Mukhtiar Panghali is a Canadian citizen who was awarded life imprisonment for murdering his wife, Manjit Panghali, on 18 October 2006. Manjit Panghali was four months pregnant at the time of the murder. Her burnt body was found on a remote beach along DeltaPort causeway in South Delta in Canada after five days of her disappearance. The couple had a three-year-old daughter when Mukhtiar killed Manjit Panghali.
Mukhtiar Panghali was born in 1972 (age 50 years; as of 2022).
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His parents’ names are not known. He has a brother named Sukhvinder Panghali.
Wife & Children
Mukhtiar Panghali was married to Manjit Panghali. She was an elementary school teacher in Surrey, Canada.
The couple has a daughter named Maya.
Murder of Manjit Panghali
In 2006, Mukhtiar Panghali was working as a physics teacher at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey. His wife, Manjit Panghali, went missing on 18 October 2006. She was last seen at a prenatal yoga class in Surrey, Canada. Mukhtiar Panghali lodged a complaint about his missing wife after twenty-six hours of her disappearance. After five days, her badly burnt body remains were found on a remote beach along DeltaPort causeway in South Delta in Canada.
Mukhtiar Panghali was seen crying for his missing wife at several media conferences and appealing for her safe return soon after Manjit’s disappearance.
The postmortem report stated that Manjit was first strangulated to death, and then her body was moved to Delta beach for burning.
The Canadian police detained Manjit Panghali in March 2007 on the basis of surveillance evidence that revealed that Mukhtiar had bought a lighter and a newspaper from a local store at the night when his wife went missing. Mukhtiar used Manjit’s phone after her death, and later, during the investigation, he lied about the same.
Initially, during the court proceedings, Mukhtiar Panghali claimed that he was not guilty of murder. But, Mukhtiar confessed later that he killed his wife, Manjit Panghali, as he had negative feelings toward her.
Mukhtiar Panghali was awarded life imprisonment for fifteen years without any parole in January 2011 by Justice Heather Holmes. The B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster found him guilty of second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body in 2010. Soon after the verdict, Crown prosecutor Dennis Murray narrated Manjit Panghali’s murder theory as,
The teacher killed his wife after she’d returned home from a prenatal yoga class, staged the discovery of her car in Whalley, burned her body on a remote beach along DeltaPort causeway in South Delta, and then delayed for as long as he could to lodge a missing persons complaint with the Surrey RCMP.”
Manjit’s and Mukhtiar’s family members fought a long legal battle for the custody of the couple’s only daughter, Maya, soon after Mukhtiar was awarded life imprisonment by the British Columbia Supreme Court in 2011. The court granted her custody to Manjit’s sister Jasmine Bhambhra, who lives in Canada with her husband and three biological children. Soon after getting custody of the child, Jasmine Bhambra stated in a media conference that she experienced the most difficult time of her life when she was fighting for the custody of Manjit’s daughter. She said,
The custody battle was horrific and very traumatic, having to relive the trauma. It was horrific to see his face all the time. It was the most difficult time of my life.”
Mukhtiar appealed against his conviction orders two times, one in 2012, and the other in 2014; however, his appeals were dismissed both times. In 2014, the family members of Manjit Panghali applied for compensatory damages on behalf of Manjit’s ten-year-old daughter, Maya, under the Family Compensation Act. Soon, Maya was granted more than a half-million dollars compensation by her father over the loss of her mother, Manjit Panghali. The B.C. Supreme Court judge’s order read as,
The court award comes to $555,000 and includes $172,000 for future loss of assistance and child care, $129,000 for past lost of assistance and child care, $54,700 for the daughter’s loss of dependency on her mother, $165,000 for future loss of dependency and $35,000 for loss of guidance. An additional $58,600 will be set aside for a public guardian and trustee fee.”
In February 2014, the British Columbia Teacher Regulation Branch banned Mukhtiar Panghali for twenty-five years from teaching. He was serving life imprisonment under the murder charges of his four months pregnant wife when this notice was issued to him. The notice read as,
(Panghali’s) actions are entirely inconsistent with the standards expected of teachers, and to confirm that teachers remain subject to high standards of moral conduct which support the public confidence in the profession as a whole.”
The B. C. Supreme Court and the Parole Board of Canada granted unescorted leaves to Mukhtiar Panghali from jail in October 2021. Under the leaves, he was allowed to meet his family members and to involve himself in societal activities. However, the court issued a notice about the mental health conditions of Mukhtiar Panghali along with the leaves. It stated that Mukhtiar was still at a high risk of violence against an intimate partner. The court stated,
The psychologist reported that if you were to commit another violent offence in the future it would likely be linked to not managing negative emotions within the context of an intimate relationship.”
The Parole Board of Canada further stated that Mukhtiar would not contact Manjit’s family members and the couple’s daughter Maya. The conditions further stated,
As part of the terms of his release, Panghali cannot consume drugs or alcohol and has to report any intimate relationships, as well as friendships, with females.”
- The investment property and the matrimonial home of Mukhtiar and Manjit were sold by the court for over $260,000 amid the court proceedings of Manjit Panghali’s murder case. Both the families of the couple claimed the amount of the properties soon after the sale by the court.
- Amid the police investigations, some letters and a diary of Manjit Panghali was recovered from her house by the Canadian police. These writings were made public by police through several media houses. Manjit Panghali explained each and every moment of her depressed married life with Mukhtiar Panghali in her writings. In one of the entries in her diary, she wrote,
I am writing today because I thought that I would never let myself get to this point. I am clinically depressed and on medication. I am so scared. My husband does not give me the support I need.”
Manjit Panghali further penned that she was trying hard to make her relationship work. She wrote,
We need to do some work on our marriage. We need to plan it in order that our relationship doesn’t disintegrate. We need to do some work on this relationship. I need to stay connected to him. Make him love me again.”
- After the murder of Manjit Panghali, the police investigations revealed that one of the neighbours of Manjit and Mukhtiar’s family claimed that there was an issue between Manjit Panghali and her brother-in-law Sukhvinder Panghali. The neighbour narrated,
They kicked the brother in law out and she was like I get my own house back.”
- A web series based on the married life and murder of Manjit Panghali was released on the Discovery Plus channel in March 2022. The title of the web series is ‘Til Death Do Us Part: The Murder Of Manjit Basra.