US court reserves verdict on Badal in rights breach case

Published: 15th May 2013 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2013 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

A US court  has reserved its verdict in a human rights violation case against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal after the hearing of arguments related to the matter.

A US based human rights group, Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), and pro-Khalistani activists had filed a federal lawsuit last year, accusing Badal for shielding police officers responsible for extra-judicial killings, torture and human rights violations against Sikhs in Punjab under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCT).

Following the SFJ’s complaint, US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on August 8, last year, had issued summons against Badal, who was in Wisconsin to attend the marriage ceremony of cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakhra’s niece.

Badal’s counsel argued that the chief minister never received any summons from the court, whereas the SFJ has claimed that its authorised person had served the court summons. However, special agents from the Diplomatic Security Service of the US Department of State have also submitted statements to the US court claiming that Badal was not served with the summons.

Keen on pursuing the case, SFJ said it will now approach the recently created American Sikh Congressional Caucus and seek its help in asking the state department to withdraw its support to Badal. The organisation will also demand a Congressional hearing demanding ban on entry of Shiromani Akali Dal leaders to the country.  Plaintiffs Jeet Singh, Gurdeep Kaur and Jagtar Singh of SAD (Amritsar) and the SFJ have approached US Federal Judge Randa with the documentary evidence of mistreatment of their family members in India by the Badal administration, pressuring them to withdraw the human rights violations case against Badal.

The Badal regime, under the directions of Home Minister Sukhbir Badal, has unleashed a reign of terror and intimidation against the family members of plaintiffs living in India. The SAD (Amritsar) is headed by Simranjit Singh Mann -- the brother-in-law of former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.


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