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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Sikh group challenges dismissal of 1984 case against Congress

Press Trust of India  New York, May 25, 2014
First Published: 10:58 IST(25/5/2014) | Last Updated: 11:00 IST(25/5/2014)

A Sikh rights group has challenged the dismissal of the 1984 rights violation case against the Congress before an appeals court here, saying the case “concerns” the US and it has “institutional standing” to seek judgment on behalf of the Sikh community.


The case filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) was dismissed by Judge Robert Sweet of US District Court last month on the grounds that the group failed to show sufficient “touch and concern” to the United States.

Sweet, however, had ruled that “a corporate defendant can be liable under the Alien Torts Statute (ATS), assuming that the statute’s ‘touch and concern’ requirements are adequately alleged”.

SFJ said the case sufficiently “touches and concerns” the US and it has “institutional standing” to seek “declaratory judgment” on the November 1984 violence against the Sikh community.

Commenting on the appeal made by SFJ, Congress’s attorney Ravi Batra said on behalf of the party and its chief Sonia Gandhi, “we look forward to arguing” in t he appeals court that “justice was done, the law followed, sovereignty honoured” when Sweet ordered the dismissal of the case.

SFJ said its appeal was based on the grounds that the victims’ group claim is not barred under a US Supreme Court ruling as plain tiffs have already been granted refugee status by California Federal Court for being victims of violence allegedly committed by the Congress in India which proves “touch and concer n” and suf ficient connection to America.

The SFJ appeal claims that federal law grants “institutional standing” to human rights g roups to seek “declaratory judgments” by US courts.

The SFJ is seeking judgment to declare November 1984 violence against the Sikh community as 0“genocide”.

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