US court dismisses human rights abuse case against DSGMC chief

  • PTI, New York
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2016 13:20 IST
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) chief Manjit Singh GK (HT File Photo)

A US court in New York has dismissed a case of torture and human rights abuses filed against Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK by a city-based Sikh rights group, saying it does not have jurisdiction over the case.

In a court order issued in New York on Thursday, US district judge Andrew Carter in the Southern district of New York said the case initiated by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) against GK must be dismissed as the court lacks personal and subject matter jurisdiction.

Plaintiffs Harjit Singh and Janki Kaur had filed the case against GK in July last year and were being represented by the law firm of Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who is the legal advisor of Sikhs for Justice.

The case against GK alleged that he used torture as a tool to wrest the control of DSGMC, a top Sikh body.

Harjit Singh alleged in the case that he faced death threats and torture at the orders of GK after he refused to extend support and campaign for him during 2013 elections of DSGMC.

In his order, Carter said the court “may not reach the merits of the claims” made by the plaintiffs because “it is clear from the complaint that the court lacks jurisdiction to do so. The court does not have personal jurisdiction over defendant and it is less than clear whether the court has subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ claims.”

GK told PTI over phone from India that the “frivolous charges” filed against him by SFJ have been proved wrong in a court of law. He accused SFJ of being “habitual blackmailers”, stressing that he and DSGMC stand for a united India.

He said even though there may be differences with the then Indian government over getting justice in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, “we believe in fighting for our rights under the Indian Constitution”.

GK stressed that he will continue to fight to bring the “culprits” of the 1984 riots to justice.

GK’s attorney Jaspreet Singh said the court order is a “big win” for his client and allegations by the plaintiffs Singh and Kaur that they were tortured and threatened by GK because he wanted their support in the DGSMC elections were “frivolous and baseless”.

He said GK was not even properly served with the summons in New York.

Read: DSGMC chief submits memo against Sikhs for Justice to US govt

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