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1984 No Immunity! Kamal Nath Summoned by US Courts in 1984 Sikh Riots Case

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

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    Kamal Nath summoned by US court in 1984 Sikh riots case

    By Arun Kumar
    Washington, Jan 23 (IANS) Indian Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath has been summoned by a New York court for a pre-trial conference Feb 9 for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.The trial will proceed as the US State Department has declined to intervene in the case due to the seriousness of allegations of human rights violation against Kamal Nath, according to Gurpatwant S. Pannun, legal advisor for Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a US based human rights advocacy group.

    After being summoned by the Southern district court of New York Dec 10, 2010, Kamal Nath had sought diplomatic immunity. His request for immunity has now been turned down by the State Department, Pannun said.

    In April 2010, SFJ along with two individuals filed a law suit against Kamal Nath under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) & Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the court to order compensatory and punitive damages against the minister.

    According to Pannun: “Alien Tort Claims Act of United State, the law under which trial against Kamal Nath will be held is specifically created to provide remedy and forum to victims of genocide to vindicate their complaints.”

    The trial against Kamal Nath “is one such opportunity through which SFJ plans to put on the record of the court evidence related to genocide of Sikhs and Kamal Nath’s role in it,” he said.

    Plaintiffs have asked for a “jury trial” and will have the right to call upon survivors and experts on genocide as witnesses to prove that systematic killing of Sikhs in November 1984 was genocide as defined in Article 2 of the UN Convention on Genocide.

    Responding to Kamal Nath’s comment that “no case has been filed against him in India during past 26 years”, Pannun said Nath’s argument is absurd because if a case is not filed against a criminal, it does not mean that he has not committed the crimes.

    SFJ and victims of November 1984 riots also plan to launch a campaign in India asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to sack Kamal Nath from his cabinet position for his alleged involvement in attack on Gurdawara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Delhi, Pannun said.

    http://www.tamildaily.net/2011/02/0...a-de-silva-and-palitha-kohonne-next-immunity/
     

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  3. spnadmin

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    From an article 2 weeks earlier, clarification of the US state department's role.

    NY court summons Kamal Nath in Sikh riots case, US declines diplomatic immunity
    ...

    The court has now served a “certificate of default” against Kamal Nath for not heeding the summons. “They claim to have served such a notice a day before the mandatory four-month period expired,” said Kamal Nath.

    Washington’s position in this case is no different from its reticence to grant diplomatic immunity to senior diplomat Neena Malhotra, who was sued for slavery and abuse by her former Nepalese help during her posting at the New York Consulate during 2006-2009.

    While the Foreign Ministry has absolved the present Director (South), the State Department refused to intervene despite been served no less than 10 demarches.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/n...case-us-declines-diplomatic-immunity/741085/2
     
  4. spnadmin

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    This thread has been moved back to public view now that current developments have been reported.
     
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  5. spnadmin

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    US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    New York (August 19, 2011): On August 12, 2011 Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) filed response to Kamal Nath’s efforts to seek immunity in the Sikh Genocide Case pending before US Federal Court against Nath’s role in attack on Gurudwara Rakab Ganj in November 1984. The Plaintiffs’ response states that Nath’s claim to “special mission diplomatic immunity” is baseless because he has no support from US Department of State and Nath came to attend conferences organized by US Indian Business Council in April 2010 when he was served with summons.

    On September 21st, Judge Robert W. Sweet of the US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York will hold an in person hearing to record legal arguments and examine the evidence regarding Kamal Nath’s claim of diplomatic immunity in Sikh Genocide Case.

    According to attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, April 2010 visit of Kamal Nath to New York was not on the invitation of the United States Government rather he was here to attend 2010 Global Construction Summit organized by a private company McGraw Hill, Inc. Additionally, Nath has failed to obtain “Statement of Interest” from US Department of State in his support for immunity from prosecution in US Federal Court. Granting diplomatic immunity to Minister Nath will be in clear violation of Article 4 of U.N Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) which categorically denies immunity as a defense to the crime of Genocide and mandates the prosecution added attorney Pannun.

    While responding to the Summons of the US Federal Court, Kamal Nath claimed his entitlement to Immunity because he was on Special Mission to New York in April 2010 when he was served with the summons and comp; Sovereign Immunity under Common Law; and Immunity under Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA) of the United States.

    The case against Nath has been filed by “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) a US based human rights group along with several Sikh individuals who witnessed and survived attacks in November 1984. The class action lawsuit (SFJ v. Nath SDNY (10 CV 2940)) has been filed under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).The summons against Kamal Nath were issued on April 06, 2010 in the law suit filed under Alien Tort Claims Act asking the US Court to grant compensatory and punitive damages for Kamal Nath’s role in leading an armed mob which attacked Gurdawara Rakab Ganj Delhi on November 01, 1984 in which many Sikhs were burnt alive.

    http://www.sikhsiyasat.net/2011/08/...argument-in-kamal-naths-case-on-september-21/
     
  6. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    Next step in the pretrial litigation. Positive for the plaintiffs.

    US Court Reserves Order in Case Against Kamal Nath

    JALANDHAR: A US federal court on Wednesday reserved its order in the case filed against Union minister Kamal Nath over his alleged role in leading a mob during anti-Sikh riots in November 1984 in Delhi.

    Judge Robert W Sweet of the US federal court for the southern district of New York heard arguments in the case.

    According to Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is pursuing the petition, Nath failed to produce "statement of interest" from US department of state in support of his claim for diplomatic immunity.

    After hearing the arguments from both sides, lasting over 45 minutes, Judge Sweet reserved his ruling.

    The plaintiffs requested the court to issue a default judgment against Nath for failing to respond within 21 days after receiving the summons on April 6, 2010. SFJ has already demanded a "jury trial" during which plaintiffs would submit documentary evidence proving participation of Nath and other leaders of Congress in November 1984 Sikh genocide.

    In the arguments on Wednesday, plaintiffs emphasized that despite having knowledge about the case and openly acknowledging the receipt of summons and complaint, Nath did not respond within 21 days as required by the law. In fact, Nath completely ignored the summons till August 2010 when plaintiffs moved for entry of default judgment against him, the plaintiff's counsel argued in the court.

    In his motion filed on June 24, 2011, Nath had claimed that he was entitled to immunity from prosecution in the United States and that no one had ever served him with summons and complaints during his April 2010 visit to New York.

    SFJ and other Sikh human rights activists have been actively campaigning with US government to reject Nath's request for immunity and instead prosecute him under Human Rights Enforcement Act of 2009.

    Sikh community is also holding a protest rally on September 24 during PM Singh's address to the UN General Assembly, demanding sacking of Nath from cabinet and prosecution of Congress leaders involved in November 1984 killing of Sikhs.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...e-against-Kamal-Nath/articleshow/10086332.cms

    .........

    Related story

    Ruling on immunity in 84' riots case of Kamal Nath soon: SF
    J

    New York: A federal judge here is expected to announce his ruling "within the next 60 days" on whether Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath enjoys diplomatic immunity in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case filed against him here.

    The court that is hearing the case had reserved the ruling on the matter yesterday, according to Gurpatwant Pannun, Legal Advisor for advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which has filed the case against Nath.

    Judge Robert Sweet of the US Federal Court for the Southern District of New York heard arguments in the case against the Minister.

    After hearing the arguments from both sides in a 45-minute long hearing, Sweet reserved his ruling.



    "He is expected to announce his decision within 60 days", Pannun said.

    "We are still very optimistic since we have a strong case and the law is on our side," Pannun said.

    He said the judge heard arguments on personal and subject matter jurisdiction as well as Nath's claims of diplomatic immunity during yesterday hearing.

    No new date in the case has been fixed yet.

    He said Nath failed to produce during the hearing a 'Statement of Interest' from US Department of State in support of his claim to diplomatic immunity.

    SFJ has requested the court to issue a default judgement against him for failing to respond within 21 days after receiving the Summons on April 6, 2010 on his claim to diplomatic immunity.

    SFJ has already demanded a "jury trial" from the court during which plaintiffs wants to submit documentary evidence proving participation of Nath and other Congress leaders in the November 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

    Pannun said despite being aware of the case and acknowledging receipt of summons and complaint, Nath has not yet responded.

    "Nath has completely ignored the summons so far and that is why the plaintiffs are requesting the court to issue a default judgement against him," he said.

    In a motion filed on June 24 this year, Nath has claimed that he is entitled to immunity from prosecution in the US and that he was not served with summons or complaints during his April 2010 visit to New York.

    Pannun said the sikh community would hold a protest rally on September 24 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address to the UN General Assembly demanding that Nath be sacked from the cabinet and Congress leaders involved in the riots be prosecuted.

    http://zeenews.india.com/news/natio...riots-case-of-kamal-nath-soon-sfj_733039.html
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    There is a current news article in IndiaRealTime at http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2013/01/24/sikhs-target-kamal-nath-at-davos/

    It is stating that "A New York judge last year dismissed a criminal complaint against Mr. Nath by U.S. non-profit group Sikhs for Justice, saying it had no jurisdiction over the matter." This article is misleading, incomplete and incorrect when written and as late as September 2012.

    I am unable to find any confirmation of this. The judge ha reserved judgement,meaning that he has retired to consider as described in the last article in this thread.

    If any forum member has a news article that reports the case in the NY court was "dismissed" after September 2012 would you kindly contact me. The September date is important because the case against Nath in fact continued into late 2012. Explanations follow.
     
    #6 spnadmin, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  8. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    It is important to read the following article carefully. This case is still in the US courts. The main case was not dismissed.


    '84 Riots: US Court Dismisses Complaint Against Nath
    Yoshita Singh

    March 16 2012

    A US judge has dismissed a court complaint against Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying the court has no jurisdiction over the Indian leader in the case.

    City-based 'Sikhs for Justice' had filed a complaint in a court here against Nath in April 2010 and an amended complaint a year later, alleging his involvement in aiding and abetting the anti-Sikh riots that had erupted in the country following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

    In a 22-page order, Judge Robert Sweet of the US District Court Southern District of New York, granted a motion moved by Nath to get the complaint filed against him by SFJ dismissed.

    Sweet said: "the amended complaint as to Nath is dismissed" since SFJ did not serve the summons and its complaints to Nath in an appropriate and desired manner and neither did it fulfill its burden to establish that the New York court has jurisdiction over Nath.

    SFJ had also filed a petition seeking a "default judgment" against the India's ruling Congress party for its alleged failure to defend the charges of conspiring, aiding, abetting and organising attacks on Sikhs in November 1984.

    Sweet, who was to rule on the petition today, has granted the Congress party an extension of two weeks to respond to the motion for the 'default judgement.'

    The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for March 29.

    SFJ had said that a woman had handed a copy of the summons to an individual outside the Indian Consulate here in April 2010 when Nath was visiting the US.

    Sweet said the summons was not served directly to Nath and a street outside the consulate is not the appropriate place to serve a legal complaint to him.

    http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=755797
     
    #7 spnadmin, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  9. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    As of September 12, 2012 The Congress Party motion to dismiss the case was denied. The only thing that was dismissed was an amendment to the earlier papers claiming that a summons was served. The dismissal is under appeal. The question of jurisdiction is still open. Please alert me to definitive information more recent than this. The article in IndiaRealTime is obviously flawed.

    US: Cong motion to dismiss anti-Sikh riots case denied

    http://www.rediff.com/news/report/us-cong-motion-to-dismiss-anti-sikh-riots-case-denied/20120922.htm


    Denying a motion of the Congress to dismiss the case for lack of service, the court held that the plaintiffs' evidence establishes that service was effected properly.

    Since the filing of the lawsuit by Sikhs For Justice against the Congress for conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out attacks on Sikhs during November 1984, the party has been challenging US court's jurisdiction and service of process.

    The judge in his 82-page ruling held that the plaintiffs (SFJ) have demonstrated that they complied with the Hague Convention procedures and that any failure of compliance was solely on the central authority to participate in the process.

    In addition, the Congress was aware of the litigation and had actual notice of the suit. "Under these circumstances the INC was served in accordance with the Hague Convention and service is valid," concluded Judge Sweet.

    At the same the judge made it clear that the plaintiffs have not yet established that the US court has personal jurisdiction over the case against the Congress. However, the judge granted the plaintiff's request for jurisdictional discovery to determine the relationship between Indian National Overseas Congress and the Indian National Congress.

    "Everybody knows about the relation between the INOC and the Congress. Now the party has appointed a new committee. But it does not make any difference," Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ said.

    Since the INOC is operating in the US, it is easy for the plaintiffs to prove that they can sue it, because it is part of the parent organisation (Congress). 'The plaintiff's allegations demonstrate a relationship between the INC and INOC to justify jurisdictional veil piercing," which is essential to determine court's personal jurisdiction over the Congress.

    According to Pannun, since filing of the case, the rights group has been approached by hundreds of survivors, witnesses and victims of the attacks, who are willing to become party to the pending case against the Congress.

    The SFJ will file a motion before the US court to include additional plaintiffs and issue a 'class certification' in the pending case. The class will consist of resident and non-resident Sikh men, women and children who survived the attacks and their lawful heirs and claimants of those who died. The class will also consist of Sikhs whose homes, businesses, gurdwaras and personal property were damaged, according to Pannun.

    Welcoming the US court's ruling, Karnail Singh Peermohammad, president, All India Sikh Students Federation stated that it is unfortunate that the Indian judicial system failed miserably to prosecute the perpetrators.

    Babu Singh Dukhiyam, president of the National November 1984 Victims Justice and Welfare Society, said that victims of the attacks will submit detailed affidavits and evidence to the court.

    Earlier the court had dismissed the case against Union minister Kamal Nath for not proper service. Pannun said they are appealing that decision.

    Rediff and Outlook India seem to have information that is more realistic and more current than IndiaRealTime. I am still hoping to find decisions later than September 2012.
     
    #8 spnadmin, Jan 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  10. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    Discovery in federal court can take a long time. This is the must current news on developments in the case against Kamal Nath.

    New York, United States (May 25, 2013): A Federal Court in Manhattan will hear 1984 Sikh Genocide case against Congress (I) on May 29. Pursuant to Sikh rights group’s request for jurisdictional discovery to unveil the relationship of Congress Party of India and that of America, Judge Robert W. Sweet ordered the hearing to resolve the outstanding discovery issues and to set a time for the trial.

    Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) has served interrogatories on Indian National Congress (INC), All India Congress Committee (AICC) and Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) as per “Rule 33 and 34” of the Federal Civil Rules. The interrogatories demand to produce all documents and communication among the organizations to discover the extent and nature of their relationship. Rights group’s demand from Congress party include production of all documents relating to the appointment and removal of INOC officials and the details of all the US trips taken by the top leadership of Congress party along with the names of their hosts.


    Read more: http://www.sikhsiyasat.net/2013/05/...s-court-order-for-pretrial-hearing-on-may-29/

    The full article is also posted on a separate thread here at SPN

    Sikhs for Justice v. Congress (I) – US Court order for pretrial hearing on May 29


    http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/1984/40848-sikhs-justice-v-congress-i-us.html#post185112
     
    #9 spnadmin, May 27, 2013
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  11. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    Latest development

    Sikh Genocide 1984 Case – No reprieve to Congress (I) from US Court

    By Jagdeep Singh

    Case in New York Federal Court against Kamal Nath continues.

    Read more at this link http://www.sikhsiyasat.net/2013/05/3...from-us-court/

    New York (May 30, 2013): Judge Robert W. Sweet in a pre-trial conference granted “Sikhs for Justice” (SFJ) till September to amend the human rights violation complaint against Congress party to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. In Kiobel case, Supreme Court held that foreign entities can be liable in US Court for atrocities committed overseas only under the limited circumstances.
    Sikhs rallied outside US court to show solidarity with 1984 genocide victims


    Sikhs rallied outside US court to show solidarity with 1984 genocide victims

    SFJ announced to amend the complaint to include documentation showing the connection between Congress party of India and its US based affiliated organizations to qualify the pending human rights violations lawsuit for exercise of US Court’s Jurisdiction as ruled in Kioble case. The lawsuit filed by SFJ alleges that in November 1984 Congress party had “virtually complete control over governance of the country and as the ruling political party was able to pursue a policy of genocide against the Sikhs under color of state law and with the apparent or actual authority of the government of India”.
     
  12. spnadmin

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    Re: US Federal Court to Hear Immunity Argument in Nath Case, September 21

    US court to hear 1984 Sikh genocide case against Kamal Nath on January 22

    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/repor...case-against-kamal-nath-on-january-22-1946281


    A United States court, headed by Judge Robert W. Sweet of the Southern District of New York, has ordered a pre-trial conference of a pending human rights violation law suit against Congress leader Kamal Nath for organising genocidal violence against Sikhs in 1984.

    The case will come for the hearing in New York Federal District Court on January 22. Nath is India's Parliamentary and Urban Development Minister. The case has been filed by the Sikhs for Justice.

    Its spokesperson told ANI from New York that the US court has directed their counsels and those of the Congress Party to appear for a pre-trial hearing for purpose of resolving any outstanding discovery or other issues, and setting a time for trial.

    The US Court order further states that “This conference may not be adjourned without direction from the court. Failure to appear at the conference may result in termination of this action.”, said the spokesperson.
     
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