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Punjab CM Badal’s attorney accused Sikhs For Justice for waging a public relations campaign

March 19, 2013 | By

Wisconsin, United States (March 19, 2013): According to a newsletter released by Human Rights and advocacy group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ): the attorney of Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal has moved a motion in a US district court, seeking an order to protect the information of third-party witnesses in a pending lawsuit against the Badal Dal leader on alleged violation of human rights.

Parkash Singh Badal

CM Badal’s attorney moved the motion in a Wisconsin court on Wednesday to issue an order to protecting the information of third-party witnesses from unfettered public disclosure, characterization, and other attempts to harass and embarrass; and limiting Plaintiffs’ discovery to the three narrow aspects s approved by the court at the February 21, hearing.

Such a move from the Badal’s attorney comes two days after S Singh Kalra, an ex-director of World Sikh Council, testified before the court, whose testimony the attorney alleged has been erroneously being reported by Sikh for justice.

“Now, instead of addressing this matter through their lawyers in court, Plaintiffs are waging a public relations campaign to make it appear as if this case is something more than a simple case of mistaken service. Plaintiffs, in the name of their pursuit of the Defendant, feel free to tarnish Kalra erroneously and publicly,” Badal’s attorney told the court.

“Kalra should not be subject to such treatment. This is not what the discovery rules allow and this is not what the court contemplated at the conclusion of the February 21, 2013 hearing,” it said.

“A protective order should be entered preventing further abuse of Kalra and any other third party witness.

Moreover, no discovery information should simply be uploaded to the Internet,” the attorney said, alleging that the petitioner Sikh for Justice posted on its website erroneous public description of Kalra’s testimony.

“The account falsely claimed Mr Kalra had given a “confession” and “could not explain the purpose of his three-hour long meeting in a closed room in Pfister Hotel with high ranking Badal government officers immediately prior to testifying in Court.” Badal is facing the lawsuit on the charges of custodial torture and shielding the police officers responsible for torture and continuous human rights violations against the Sikh community in Punjab.

Sikhs for Justice Responds:

Sikhs for Justice

Commenting on the Badal’s motion, legal advisor to Sikh for Justice (SFJ), attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated CM Badal’s motion to the US Court seeking to block the plaintiffs’ discovery amounts to violation of due process and first amendment rights guaranteed to the plaintiffs by the US Constitution. A known human rights violators attempt to suppress the voice of victims in the US goes against the very spirit of Alien Torts Claims Act under which the plaintiffs are seeking redress from the US Court, added attorney Pannun. Rights group intends to challenge and fight the motion by CM Badal seeking to protect himself and his allies in the US.

Rights Group is in the process of issuing subpoenas to Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, Bachan Singh Gill and a US based SAD (Badal) party worker Lakhwant Singh Komal who are known to be close to CM Badal and are believed to have been in contact with witness Kalra.

Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and SAD (Amritsar) filed a human rights violations case against Badal on charges of commanding the 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 Government in the Indian 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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