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1984 Sikh riots: US court issues summons to Sonia

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Sikh riots: US court issues summons to Sonia

    Do not move to US forum


    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sikh-riots-us-court-issues-summons-to-sonia/1164754/

    A federal court in New York has issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi for "shielding and protecting" the leaders of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984.

    The summons was issued by the US Eastern District Court of New York after a rights group — Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) — and two victims of the riots filed a complaint before it.

    Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in New Delhi that they were not aware of these facts. "Summons issued almost 30 years after the event when the Congress president is on a medical visit is, to put it mildly, astonishing. Undoubtedly, appropriate legal action will be taken," Singhvi said.

    According to US laws, the summons needs to be personally served to Gandhi, who is currently in the US for medical treatment, before it can have any legal implications.

    In the September 3 class-action lawsuit filed in Eastern District Court of New York, SFJ and the two victims sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her alleged role in "shielding and protecting" Congress leaders from being prosecuted for their "crimes against humanity."

    Meanwhile, former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday condemned the complaint against Gandhi. "The complaint has been lodged with clear malafide intentions for seeking cheat publicity... Otherwise, it defies logic to complain against someone who was nowhere near the government at the time the riots took place nor has she any authority to punish those accused or guilty," he said.
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    1984 anti-Sikh riots: 'US Court to decide on complaint filed against Sonia Gandhi'

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/a...complaint-filed-against-sonia-gandhi/1165041/

    Observing that anybody can sue anybody for anything in the US if they pay the filing fee of the court, an eminent Indian-American attorney has said that it is for the court to decide if there is personal and subject matter jurisdiction on the complaint filed against Congress President Sonia Gandhi by a Sikh rights group.

    "Anybody can sue anybody for anything if they pay the filing fee of the court. It remains for the court, if there is personal and subject matter jurisdiction, to then evaluate if the claims are credulous or not," said Ravi Batra, an eminent New York-based attorney.

    1984 riots: US court issues summons to Sonia Gandhi for 'shielding' Congress leaders

    Batra is also representing the Indian National Congress in another similar case filed against Union Minister Kamal Nath by Sikh For Justice (SFJ) in the South District of New York. The case against Gandhi has been filed in the Eastern District of New York.

    Batra's statement came a day after a federal court in New York issued summons to Gandhi for "shielding and protecting" leaders of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in India in 1984.

    The summons were issued by the US Eastern District Court New York after SFJ and two victims of the riots filed a complaint before it.

    However, the SFJ said it is determined to serve the summons on Gandhi who is in the US for medical checkup.

    SFJ legal counsel Gurpatwant S Pannun said the alleged crime of Gandhi for which the organisation has filed the law suit does not differentiate between healthy and sick, young and old, men or women.

    "The law applies equally to all. We will do it (serving the summons) irrespective of the elaborate security detail that surrounds her."
     
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  4. aristotle

    aristotle
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    1984 anti-Sikh riots case: US court seeks copy of Sonia Gandhi's passport

    JALANDHAR: A US court on Thursday asked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to provide a copy of her passport by April 7 to establish she was not in the US from September 2 to September 9, 2013 as she had claimed in a declaration before it in a rights violation case.

    US-based NGO Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) had filed the case against Sonia for allegedly protecting the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

    The court held her declaration of January 10 saying she was not in US was not sufficient to prove her absence during the corresponding period. The Brooklyn Federal Court ruled she must provide some documentary evidence to corroborate her declaration.

    Judge Brian M Cogan's order asked Sonia to "provide a copy of her passport, showing her most recent entry and exit stamps into and out of the United States, thus demonstrating she was not in the country" during the period.

    The case hinges on the issue whether Sonia was served summons on Septembers 9 as per SFJ's claims. She had claimed she was not served the summons as she was not in the country.

    The case was filed when Sonia was reportedly in the US and the SFJ had claimed the summons was served on her through the staff of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where the Congress chief was believed to be undergoing treatment.

    Sonia submitted the declaration on January 10 asking the court to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction as she was never personally served the summons.

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...nia-Gandhis-passport/articleshow/32442272.cms)
     
  5. aristotle

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    Sonia Gandhi declines to show US court her passport

    JALANDHAR: Claiming that Government of India has denied her permission to disclose her travels which are contained in her passport, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has refused to provide copy of her passport to the US court and has instead given up her plea contesting the personal jurisdiction of the court in a rights violation case filed against her in US.

    Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on March 20 ordered Sonia Gandhi to give copy of her passport "to corroborate her otherwise-unsupported declaration stating that defendant was not in the United States at the time of service" of summons - September 2 to 9, 2013.

    "In matters of disclosure of my travels which are contained in the passport document, the Government of India has informed me that they would not permit such a disclosure. However, as I have nothing to hide I voluntarily relinquish the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction. I may add that present submission is without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter," Sonia Gandhi wrote in her April 5 letter to her counsel Ravi Batra who further submitted it in the court with his representation on April 7.

    Sonia Gandhi is facing a riots violation case filed by US based rights group Sikhs For Justice and two survivors of the massacre.

    With this submission in the court the case against Sonia Gandhi has crossed the first barrier of personal jurisdiction as till this submission she has been strongly contesting the claim of the SFJ that she was served the summons while holding that she was not even present in US during the said period.

    SFJ has been claiming that on September 09, 2013, it served the summons on her through the hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York where Sonia Gandhi.

    SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said that as per Federal Rules, since defendant Sonia Gandhi had conceded to court's personal jurisdiction by withdrawing objection to service, the court will move to subject matter jurisdiction to hear the charges of shielding and protecting those responsible for 1984 genocidal attacks under Alien Torts Claim Act (ATCA) and Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

    However her counsel Ravi Batra in a communique to TOI said, "our filing with the court will serve to expedite the Court's determination of our pending motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction as well as inter alia, issue an anti-suit injunction against SFJ, who as a corporation, can never legally be a Alien Tort Statute or Torture Victim Protection Act plaintiff."

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...S-court-her-passport/articleshow/33431705.cms)
     
  6. aristotle

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    Anti-Sikh riots case: US court rejects case against Congress

    JALANDHAR: In a relief to the Congress, a US court on Tuesday dismissed a human rights violation case filed against it by rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) for failure to show sufficient link for the issue to the US as required by the law.

    The case was filed under alien torts stature and torture victim protection Act (TVPA) for genocide, rape, torture, executions and extra-judicial killings during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and protecting the perpetrators.

    Federal judge Robert W Sweet, while granting the Congress's plea to dismiss the lawsuit, held that SFJ could not be a plaintiff and other individual plaintiffs were not "legal representatives".

    Congress counsel Ravi Batra, who is also representing Congress president Sonia Gandhi in a separate rights violation case which is pending in another US court, said the US Supreme Court established the precedent that events occurring entirely on foreign soil by and between foreigners, without touching or concerning the US, will not be heard in the US courts.

    The judge held that the case against Congress was dismissed and SFJ and other plaintiffs lacked legal standing to file such a case. SFJ as an American corporation is not an alien, and the alien torts stature only permits aliens to sue. Other individual plaintiffs are also not permitted to sue as they are not recognized by NY law or by Indian law to be "legal representatives".

    The judge also said the combined facts are insufficient to establish that the conduct sufficiently "touched and concerned" the US to establish jurisdiction under the alien torts stature.

    SFJ has decided to challenge the court's decision before the US court of appeals on the grounds that this case sufficiently "touches and concerns" the US and SFJ has "institutional standing" to seek "declaratory judgment".

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ase-against-Congress/articleshow/34402411.cms)
     
  7. aristotle

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    'Sikhs For Justice' files appeal in US court against dismissal of 1984 riots case against Congress

    JALANDHAR: US-based rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) has challenged the dismissal of 1984 rights violation case against Congress (I) party, pertaining to 1984 Sikh massacre, before the US Court of Appeals on the grounds that this case sufficiently "touches and concerns" the United States and SFJ has "institutional standing" to seek "declaratory judgment" on November 1984 violence against the Sikh community.

    The appeal has been filed challenging the decision of Judge Robert W. Sweet of US District Court on April 24 dismissing the 1984 rights violation lawsuit against Congress party for failure to show sufficient "touch and concern" to the United States. However the decision further stated that "a corporate defendant can be liable under the ATS, assuming that the statute's "touch and concern" requirements are adequately alleged".

    Right group's appeal is based on grounds that the victims group claim is not barred under US Supreme Court ruling in Kiobel case, as plaintiffs have already been granted refugee status by California Federal Court for being victims of violence committed by the Congress party in India which proves ""touch and concern"" and sufficient connection to the United States.

    On the issue of SFJ's standing in this case, the appeal claims that Federal Law grants "institutional standing" to human rights groups to seek "declaratory judgments" by the US Courts. The appeal also states that in this case, SFJ is seeking judgment to declare November 1984 violence against the Sikh Community after the assassination of Indira Gandhi as "Genocide". "The monetary compensation in the case against Congress Party is being sought only by the individual plaintiffs who are survivors or legal heirs of the 1984 victims," the rights group has claimed.

    SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said "thousands of innocent Sikhs were massacred at the behest of the Congress leadership in 1984, yet justice have eluded the victims so far".

    Reacting the filing of the appeal Congress counsel in US, Ravi Batra said that they were looking forward to argue in the second circuit court that law was followed, justice was done and sovereignty was honoured by the district Court while dismissing the case.

    In the case the Congress party has been accused of the charges under the ATS for genocide, rape, torture, summary executions and extra judicial killings; and for aiding and abetting the commission and conspiracy to commit those violations under both the ATS and TVPA. Alien Torts Statute (ATS) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) under which the case has been filed grants jurisdiction to US Courts to hear the human rights violation cases committed outside United States if there is a connection between the tort committed and the United States.

    (Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ase-against-Congress/articleshow/35549417.cms)
     

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