Cong wants ’84 riots case in US dismissed on grounds of delay

The Congress has sought dismissal the of an anti-Sikh riots case against it in a US court on grounds that the case was filed nearly 25 years after the 1984 riots took place.

Written by YoshitaSingh | New York | Published: June 8, 2012 12:29 am

The Congress has sought dismissal the of an anti-Sikh riots case against it in a US court on grounds that the case was filed nearly 25 years after the 1984 riots took place. A US judge here will hear the motion on June 27.

In a motion filed in federal court here on May 29,the Congress has sought dismissal of the claims filed by rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ),saying the riots took place in November 1984 and the victims filed their case in March 2011. Due to the lapse of 25 years,the statute of limitation had already expired,lawyers for the Congress said.

“Plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred because they complain about alleged activities that occurred more than 25 years ago. All statutes of limitations have long expired,” said attorney Geoffrey Stewart of the law firm Jones Day,which is defending the Congress in the case.

The party has been accused by the Sikh group of conspiring,aiding,abetting and carrying out attacks on the community in November 1984 following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. Judge Robert Sweet,presiding over the matter,said the Congress’ motion to dismiss SFJ’s complaint or to get a stay will be heard on June 27.

Meanwhile,SFJ said Congress MP Motilal Vora submitted an affidavit in the US court in support of the motion to dismiss the complaint filed by riot victims. Vora’s affidavit states that “no summons and complaint from the New York Litigation was delivered to the Indian National Congress Party in accordance with the Hague Service Convention”.

The affidavit further states that city-based Indian National Overseas Congress (INOC) is not a subsidiary or affiliate of the Indian National Congress Party of India. SFJ’s legal advisor,Gurpatwant Singh Pannun,said since the Congress has no defence on the merits against charges of planning and carrying out the attacks,it is attempting to manipulate and delay the trial by “filing motions on baseless grounds”.

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