New York, Jan 25: A Federal Court in Brooklyn has granted a Sikh group time till Feb 6 to file its opposition to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi’s motion to dismiss a human rights violation lawsuit against her.
In support of her Jan 2 motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that she had not been served the summons, Sonia Gandhi had submitted a declaration on Jan 13 claiming that she has “not been in New York or in the United States” between Sep 3 and Sep 9.
New York based “Sikhs For Justice” (SFJ) had on Thursday requested Judge Brian M. Cogan for time to investigate whether Gandhi visited US between Sep 2 and Sep 9, according to SFJ attorney Gurpatwant S Pannun.
SFJ claims that on Sep 9, it had served the summons and complaint on the hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York where Sonia Gandhi was believed to be undergoing medical treatment.
“Since the defendant’s claim of absence from the United States at the time when the plaintiffs served the defendant is critical and pivotal to maintaining this action, an extension of time is necessary to enable the plaintiffs to undertake (an) investigation,” SFJ told the court.
US federal court for the Eastern District of New York had in Sep 2013 issued summons against Sonia Gandhi on the complaint filed by SFJ and some victims of anti-Sikh violence in India in November 1984.
The group has sought compensatory and punitive damages against Gandhi for her alleged role in shielding and protecting Congress party leaders including Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler and Amitabh Bachchan from prosecution for their alleged role in the 1984 violence.