20-Jul-12: A US
judge has reserved his orders on submissions by the Congress party that the
1984 anti-Sikh riots case filed against it by a rights group here be
dismissed as the Manhattan court does not have jurisdiction over the case.
Judge Robert Sweet of US federal court reserved the orders yesterday on
submissions on issues of effective service of summons and personal
jurisdiction in the case filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) against Congress.
Jones Day, the law firm representing the political party, had on July 13
filed a motion to dismiss all the charges against Congress saying the party
was not served the court summons properly by SFJ and that the US federal
court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Challenging Congress's motion, SFJ submitted a 28-page memorandum claiming
that victims of the November 1984 anti-Sikh riots had served the summons on
the Congress party in a proper way and that the US court has personal
jurisdiction to hear the claims under Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and Torture
Victim Protection Act (TVPA).
SFJ submitted documentary evidence to Sweet showing that Congress president
Sonia Gandhi was served summons at the party's headquarters in New Delhi.
SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said the motion has sought a trial
calendar in the case arguing that victims have made a prima facie claim
showing that the US court has personal jurisdiction over the Congress party.
A class action lawsuit was filed in March last year by SFJ under ATS and
TVPA against Congress for conspiring, abetting and carrying out attacks
against Sikhs in India in November 1984.