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SFJ lawsuit demands “terrorist” tag for RSS; US govt. want case be dropped

April 16, 2015 | By

Manhattan, NY, USA: A United States (US) based human rights and advocacy group Sikhs for Justice has moved a lawsuit in a US federal court demanding “terrorist” tag for Hindutva fountain-head Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS). However, the United States’ government is against any such move and it has the court to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Secretary of State John Kerry by a SFJ.

John Kerry, named as a defendant in the lawsuit, had been summoned in the case.

In it’s lawsuit SFJ has prayed the court to designate RSS as a “foreign terrorist organisation”.

[File Photo]

[File Photo]

Making it’s plea, the US government says the group does not have “any entitlement” to make such a demand.

US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara filed on behalf of Kerry a 20-page motion yesterday asking the Manhattan court to dismiss the complaint filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), citing lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted.

Preet Bharara pleads that “Neither SFJ nor this court possesses authority to compel the Secretary to designate an entity as a foreign terrorist organisation — a discretionary action that implicates important foreign affairs and national security considerations, and which is entrusted to the political branches. The complaint is therefore subject to dismissal on numerous grounds”.

He said the court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over SFJ’s claims since the group lacks standing to bring such claims.

“The statute that authorises the Secretary to designate foreign terrorist organisations does not create a private right of action that allows third parties such as SFJ to compel a designation,” he pleaded further.

He said federal law does not impose on the Secretary “any duty, let alone a clear and non-discretionary duty”, to designate an entity as a foreign terrorist organisation at the request of a third party.

“Nor does the statute or the Executive Order confer any entitlement upon any person or entity to have the Secretary make such a designation,” he said.

“Allowing third parties such as SFJ to compel action by the Secretary in the realm of foreign affairs merely by submitting a letter, and then seek a judicial remedy once that third party has decided that the Secretary has failed to adequately respond to that letter, would not ‘enhance’ the process of designating foreign terrorist organisations in the interest of national security, but rather would impede it,” Bharara argued.

SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the group will challenge the US government’s bid to block the labeling of RSS as terror group.

It may be recalled that the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) had filed the lawsuit in January asking a federal court here to designate RSS as a “foreign terrorist organisation” for “believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a ‘Hindu’ nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity”.

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