US court grants Sikh group`s plea to serve notice on Indian PM
New Delhi: A federal judge in Washington has granted a Sikh rights group the right to serve a notice on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through the Hague Service Convention.
Under the February 28 order, Judge James E Boasberg states: "Plaintiffs shall by April 14, 2014, either file proof of service or file a status report updating the Court on their progress in effecting service".
While giving details, Gurpatwant S Pannun, Legal Advisor, Sikhs For Justice (SJF) a U.S.-based human rights group, informed from New York that the SFJ had filed a motion with the court requesting extension of time to serve a notice on Prime MInister Singh in India.
In support of its motion, SFJ submitted a copy of the engagement letter retaining "Process Forwarding International" (PFI), a Washington-based firm to serve a summons on Dr Singh in India as per the Hague Service Convention.
The human rights violation law suit against Prime Minister has been filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) of 2013.
Under ATCA and TVPA, the US Federal Courts have jurisdiction over cases of human rights violations even if they have occurred on foreign soils as in this case.
Pannun told ANI that though they supported the United States findings that most significant human rights problems in India were police and security force abuses, as pointed out in the 2013 U.S. report, but they would approach the Secretary of State with the evidence and documents about the involvement of Congress (I), the ruling party of India in organising the genocidal violence against Sikhs in November 1984.
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