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US court rejects demand for default judgement against Sonia Gandhi

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 22:35

New York: A federal judge here has rejected a demand by a rights group seeking a default judgement against Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and given them four weeks time to amend the complaint, given the "legal infirmities" in their case.

Gandhi`s Counsel Ravi Batra said in an emailed statement to PTI that, contrary to claims by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Gandhi was not served summons during her visit to the city for medical purposes last month.

Batra said he has informed the federal judge that the New York court lacks personal and subject matter jurisdiction in the case and SFJ has been indulging in "improper judge and venue shopping."

SFJ had yesterday filed a service-affidavit with the US District Court in the Eastern District of New York claiming that an "alternate" service was served on Gandhi on September 9 through the receptionist, nurse supervisor and security employees at the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital here.

SFJ had also requested for a mandatory default judgement to be issued against Gandhi, a demand that was rejected by the presiding judge.

Batra said Judge Cogan of the district court has granted SFJ`s counsel four weeks to amend the complaint, given the "legal infirmities" in their case.
Batra said he will move the court to dismiss the lawsuit and seek an injunction against the group.

"We will then move to dismiss the case with finality, seek an anti-suit injunction against SFJ, and other appropriate relief to remedy provable bad faith?and/or vexations litigation by plaintiff.

Earlier this week Batra had said that SFJ indulged in an "improper judge-and-venue-shopping" by filing lawsuits against Congress party and its leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gandhi, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath in various federal courts in the US.

Batra had said Gandhi has "not been served with process" in the anti-Sikh riots case.

Sikhs for Justice has filed cases against the Congress party and its leaders for shielding and protecting party leaders allegedly involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 22:35
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