December 24, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chicago, IL: (December 24, 2013): The US Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the Petition for “Panel Rehearing” filed by “Sikhs for Justice” (SFJ) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal. The December 23 order of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision that SFJ did not effectuate service of the Federal Court summons on CM Badal.
The rights group “Sikhs for Justice” and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) headed by Simranjit Singh Mann, will file a “Motion To Remand” the case to District Court to establish that alternative service of Summons through Hague has been accomplished on CM Badal. The US Court of Appeals have dismissed the case that CM Badal was never personally served with Federal Court summons at Oak Creek High School on August 9 as claimed by SFJ.
The Sikh groups have retained the services of “Process Forwarding International” (PFI), a Washington based company to accomplish service on CM Badal in India. PFI is the official Process Server to “United States Department of Justice” and “US Department of State” and has extensive experience in executing service of process with authority using approved international law methods: the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil & Commercial Matters.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, stated that “we will now use the Hague Convention to accomplish service on Badal in India to make him accountable before Wisconsin Federal court for protecting and commanding a police force responsible for torture and extra judicial killings of Sikhs in the state of Punjab.”
The Hague Service is a treaty signed by both India and United States which allows service of judicial papers between the signatory countries without diplomatic involvement, added attorney Pannun.
As per Hague Service treaty, a Central Authority has been established by the Government of India for receiving and serving judicial documents from foreign courts as provided under “Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters”. Under Article 15 of the Hague Service Convention service is considered complete once copy of Summons and Complaint is delivered to the Central Authority of India which is responsible to receive judicial documents from foreign courts.
The rights group SFJ and SAD (Amritsar) will also file an appeal with the US Supreme Court challenging the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal’s order dismissing the rights violation case against CM Badal. The plaintiffs have till March 23 to file the writ with US Supreme Court challenging the court of appeals order. The rights group will file a petition for writ of certiorari before the US Supreme Court to review the judgment of court of appeals in rights violation case against Badal. SFJ’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court will include a list of the parties, a statement of the facts of the case, the legal questions presented for review, and arguments as to why the Court should grant the writ Rights group’s Petition for “Panel Rehearing” argued that 30 days given to plaintiffs were not sufficient to complete jurisdictional discovery to find out whether it was Kalra or Badal who was served at Oak Creek High School or Kalra’s testimony was fabricated or influenced by the agents of Chief Minister.
While dismissing the lawsuit based on lack of service on CM Badal, Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Sikh groups claim that Badal’s State Department security team was complicit in shielding the Indian dignitary from suit, in that the agent heading the team accosted Kratochvil at his home and asked him to sign an affidavit stating that he had never served Badal. “The agent’s demanding an affidavit from Kratochvil was distinctly odd, as opposed to the defendant’s lawyer deposing him,” the ruling states. “The government – the agent’s employer – wasn’t even a party to the lawsuit. Maybe the agent felt that it would be a black mark against him if the foreign official whom he was escorting had been served with a complaint. No matter; the irregularity of the agent’s conduct has no bearing on whom Kratochvil served.”
Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and SAD (Amritsar) filed a human rights violations case against Badal under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), on charges of commanding a police force which is responsible for extra judicial killings and continuous human rights violations against the Sikh community in Punjab. Parkash Badal has been head of the State of Punjab for more than twelve years from 1997 till 2002 and from 2007 till present and there have been several hundred cases of extrajudicial killings, police tortures and human rights violations during this time.
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