A US federal court has given Congress president Sonia Gandhi time till January 2 to respond to a Sikh body's charges of protecting and shielding party leaders allegedly involved in the November 1984 anti-Sikh violence.
Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) had filed an amended class action complaint against Gandhi on December 4, citing what it called "specific instances of impunity, promotions and party tickets" to Congress leaders and police officials involved in the 1984 violence.
The SFJ complaint against Gandhi invokes the federal court jurisdiction over the case based on the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act, 1992, giving survivors of human rights abuses the right to sue perpetrators in the US.
The 38-page complaint demanding Gandhi's jury trial alleges that her "acts and omissions were deliberate, wilful, intentional, wanton and malicious and should be punished by an award of compensatory and punitive damages".
While the SFJ claims that the court summons were served on Gandhi through hospital and security staff at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York on September 9, Gandhi's attorneys had challenged the service of summons.