A COVID-denier accused of violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference last year has had his lawsuit against the B.C. government and New Westminster Police Department dismissed.
Makhan “Mak” Singh Parhar of New Westminster, 47, was charged with three counts under section 71 of the Quarantine Act for allegedly breaking his mandatory 14-day self-isolation on Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov.2, 2020.
According to posts on his Facebook page, Parhar was in the United States to attend an event called Flatoberfest 2020 in Greenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. The event, which is described on its website as “an interactive conference for alternative cosmology enthusiasts,” was attended by “close to 400 people” according to a video posted to Parhar’s Facebook page.
New Westminster police arrested Parhar on Nov. 2, alleging that, despite being reminded of federal legislation requiring travelers to self-isolate under the Quarantine Act and receiving a violation ticket, Parhar refused to comply and continued leaving his residence.
A video shot at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Nov. 1 and posted to Parhar’s YouTube page shows him speaking to the crowd about his recent trip and his refusal to sign a “quarantine” form at customs or abide by orders to self-isolate.
After several court appearances in the months since, his trial is now scheduled to begin July 29, 2021.
In his suit, Parhar — who identified himself as “i:man:Mak of the Parhar family” in his notice of civil claim — accused Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, Attorney General David Eby, NWPD Chief Constable Dave Jansen and Crown prosecutor Adrienne Switzer of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud, and challenged the jurisdiction of the courts.
Parhar said he had been “harmed by being arrested, kidnapped and locked up for four days” despite not having harmed anyone, and wanted his case heard in “Parhar Court,” a “common law” court where he would act as “prosecutor.”
In essence, Parhar claimed that neither the Quarantine Act nor the provincial court’s authority applied to him as he had not expressly consented to either “contract.”
Parhar indicated he filed his proceeding in court because he needed access to a courthouse, a courtroom and a judge in order to “open up” the Parhar Court.
In his ruling issued Sunday, April 16, Justice Murray B. Blok dismissed Parhar’s suit, calling it “patently absurd and nonsensical,” adding “it is difficult to understand how anyone could come to believe any of its concepts.”
Blok said he is not without sympathy for Parhar.
“He spent four days in jail, evidently the result of alleged breaches of the Quarantine Act, and it appears this occurred because someone convinced him, or he convinced himself, that statute law does not apply to him,” Blok wrote. “It was a hard way to learn that laws do not work on an ‘opt-in’ basis.
“In any event, the plaintiff still has the opportunity to challenge the Quarantine Act offences that have been alleged against him, which hopefully he will do on more conventional grounds.”
Blok ordered Parhar pay the defendants’ court costs in the amount of $750.
Parhar, who previously owned and ran Bikram Yoga Delta on Scott Road, had his business licence suspended by City of Delta bylaw inspectors in March of 2020 after he refused to voluntarily cancel classes at the hot yoga studio in spite of public health orders issued by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Parhar erroneously claimed in an email to clients that the novel coronavirus “cannot survive in the heat” in the studio. His claims made the rounds on social media, sparking outrage among many North Delta residents and numerous complaints to the city’s bylaw enforcement department.
The business has since closed permanently.