October 24, 2013 | By Parmjit Singh
New York: (October 23, 2013): During the initial hearing in the pending human rights violation case against Congress President Sonia Gandhi the rights group “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) filed affirmation of Service with the US Federal Court. The affirmation of service claims that pursuant to Court’s order the plaintiffs served the Sonia Gandhi through hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
The victims of November 1984 are given four weeks to file amended complaint stating the role of Sonia Gandhi in protecting and shielding the Congress (I) leaders who participated in killing of Sikhs. The amended complaint will include the details of the acts and omissions of Sonia Gandhi which amount to shielding and protecting Congress party leaders from prosecution for organizing killing of Sikhs.
The US Court denied the Plaintiffs’ request for issuance of Certificate of Default against Sonia Gandhi. The plaintiffs had requested for Certificate of Default because Sonia Gandhi, after being served, had failed to answer the allegations of human rights violation within the time allowed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Before the case moves to the jury trial, the victims of November 1984 who are demanding compensatory and punitive damages against Sonia Gandhi, have to overcome the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kiobel Case which bars claims for torts committed in foreign countries, unless a strong connection to the United States could be established.
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who practices human rights law in the United States, most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Sonia Gandhi have been granted refugee status by the United States based on the persecution suffered from 1984 onwards and the likelihood of persecution in case of their return to India. The refugee status of plaintiffs establishes their connection to the United States and gives them right to approach US Courts to be properly compensated for their suffering and losses, added Pannun.
A class action suit against Sonia Gandhi was filed by SFJ, a US based human rights group along with victims of November 1984 under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). SFJ and victims are seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Congress party President for her role in shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and other Congress party leaders from being prosecuted for their crimes against humanity.