India's Congress party has asked a US court time until June 24 to answer charges in a case filed by a Sikh community group alleging genocide in the November 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The Congress request was filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday by law firm Sabharwal, Nordin and Finkel, which is also co-counsel for Indian Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath in this case for his alleged role in the riots.
The lawyers sought more time while reserving the Congress party's "right to dispute service, jurisdiction, venue, immunity, statute of limitations" and also requested a conference at the Court's discretion.
Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, legal advisor to Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) alleged "Congress's request for time to file response is part of its plan to stall the case, delay the prosecution and tire out the witnesses and victims, as it has done for the past 26 years."
SFJ will oppose Congress's effort to seek additional time, Pannun said.
The Congress was summoned on March 1 to respond to the class action law suit filed under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) for allegedly "conspiring, aiding, abetting and carrying out organized attacks on Sikh population of India in November 1984."
The plaintiffs had already announced that they will file for default judgment if Congress failed to file an answer in the court by April 1.