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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Court to decide on plaint against Sonia: US attorney

PTI  Washington, September 05, 2013
First Published: 17:53 IST(5/9/2013) | Last Updated: 18:22 IST(5/9/2013)

Observing that anybody can sue anybody for anything in the US if they pay the filing fee of the court, an eminent Indian American attorney has said that it is for the court to decide if there is personal and subject matter jurisdiction on the complaint filed against Congress president Sonia Gandhi by a Sikh rights group.

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"It remains for the court to evaluate if the claims are credulous or not," said Ravi Batra, an eminent New York-based attorney.

Batra is also representing the Congress in another similar case filed against union minister Kamal Nath by the Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) in the south district of New York. The case against Gandhi has been filed in the eastern district of New York.

Batra's statement came a day after a federal court in New York issued summons to Gandhi for "shielding and protecting" leaders of her party who were allegedly involved in the anti-Sikh riots in 1984.

The summons were issued by the US eastern district court, New York, after the SFJ and two riot victims filed a complaint before it.

However, the SFJ said it was determined to serve the summons on Gandhi, who is in the US for a medical checkup.

Gurpatwant S Pannun, SFJ legal counsel, said Gandhi's alleged crime, for which the organisation had filed the lawsuit, did not differentiate between healthy and sick, young and old, men or women.

"The law applies equally to all. We will do it (serving the summons) irrespective of the elaborate security detail that surrounds her," he said.

Under the US process, the plaintiff has 120 days to serve summons, after which the defendant has 21 days to respond.

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