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Sikh Genocide case1984: Sonia Gandhi declines to show her passport to US Court

April 8, 2014 | By

New York, United States (April 09, 2014): It is learnt that India’s Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi has declined to provide a copy of her passport to a US court, saying that government of India had denied her permission to do so.

However, in a letter filed by her lawyer in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Gandhi “voluntarily” relinquished the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction “without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter.”

Congress President Sonia Gandhi [File Photo]

Congress President Sonia Gandhi [File Photo]

Sonia Gandhi had filed a motion in the Brooklyn court seeking dismissal of a human rights violation case against her relating to the November 1984 Sikh genocide in India, asserting she had not been served the summons as she was not in the US between September 2 and 9 last year.

But holding that Sonia Gandhi’s January 10 declaration was insufficient to prove her absence from US, Judge Brian M. Cogan had March 20 asked Gandhi to “provide a copy of her passport, showing her most recent entry and exit stamps into and out of the United States.”

“In matters of disclosure of my travels, which are contained in the passport document, the Government of India has informed me that they would not permit such a disclosure,” Sonia Gandhi wrote in a letter to her lawyer Ravi Batra.

“However, as I have nothing to hide, I voluntarily relinquish the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction.”

“I may add that the present submission is without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter,” she wrote.

The Brooklyn court had in September 2013 issued summons against Sonia Gandhi on a complaint filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and some victims of the 1984 violence.

Since Sonia Gandhi has conceded the court’s personal jurisdiction by withdrawing objection to service of summons, the court will move to subject matter jurisdiction to hear the charges of shielding and protecting those responsible for Sikh genocide 1984, SFJ Legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said.

The case against Sonia Gandhi hinged on the issue whether she was served on September 9 as maintained by the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) or she was not present in the US during that time as asserted by her.

According to the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) summons and complaint were served on the hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York where Sonia Gandhi was believed to be undergoing medical treatment.

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