SFJ Opposes Congress Claim in US Court
The New York-based ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ) filed a plea in a US Federal Court challenging the Congress party’s motion seeking the dismissal of the charges related to the 1984 violence against the Sikhs in the wake of PM Indira Gandhi’s assassination .
The 32-page memorandum of law submitted by the SFJ on February 17 seeks to demonstrate that the subject matter jurisdiction and the legal standing of the rights group as well as that of the riot victims allow the continuation of the case against the grand old party in the Federal Court. And the SFJ contended that the subject matter jurisdiction is being invoked on the grounds of the plaintiffs being granted refugee status in the US for being victims of the violence allegedly carried out by the Congress goons.
In fact the Alien Torts Statute, under which the case has been filed, grants jurisdiction to the US Courts to hear the rights cases that have occurred outside the territory as long as there is a connection between the tort committed and Washington. Counsel for SFJ Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, while submitting that the case qualified for jurisdiction as per the guidelines laid down by the US Supreme Court in the Esther Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Co (Shell) case, said the Congress is a political organisation with a pan-India presence. But to mislead the court the Congress was repeatedly terming its structure “corporate”.