Sonia not to depose in US: attorney

  • PTI, New York
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2014 20:28 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will not depose here in a human rights violation lawsuit filed against her by a Sikh rights group, her attorney has said.

Responding to a demand made by the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), Gandhi's attorney Ravi Batra told PTI that she would not depose in the case.

The SFJ's legal attorney, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, had last week said that the plaintiffs would request a US federal court to depose the Congress president regarding her presence in the US in September 2013 and on the service of summons on her.

Rejecting the SFJ's demand, Batra said it was a "pity" that the group was creating "false public expectations" that the Indian politician would depose in the human rights violation lawsuit filed against her regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

"The SFJ is hopelessly lost in a legal wilderness and cannot comprehend legal principles, including sovereignty, that mandate case dismissal," Batra said.

The SFJ has been given time till February 6 by a federal court to "investigate" whether Gandhi was in the city between September 2 and 9 last year, and file its opposition to her motion to dismiss the human rights violation lawsuit due to insufficient service of summons.

Gandhi submitted a new declaration on January 13 to the US court in support of her motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

In the declaration, she stated that she had "not been in New York or in the US during the period from September 3 to 9, 2013."

The SFJ has said that Gandhi was in the city for medical treatment at the Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in September.

The petitioners are demanding a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her role in allegedly shielding and protecting perpetrators of the riots. PTI


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