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Dismiss November 1984 victim’s complaint because massacre took place 25 years ago, says Congress (I)

June 7, 2012 | By

New York (June 06, 20102): As per information provided by Sikhs for Justice after unsuccessful attempt to challenge the jurisdiction of the US Federal Court to hear the Sikh Genocide case, Indian National Congress, the ruling party of India, now seeks dismissal of the claims filed by victims of November 1984 based on the lapse of 25 years. The May 29 motion by the Congress Party states that killing of Sikhs took in November 1984 and the victims filed the case in March 2011 when the statute of limitation had already expired.

“Plaintiffs’ claims under both the TVPA and ATS are also time-barred because they complain about alleged activities that occurred more than twenty-five years ago; all statutes of limitations have long expired” argues the recent motion filed by Geoffrey S. Stewart of the Law Firm of Jones Day defending Indian National Congress against the charges of conspiring, aiding, abetting, organizing and carrying out attacks on Sikh population of India in November 1984.

Related Documents:

(1) Declaration of Motilal Vora in support of the Indian National Congress Party’s opposition to Plaintiffs’ motion for a Default Judgement (Download PDF)

(2) Copy of related order of US Court (Download PDF)

On June 03, Judge Robert Sweet ordered that “Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ 1st Amended Complaint or, in the alternative, for an order staying proceedings pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, dated May 29, 2012 shall be heard on submission, without oral argument, on June 27, 2012.”

Motilal Vora, Treasurer and MP of Congress (I) also gave an affidavit to the U.S. Court in support of motion to dismiss the complaint filed by victims of November 1984. Vora’s affidavit to the U.S. court 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 “Indian National Overseas Congress is not a subsidiary or affiliate of the Indian National Congress Party of India”.

According to Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), since Congress (I) has no defense on the merits against the charges of planning and carrying out attacks on Sikhs during November 1984, it is attempting to manipulate and delay the Genocide Trial before the US Court by filing motions on baseless grounds.

Referring to Congress MP Motilal Vora’s affidavit, attorney Pannun stated that it has become obvious that Congress (I) being the ruling party of India is thwarting the delivery of summons and complaint to its head office because the plaintiffs have proof of delivery of the summons to the Central Authority of India as required under the Hague Convention. Motilal Vora’s affidavit is not only self contradictory but is also disingenuous and since it has been signed by Vora under section 1746(1) of the Chapter 28 United States Code, it constitutes perjury, added attorney Pannun.

The Plaintiff’s in their opposition to the motion filed by the Congress before US Court will request the court to deny the motion because despite having knowledge of this law suit and having ample opportunities to raise these issues, Congress chose not respond and has thus waived all the defenses, stated attorney Pannun.

In summons issued on March 01, 2011, Congress (I) was directed by the US Court to file its answer within 21 days in the class action law suit {SFJ v. Congress (I) SDNY (10 CV 2940)} filed under Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). Initially, Congress (I) responded to the summons through its attorneys Sabharwal, Nordin and Finkel and asked the Court to grant additional time until June 24, 2011 to file the answer. Despite receiving the requested extension from the US Court, Congress (I) failed to file the answer to the summons and to defend the charges of organizing the killings of Sikhs in November 1984.

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