Sikh group in US given more time to re-file complaint against Sonia Gandhi

Court says complaint was not ‘properly written’.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: A complaint filed by a Sikh advocacy group in the US against Indian Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi has been given more time by a Federal court to be re-filed, by December 3rd.

The complaint was in regards to the anti-Sikh riots of November 1984 that sparked as a direct result of the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The riots ravaged Sikh communities in India and left more than 8,000 dead, 3,000 of which were in New Delhi alone.

Last month, Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) filed a service affidavit with a US District Court in the Eastern District of New York against Sonia Gandhi, seeking punitive and compensatory damages for her alleged involvement with the riots.

According to SFJ, Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and several other leaders in the Congress Party were responsible for hiding allegedly guilty parties like Sajjan Kumar, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath, and Jagdish Tytler, among others.

In a new order, the court has turned the complaint back to the SFJ, saying that the submitted paperwork was not properly written from a legal standpoint. The SFJ has been given until December 4 to correct and re-file the claim.

When Sonia Gandhi was in the US in September, receiving treatment at New York’s Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital for an undisclosed condition, the SFJ says it filed its initial legal summons to Gandhi. But the Congress Party’s lawyer, Ravi Batra, is saying that the means used to serve the summons was improper and should be dismissed.

Batra has accused the SFJ of resorting to improper and disingenuous tactics to push its anti-Congress Party agenda, calling the SFJ’s methods “improper judge-and-venue shopping.” Batra also stated that he is seeking to file a lawsuit and injunction against the SFJ for its complaint, saying that he plans to “dismiss the case with finality.”

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