Ruling on immunity in 84` riots case of Kamal Nath soon: SFJ

Last Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 23:07

New York: A federal judge here is expected to
announce his ruling "within the next 60 days" on whether
Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath enjoys diplomatic
immunity in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case filed against him
here.

The court that is hearing the case had reserved the ruling
on the matter yesterday, according to Gurpatwant Pannun, Legal
Advisor for advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), which has
filed the case against Nath.

Judge Robert Sweet of the US Federal Court for the
Southern District of New York heard arguments in the case
against the Minister.

After hearing the arguments from both sides in a 45-minute
long hearing, Sweet reserved his ruling.

"He is expected to announce his decision within 60 days",
Pannun said.

"We are still very optimistic since we have a strong case
and the law is on our side," Pannun said.

He said the judge heard arguments on personal and subject
matter jurisdiction as well as Nath`s claims of diplomatic
immunity during yesterday hearing.

No new date in the case has been fixed yet.

He said Nath failed to produce during the hearing a
`Statement of Interest` from US Department of State in support
of his claim to diplomatic immunity.

SFJ has requested the court to issue a default judgement
against him for failing to respond within 21 days after
receiving the Summons on April 6, 2010 on his claim to
diplomatic immunity.

SFJ has already demanded a "jury trial" from the court
during which plaintiffs wants to submit documentary evidence
proving participation of Nath and other Congress leaders in
the November 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Pannun said despite being aware of the case and
acknowledging receipt of summons and complaint, Nath has not
yet responded.

"Nath has completely ignored the summons so far and that
is why the plaintiffs are requesting the court to issue a
default judgement against him," he said.

In a motion filed on June 24 this year, Nath has claimed
that he is entitled to immunity from prosecution in the US and
that he was not served with summons or complaints during his
April 2010 visit to New York.

Pannun said the sikh community would hold a protest rally
on September 24 during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s address
to the UN General Assembly demanding that Nath be sacked from
the cabinet and Congress leaders involved in the riots be
prosecuted.

PTI




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