Sikh genocide case against Congress Party moves forward in US court – Sikhchik

Justice Robert W. SweetUS Federal Judge Robert Sweet has ruled that the Congress Party of India has been “properly served” with the summons in the November 1984 Sikh Genocide case.

Last week, on denying the 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, the Congress party has been challenging the US Court’s jurisdiction at every juncture – and has lost at every juncture so far.

Citing the steps taken by Sikhs for Justice (“SFJ“) to effect service on the Congress, 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 (Congress Party) was aware of 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  yet to establish personal jurisdiction of the US Court over Congress (I).

Indian National Congress FlagHowever, Judge Sweet granted the Plaintiffs’ request for “jurisdictional discovery” to determine the relationship between Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) and Indian National Congress (INC)”.

However, while granting jurisdictional discovery, Judge Sweet stated: “Plaintiffs’ allegations demonstrate a relationship between the INC and INOC to justify jurisdictional veil piercing,” which is essential to determine the court’s personal jurisdiction over the Congress Party.

According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to SFJ, since the filing of the Sikh Genocide case, the rights group has 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, gurdwaras and personal property was damaged, added the attorney.

1984 Anti Sikh Riots DelhiSFJ has also announced that it will file a complaint with the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for allowing S.M. Krishna, a senior Congress (I) leader and India’s External Affairs Minister into the United States, knowing the Congress (I) leader’s involvement in leading attacks on Sikhs during the November 1984 pogroms.

“S.M. 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,” explained Gurpatwant Singh, who practices human rights law in the United States.

According to SFJ, the “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 the genocidal attacks on Sikhs during November 1984 in which more than thirty thousand Sikhs were killed”. – Sikhchik, 27 November 2012