July 13, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, US (July 13, 2014): After dismissal of its rights violation suit against Congress president Sonia Gandhi last month by a US Federal Court, rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and two survivors of November 1984 Sikh massacre have filed an appeal with the United States Circuit Court challenging the dismissal of the suit.
SFJ challenged Judge Brian M Cogan’s ruling before United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court that Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) did not create any liability of Sonia Gandhi for “shielding and protecting” those Congress party members who perpetrated genocidal violence against Sikhs.
“Sikh group’s appeal is based on established principles of international law that those who cover up a crime are just as guilty as the ones who commit it. The allegations against Sonia Gandhi include shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who lead death squads during November 1984,” said SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian M Cogan on June 9 had granted Sonia Gandhi’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. However the judge denied Congress president’s motion for “anti suit injunction” seeking to prevent human rights group from filing any further law suits.
However Gandhi’s counsel Ravi Batra said “genuine victims deserve a lawsuit they can win, not one that only generates false hope and meaningless publicity, as publicity isn’t justice”.
Sikh group legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said “since the dismissal of the law suit against Sonia Gandhi, scores of 1984 victims have approached the rights group urging to appeal the dismissal of rights violations charges against Congress president as international courts are the only hope for them.”
A class action suit was filed against Sonia Gandhi in September 2013 by Sikhs For Justice and victims of 1984 under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) for shielding and protecting Congress party leaders who organized genocidal violence against Sikhs.
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