After the activist group Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) prevented Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh’s scheduled visit to Canada late last month, it has now served a notice on him claiming he had defamed the group by linking it to Pakistan’s spy agency, the ISI.
Captain’s media adviser Vimal Sumbly, however, said: “No such notice has been received by him (Amarinder Singh).”
In a statement, SFJ claimed to have served notice for an intended lawsuit before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice while Amarinder Singh was addressing a gathering of NRIs in Milpitas, a town in California’s Bay Area late on Wednesday evening. Goldblatt Partners, the Toronto-based law firm representing SFJ, said the litigation would proceed if a “retraction and apology” was not issued within seven days.
A letter accompanying the notice said, “The defamatory statements were and are false, and their publication has caused grave damage and injury to Sikhs for Justice.” It also said that the “unfounded accusations of association with the ISI” was “tantamount to accusations of treason.”
Amarinder’s statement had come after he had to cancel scheduled week-long events in Canada late last month after SFJ, acting through Goldblatt Partners, had first sent a memorandum to the Canadian Government complaining against Amarinder’s foreign political campaign” in the country, and on the day of his expected arrival in Toronto, had filed a case in a Toronto court accusing the former chief minister in a case of torture during his tenure.
While Amarinder had later retracted the original statement, the letter said that “failed to meet the requirements of a ‘full and fair retraction’” under the relevant Canadian Libel and Slander Act.
The SFJ had earlier threatened to file a similar defamation case in California but due to jurisdictional issues in the United States, did not proceed with that.