September 22, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York/US (September 21, 2012): According to information provided by Sikhs for Justice, a US based NGO, in September 19, 2012 decision the US Federal Judge Robert Sweet ruled that Congress Party of India has been “properly served” with the summons in November 1984 Sikh Genocide case through Hague Service Convention. Denying motion of the Congress (I) to dismiss the Sikh Genocide case for lack of service, the court held that the plaintiffs’ evidence establishes that service was effected properly in accordance with the Hague Convention.
Since the filing of the law suit by “Sikhs For Justice” against Congress (I) for conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out Genocidal attacks on Sikhs during November 1984, Congress party has been zealously challenging US Court’s jurisdiction and service of process.
Citing the steps taken by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to effect service on the Congress through Hague Service Convention, Judge Sweet in his 82 page ruling held that “the Plaintiffs 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 INC was aware 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.
While ruling on the Congress (I)’s claim that US Court lacks personal jurisdiction to hear November 1984 Sikh Genocide, Judge Sweet held that the plaintiffs have not yet established personal jurisdiction of the US Court over Congress (I). However, Judge Sweet granted Plaintiff’s request for “jurisdictional discovery” to determine the relationship between Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) and Indian National Congress (INC)”. However granting jurisdictional discovery Judge Sweet stated “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 Party.
According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, since filing of the Sikh Genocide case, rights group have been approached by hundreds of survivors, witnesses and victims of November 1984, who are willing to become party to the pending case against Congress. SFJ will file a motion before the US Court to include additional plaintiffs and issue a “class certification” in the pending Genocide case. The class will consist of resident and non-resident Sikh men, women and children who survived the attacks in November 1984 and the lawful heirs and claimants of those men, women and children that did not survive. The class will also consist of Sikhs whose homes, businesses, Gurudwaras and personal property was damaged, added attorney Pannun.
SFJ announced to file a complaint with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for allowing SM Krishna a senior Congress (I) leader and External Affairs Minister into the United States knowing Congress (I) leaders’ involvement in leading attacks on Sikhs during November 1984. “SM Krishna’s entry and presence in the United States will be in violation of section 212(a)(3)(E)(ii) & (iii) of INA and section 604 of The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 which prohibit entry into United States of any individual who is member of an organization involved in human rights violations, stated attorney Gurpatwant Singh Pannun who practices human rights law in the United States.
SFJ Coordinators Avtar Singh Pannu, Dr. Bakhshish Singh Sandhu, Barjinder Singh Brar, Sukhwinder Singh Thanna and Charanjit Singh Harnampuri stated that “US Court’s ruling regarding proper service on Congress (I) has brought the victims a step closer to establishing that Congress conspired, aided, abetted and carried out Genocidal attacks on Sikhs during November 1984 in which more than thirty thousand Sikhs were killed”.
Welcoming the US Court’s ruling in favor of victims of November 1984, Karnail Singh Peermohammad, President AISSF and Davinder Singh Sodhi Secretary General stated that it is unfortunate that Indian judicial system failed miserably to prosecute the known Congress (I) leaders Kamal Nath, Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and others who openly instigated violence against Sikhs.
Babu Singh Dukhiyam, President “National November 1984 Victims Justice and Welfare Society” stated that victims of 1984 Sikh Genocide will submit detailed affidavits and evidence to the US Federal Court related to the involvement of Congress (I) leaders and workers in the killing of Sikhs.
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