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Canada-wide warrant issued for Duncan doctor who owes almost $400K in spousal support

Dr. Sujay Ishwarlall, who left Victoria months ago for his native South Africa, has a history of domestic violence, a B.C. Supreme Court judgment says.
B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a doctor who left Victoria months ago for his native South Africa owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in spousal support.

A B.C. Supreme Court judgment said Dr. Sujay Ishwarlall, who has been married to Shresta Ishwarlall for 18 years, has been “physically, emotionally and financially violent” toward her, and was twice charged criminally with assaulting her.

The judgment from Justice Catherine Murray said he is $393,596 in arrears for spousal support, starting from the time the couple separated on July 1, 2020 until Feb. 1, 2023, and $30,000 in arrears for payment of his son’s expenses.

The son is the couple’s only child and is now 14.

The family moved to Canada in 2011 and then to B.C. in 2015 after buying a condominium in Victoria. Sujay, an anesthesiologist, at first continued to work in Moose Jaw, where the family was previously living, then began working in Duncan.

The judgment said the violence went on sporadically until May and June of 2020, when the son pleaded with his mother to leave his father.

Sujay at first refused to vacate the home but eventually moved out.

In November 2020, the judgment said, he returned to the home without invitation, grabbed Shresta by the hair and spat on her. The son was present, hiding behind a door.

Sujay filed for divorce in December 2020. The judgment says he repeatedly breached court orders and Family Law Act obligations after that.

Over time, Sujay closed bank accounts, cancelled credit cards and phone plans, and disposed of assets like his car and motorcycle, the judgment said.

The judgment said his income is over $500,000 a year, while Shresta’s is $45,000.

Shresta said she had two credit cards to use during the separation but Sujay manipulated them and only a small amount of credit was available, so the cards were often declined and there wasn’t enough money to buy groceries.

Sujay would see his son about twice a week, but the boy expressed fear about being alone with him, the judgment said.

The son told a doctor who was assessing him that he did not miss his father, whom he last saw in August 2022, and that it “made him sad” to have a father like his.

A protection order prohibits Sujay from contacting or communicating with Shresta or their son except through a designated representative.

The judgment says that since Sujay has said he doesn’t intend to give his family any financial support, several assets — including the Victoria condominium valued at more than $1 million — have been awarded to Shresta.

The judgment noted that South Africa is a “reciprocating jurisdiction,” meaning its courts “recognize and support” what has been decided in Canada.

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