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US judge reserves ruling on 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Thursday, 20 March 2014 - 1:36pm IST | Place: NEW YORK | Agency: PTI
  • Indira-Gandhi Former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi Getty Images

A US judge has reserved ruling on a lawsuit filed in New York by a Sikh rights group against India's Congress party in the anti-Sikh riots after hearing arguments by it that the case should be dismissed since the incidents of 1984 are India's internal matters.

In a hearing in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, Indian-American attorney Ravi Batra, appearing before US Federal Judge Robert Sweet, argued that the lawsuit filed by Sikhs for Justice should be dismissed since the events of 1984 are the internal affairs of India and "no other country can interfere in the internal affairs of another." Congress party is seeking dismissal of the human rights violation lawsuit citing lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, failure to state a claim, expiry of statute of limitation and SJF's legal standing to file the case.

SFJ has argued that the existence of the Indian National Overseas Congress (USA) and its fund-raising activities give US courts jurisdiction over the political party in the case.

Batra rebuffed this argument, saying it would be criminally illegal for a foreign political party to be political in the US.

He said there are three entities in New York wanting to be a branch of the Congress party and senior Congress leader Motilal Vora has disclaimed all of them.

"We expect Judge Sweet to issue an order dismissing the complaint, preventing SFJ from being a plaintiff, while being sensitive to a court's natural desire to help any who claim to have been wronged," Batra added.

SFJ has alleged that the Congress party conspired, aided, abetted and carried out attacks on the Sikh population after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. 




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