The US State Department has asked a court in NewYork to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Sikh rights group for declaring RSS as a "terror group" saying it has no standing.

    In an 18-page motion filed Tuesday before judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York, US attorney Preet Bharara said Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) lacks standing to bring such claims.

    Even if SFJ had standing, the political question doctrine bars judicial review where the Secretary of State has not designated an organization, it said.

    "Neither SFJ nor this Court possesses authority to compel the Secretary to designate an entity as a foreign terrorist organization-a discretionary action that implicates important foreign affairs and national security considerations, and which is entrusted to the political branches," the motion added.

    SFJ has filed a lawsuit in the US court to label the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a foreign terrorist organization.

    It accuses RSS of "believing in and practicing a fascist ideology and for running a passionate, vicious and violent campaign to turn India into a 'Hindu' nation with a homogeneous religious and cultural identity".

    "Political question doctrine cannot trump the fundamental human rights of protection of life and liberty which are embedded in the American constitution," SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S Pannun said.

    SFJ will challenge the US Government's bid to block the labelling of RSS as "terror group", he said.

'Khan Market plan unfeasible'

  • Hamari Jamatia, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 27, 2012 00:01 IST

The traders of Khan Market have decided to ask the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to make some significant changes in its "unfeasible plan" that proposes the installation of collapsible ladders on the rear walls of the first floors and shifting the air-conditioners to the rooftop.

The traders met on Wednesday and decided to send the list of changes they want to the council later this week.  

"We will distribute pamphlets among shop owners so that they are kept in the loop," said Sanjiv Mehra, president of the Khan Market Traders Association. He described NDMC's plan as flawed and one that can threaten the safety of the very structure it proposes to save.

Earlier, Bhure Lal, the head of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had called the proposal a 'recipe for disaster that must be rejected outright'.

The NDMC this year had introduced a redevelopment plan for Khan Market which is mainly concerned with the beautification of the market place and some changes to the buildings.

The primary suggestions include installing collapsible ladders and sidewalks between the first floors, increasing the FAR, clearing of pathways which will be done by shifting all the AC units to the rooftops and façade makeover. The drainage system is expected to be refurbished.

According to traders, the roof of the market is already full of cylinders and water tanks, leaving no space for the installation of ACs. They are also opposed to the plan of providing a storm water drain in the service lane and have demanded that collapsible ladders be installed in the front part of the buildings.

A senior NDMC official said the plan was decided after prolonged deliberations and weighed in all options.

"There is no fire safety plan in the market so the main idea is to make the market safer," he said.


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