August 7, 2010 11:27:53 pm
The minister failed to respond to summons to him on a plea by Sikh group
A new York district court on Thursday issued a certificate of default declaring that Union Minister for Roadways Kamal Nath has failed to respond to the summons issued by the court earlier on April 6. This was stated by Gurpatwant S Pannun,legal advisor of Sikhs for Justice,an organisation which has filed the case against Nath.
Pannun said: The US court issued a certificate of default against Indian Minister Kamal Nath because despite publicly acknowledging to have received the court summons on April 6,he ignored the summons and decided not to contest the allegation of leading the mobs that killed Sikhs in 1984. The certificate of default paves the way for the US court to grant all reliefs requested by Sikhs for Justice,a US-based non-profit national human rights advocacy group in their complaint.
Nath was asked to file a response to the complaint filed by the NGO. Other plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit are Jasbir Singh,who lost more than 20 family members and Mohinder Singh,whose father was killed in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The plea against the minister was filed under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) asking the US court to grant compensatory and punitive damages for Kamal Naths role in leading an armed mob which attacked Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in Delhi on November 1,1984.
Pannun added: The US court will now issue its judgment based on the submissions of the NGO. We have already demanded a jury trial during which the plaintiffs will submit documentary evidence proving the participation of Kamal Nath and many senior leaders of the ruling Congress party in the Sikh riots.
We will also approach the US Department of State,Canadian Immigration Department and governments of European Union countries asking them to ban Kamal Naths entry into their countries as he is a human rights violator. US law provides a remedy to victims of human rights violations that have been committed abroad and allows the victims to bring a lawsuit against the perpetrator in the US Federal, he further said.
Sarna to appear before Akal Takht today
While Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Paramjit Singh Sarna and his brother Harvinder have been summoned before the Akal Takht on Saturday,activists of the 1984 Danga Peerat Welfare Society held a march on Friday and submitted a memorandum before Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh,seeking strict religious action against the Sarna brothers. Lawyer of the riot victims,H S Phoolka,had accused the Sarnas of misconduct and using abusive language against him. Sarnas will be arriving at the Takht to explain their stand on the allegations. Surjit Singh and Bibi Gurdeep Kaur said the DSGMC head was acting on the behest of the Congress party to derail the judicial process against its leaders.
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