BY RATTAN MALL
MORE than 12 years after Amandeep Bath, 27, was murdered in Surrey on September 23, 2004, Parminder Singh Basran, who pleaded guilty this year in March to manslaughter with a firearm in connection to his death, was sentenced to six years in prison.
Now the grieving relatives of the victim have been delivered a shocking blow by the news that Basran has reportedly applied for escorted temporary absence (ETA) just after six months in prison.
Bath’s cousin Harpreet Khela in an email to The VOICE said: “I was shocked when I learned that Parminder (Pindu) Basran is already applying for supervised visits outside of prison. Basran negotiated himself a deal after killing our cherished family member, and staying quiet for 13 years. After tremendous amount of work from IHIT [Integrated Homicide Investigation Team] and the Crown, and 13 years of our mourning for Amandeep’s justice, Basran was finally recharged. In part of his guilty plea, Basran negotiated a sentence of only six years.”
He added: “Now only 6.5 months into his sentence, it is an insult that he believes he should be granted leave to see his family members and friends outside of jail. Mr. Basran took the life of an innocent and law abiding citizen with no reason. Amandeep’s family does not have the luxury, as he does, to apply and spend time together. We will never see Amandeep again, no matter what we do. Taking an innocent life is the worst thing a person could do. Citizens like Mr. Basran do not deserve the sympathy or privilege that he is requesting because he has demonstrated that he is not only capable of murdering someone but further able to live with it for 13 years before admitting his guilt, only to save himself from a longer jail sentence.
“Mr Basran’s lawyers were able to negotiate his sentencing down to only six years. He should be fortunate to have such a small sentence and serve the time he so seriously deserves to spend behind bars. Mr. Basran’s application requesting to be allowed for supervised visitation outside of prison would even further diminish the small bit of justice Amandeep’s family received 13 years after his murder.
“It is so disheartening, and a complete mockery of the justice system that a convicted murderer would be so entitled to think he deserves supervised visits, especially after only serving 6.5 months behind bars. Knowing that Mr. Basran was behind bars brought my family a sense of peace and relief. Thinking that a killer could think he deserve such a luxury during his sentence is beyond words.
“We are yet to hear about what the decision is for Basran’s application but anticipate that a decision will be made in the near future.”
BATH was out with friends on the night of September 23, 2004. When returning home, he was confronted in his vehicle by an acquaintance. This confrontation prompted Amandeep to take off in his vehicle and call 911. The two suspects then followed behind him in their vehicle. Both vehicles came to a rest in the 9100-block of 125th Street in Surrey, according to police.
At this location the confrontation ensued between the two suspects and Amandeep. This confrontation ended when Amandeep was shot and killed at this location. As Amandeep had placed a 911 call, the Surrey RCMP were on scene quickly which resulted in locating and arresting one of the suspects. The second suspect was identified and arrested a few days following the homicide. Both individuals were charged with homicide-related charges.
However, these charges were stayed in 2005 as Crown concluded the available evidence did not support a viable prosecution at the time.
In 2012, the IHIT Cold Case Unit was formed and this was their first assigned investigation. After an exhaustive review of the case, additional evidence was obtained and the threshold for charge approval has been met.
Nine years after Bath’s murder, on September 24, 2013, Kevin Hackett, who was then the Officer-in-Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, told the media: “I would like to let the community know that arrests have been made today, and charges secured against, 28-year-old Parminder Singh Basran, who is charged with second-degree murder, and 29-year-old Bhabjit Singh Aujla, who is charged with manslaughter and accessory after the fact. Both men are currently in custody.”
Hackett noted: “Every investigation has its own unique set of facts, challenges and obstacles. This one is no different. In March 2012, a team of dedicated Cold Case investigators was formed within IHIT and now provides our unit an opportunity to focus on those investigations where investigative avenues had been limited and momentum stalled. In most investigations our investigators forge strong bonds with our victim’s family and this was certainly the case here.”
He added: “Amandeep’s family has shown tremendous patience, trust and faith in us. Thank you for that. We hope that this result eases some of the pain and answers some questions.”
Aujla, who pleaded guilty to assault, was sentenced to time served, which equated to 11 months in custody.