one of the men who assaulted her and that the plaintiff was one of the men who assaulted her. Her initial statement to police was that the two men who drove her to the plaintiff’s residence assaulted her.”

It states that Roth and the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP “failed to meaningfully investigate other suspects despite initially being told by the victim that she was sexually assaulted by the two men who brought her to the plaintiff’s suite” and that they “unduly influenced the complainant to change her statement to identify the plaintiff as her assailant.”

It adds that “investigators seized the victim‘s boxer shorts and took body swabs. A report was prepared stating that the shorts and swabs yielded DNA samples (the“DNA Samples”). The report was sent to Crown counsel and to the defendant Sukhjinder Grewal, who was acting as the plaintiff’s defence counsel.”

The documents states that Grewal “did not request access to the DNA samples to obtain an analysis of whether the DNA samples matched the plaintiffs DNA profile’ and that he “did not conduct meaningful cross-examination into the DNA Samples.”

It adds: “The RCMP analyzed DNA Samples and an analysis was prepared concluding that the DNA Samples were of two unknown males (the “DNA Analysis”). The DNA Analysis was forwarded to the RCMP on February 7, 2005.” However, Roth and the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP failed to deliver the DNA analysis to Crown counsel or Grewal.

The document states: “Sukhjinder Grewal knew or ought to have known that a DNA Analysis had been prepared in respect of the DNA Samples, but Mr. Grewal did not request production of the DNA Analysis. Don Wilson knew or ought to have known that a DNA Analysis had been prepared in respect of the DNA Samples, but he did not request a copy of the DNA Analysis and did not provide a copy of the DNA Analysis to the plaintiff or his counsel.”

After Dhillon’s conviction in October 2005, a court order compelled him to provide a DNA sample to the RCMP and it was compared to the DNA found on the victim’s boxer shorts panties.

In June 2006, the RCMP concluded that his DNA did not match any known samples, including the profiles of the two men (the “Exclusion Report”). But Roth and the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP failed to deliver the Exclusion Report to Crown counsel or to Dhillon’s lawyer or to Dhillon himself and they “failed to implement a policy or procedure to analyze and respond to the significance of DNA samples taken from offenders that do not match known samples,” according to the document.

Grewal was deported from Canada upon his release from prison on October 28, 2008.

The document states: “The RCMP matched the victim’s DNA samples to one man on July 7, 2010. An investigation of that man was commenced.” But Roth and the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP failed to notify Dhillon or his lawyer.

And in September of 2011, when the Minister of Justice assigned a special prosecutor to conduct a review of Dhillon’s conviction, the Minister of Justice, Roth and the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP failed to notify Dhillon about it, according to the document.

The RCMP matched the victim’s DNA samples to another man on May 11, 2012, and an investigation of that man was commenced. But Roth, the unknown civilian employee of the RCMP and the Minister of Justice failed to notify either Dhillon or his lawyer.

Dhillon and his lawyer were not notified that his DNA “did not match the two DNA profiles until February 20, 2013, after the Crown decided to pursue charges against two persons whose DNA matched the victim’s DNA samples.”

0n February 20, 2013, the Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General for B.C. issued a public statement that special prosecutor Peter Wilson had found that there were materials which were not disclosed to Crown counsel or defense counsel at the time of Dhillon’s trial and appeal and that as a result in his opinion a miscarriage of justice had occurred, the document adds.

0n March 27, 2013, the special prosecutor delivered all of the DNA results to a lawyer for Dhillon. The B.C. Court of Appeal overturned Dhillon’s conviction and imposed a stay of proceedings on December 5, 2014, the document states.